My son recently turned two years old and every day we are in awe. Just yesterday we found him holding the iPad and saying “Hey Siri” and trying to have a conversation with Siri. I have never used Siri on the iPad and barely use it on my phone but a few weeks ago I used it in the car once while he was watching me with quiet curiosity from his car seat. That is all it took for him to connect the dots. This is one example from many where we find ourselves saying, “He is so smart”. “He is so creative”. “How did he figure that out?”. If you are a parent you know what I’m talking about. Sure, we all want to think that our son or daughter is smarter or more creative than other kids but the truth is that majority of kids are very creative. Have you ever wondered why the majority of adults are not creative if they started being creative kids? Why were we all filled with imagination and creativity at four years old but at twenty-five, thirty-five, fifty and above, a small percentage retain that creativity? Ironically, it is that same creativity that helps you in your adult life solve personal, business, and career problems. Your creativity is there. You were born with it but other skills have become more dominant. So how can you unlock your god given creativity?
Kids are curious every second they are awake. That is why they ask so many questions. As adults, some people retain this child-like curiosity while many are selective on when they are curious. Curiosity leads to creativity. Continually asking questions will lead you to a mindset of creativity and generate new ideas you could never have thought of before. This is because asking questions produces data and the new data will result in you looking at a problem or situation from a different angle. This is why the saying “Think outside the box” is indirectly referencing creativity. Sure, it is easy to be genuinely interested in something you are passionate about and ask questions but if you do this often it becomes a habit for how you approach and process situations.
Instinctively we are programmed to avoid pain. Talking about pain in the context of financial or lifestyle pain, when your back is against the wall your creative juices will be hard at work because not being able to eat or feed your family is too painful to bear. You are basically in survival mode and all the creativity you were born with comes to the surface. Have you ever seen the movie Alive, which is based on a real story? They were facing the pain of death and to survive they had to be creative in ways they would not have imagined before. If you’re struggling to be creative, visualize the pain you will experience if you don’t solve the problem you are facing. Now think about the domino impact and go as far as you can until the pain is hard to bear. This should help you tease out the creativity you need to not feel that pain.
True love for something or someone makes you unlock feelings of creativity. Have you ever met someone you would do anything for? This feeling brings ideas to you that you would never have dreamt of thinking in the past. This feeling will bleed into other parts of your life as long as your love is healthy and drama free. You can also get creative when there is drama and hate, but that is the unhealthy type of creativity that can have a negative impact on your life. Genuinely love people. Love animals. Love life and you will be more creative.
When there is a bigger why for what you do, the feeling of purpose will unlock your creativity. If you feel like something is your true purpose in life, you will want to do anything to make it work and will unlock new ideas to make that purpose possible at any cost. If you need help discovering your ultimate why, you can read my article on this topic here, but when you do discover it, you become very creative. When I was working on my hospitality startup I had many people come up to me and ask me questions regarding how to build a software product without any experience. These questions were coming from friends, colleagues, students, and people at events I spoke at. I soon realized that there are many people in the shoes I was in twenty years ago. This realization bubbled up a deep desire to want to help people which lead to me writing my upcoming book, Side Adventure, the playbook for how to leverage your corporate job, pursue a side venture, and find happiness and fulfillment. Without this higher cause at play, I would not have been able to tap into the sustained creativity needed to write a book, which took almost three years to write. Find your ultimate why and you will tap into your creativity.
Surrounding yourself with people that are more creative and successful will automatically increase your creativity. This happens for two reasons. One, creativity is contagious. When you see creative problem solving and generation of big ideas on a regular basis, your brain gets trained and automatically builds on it. Two, we are competitive creatures. If a colleague came up with a creative solution that led to a big contract or saved the company one million dollars and this got him or her a promotion, your creativity will now go into overdrive as you don’t want to be left behind. If they can do it, so can you. The reverse happens when you surround yourself with people that are less creative and less successful so choose the people you spend the most time with wisely.
If you didn’t catch on yet, unlocking your creativity boils down to naturally feeling certain emotions or manufacturing other emotions through visualization. The more you can tap into the creativity you were born with the bigger your creative muscles get. Creative thinking then allows you to quickly and efficiently solve problems and generate big ideas that can lead to business success or career growth.
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