There are a lot of myths out there about creativity. Many people think we’re just born with or without it. Others think we have to travel to some distant land, or become a recluse to get the juices flowing.
Truth is, you don’t have to get weird. You don’t have to do drugs. You don’t have to get buckets of bright paint and upset yourself, throwing the paint on canvas while crying out your daddy issues. You don’t have to bang on the keys of a piano. You don’t really have to DO much! It's a process of ALLOWING.
So how does creativity come? Why can’t we spew out ideas as our colleagues seem to on a daily basis? Why do some people seem to be more interesting than the rest of us?
I’m here to share with you that there isn’t any big secret to it. The key is very simple, and you too can become more creative! I’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help jump-start your own personal journey to experiencing more creativity in your life.
If you don’t read, you should start! There are many benefits to reading. Some of these include mental stimulation, knowledge, stress reduction, memory improvement, stronger analytical skills, improved focus and concentration, to name a few. Having a stronger mind that is less focused on personal stresses alone sounds good to me in and of themselves, but creativity depends on our mind’s ability to flow, and allow things to happen. Which is a state that requires the aforementioned pieces to the puzzle. Studies show we should be reading 30 minutes per day. When you introduce new ideas and scenarios, the creative juices will begin to flow.
Which brings us to our next point. Staying in our comfort zones does anything but introduce us to new ideas and scenarios. For me, getting outside my comfort zone many times includes new social situations. People to me are most inspiring. There is nothing that gets me going like talking to someone new who is passionate about what they do. Their passion and zest for life will certainly spark new ideas. Another great way to get outside your comfort zone is to engage in new activities, particularly ones that get your adrenaline going. Adrenaline can be a good thing, especially to get your mind going.
Stop doing the same old things all the time! The latest episode of whatever everyone else is watching is not going to inspire you. It’s summertime. Remember how our parents kicked us out of the house when we were younger to go play? Listen to your Inner Child, begging you to go out and play. If you can’t hear him/her/them, I suggest you open up the cellar door and let them out. Go do something in nature, call a friend for a ride on their motorcycle, people watch at The Reservoir, check out an independent flick at FilmScene, or just hang out in the ped mall on a Friday night. Go to Food Truck Tuesdays at NewBo Market for lunch next week. Whatever it is, challenge yourself. Maybe even get bold and strike up a conversation with a stranger. I suggest the elderly, they always have something to say!
Reconnect with an old friend you’ve been thinking about. If you haven’t, take a tour through your Facebook page or better yet, LinkedIn, and set a meeting with someone you haven’t seen in awhile. With no expectations other than to chat. You never know what might happen.
There are a million and one ways to do this. I highly suggest prayer, meditation, and journaling. Whatever gets you feeling connected with something bigger than yourself. I have a friend who prays to a G word that he doesn’t even believe exists. And gets amazing results. It’s a matter of taking the time to let stillness in. In a world where we always have somewhere to be or someone else’s agenda to think about, stillness is a valuable thing. And it’s free. I can attest. There is nothing you have to look for, nothing you need to find, nothing you need to learn, and nothing you need do. The answers are not out “there”. I promise you can find them within, in stillness. If that’s too hard and you need some sound, I would also recommend looking into Solfeggio Frequencies or other Ambient/Chill music without lyrics. Thoughts will come. If you are praying, pray for others who come to mind. If you are meditating, watch the thought, acknowledge it, and let it pass, going back to stillness. If you are journaling, just start writing, and write whatever comes.
Remember, it's about ALLOWING creativity into your life. But the responsibility is on you to keep evolving or to jolt yourself out of a humdrum existence. It isn't an obligation, it's an opportunity! Give it a shot, your family, your boss, your career, and you yourself will benefit!