Become more creative


Here’s the thing - we are all creative. Don’t believe me? Just bear with me on this one…

As a child you’re always creating – you’re constantly using your imagination, coming up with fantasies, going on make-believe adventures, constructing dens out of duvets and cars out of cardboard boxes.

But the older we get, the more elusive this creativity becomes – concealed by logic, routine, self-consciousness and our inherent desire to bloody conform.

It’s only concealed though, not lost.

Because the more I explore creativity the more I realise that all it is is simply how we look at the world – creativity is just about how we connect the dots and make new associations between one thing and another thing. That’s it.

Now of course some people are brilliant at this. I used to work for a design agency, surrounded by brilliantly talented creatives – it was no surprise then that I felt anything but creative. But what I realised when I left, is that I’d become that bit more creative at solving problems, coming up with ideas and approaching adventures. The creatives had brushed off on me! Because (as I discovered through my mindfulness course) thanks to neuroplasticity, the more we practice thinking in a particular way, the more automatic it becomes.

So now I know I have it, I’m on a mission to cultivate that creativity. And you can do the same! Give these exercises a go as a starter…

3 Exercises to cultivate your creativity, shared by the fantastic artist Cathy Haynes through a The School of Life talk early this year:

  1. Reimagine purpose – one to kick start your imagination and challenge the way you think about things. Imagine you’re completely alien to this world and not familiar with any objects in the environment. Now select an object and give it a purpose – reimagine it as if its actual function is unknown to you and there are no constraints in what it could be. It’s not supposed to be realistic – go wild!
  2. Challenge routine – do something different in your day-to-day, just because. You could commit to noticing everything red in your environment, looking up when you're out and about to take in everything above eye level, or simply walk a different route to the norm! It’s all about filling your senses with something new, fuelling those new connections.
  3. Set creative constraints – sometimes we need a little push to think outside the box. Setting a limit can force us to think differently – this could be a limit on tech so you have to use a different media, or if you’re Robert Louis Stevenson it’s drawing the map of the island before writing Treasure Island. Want some practice? Try writing a sentence without the letter ‘E’. Go on, give it a go…NOW! Tricky huh?

This weekend I'll be challenging my routine in every way possible! Keep an eye on my instagram for updates...

What ways could you challenge your routine?

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