In a study carried out by IBM, the CEOs of many large businesses were asked what they felt was the most essential leadership quality. 60% reported “creativity” to be more important than anything else. Integrity came second at 52%, followed by global thinking at 35%. Why? Because creativity allows people to provide innovative ideas, solve problems, and respond to various challenges efficiently.
In contrast, only 25% of all individuals believe they have the required creative abilities to succeed, even though there is creativity within us all. However, many of us will still have self-doubts because our creative abilities remain hidden deep within us. You will find this all the time, even with the professionals who create marketing campaigns. Photographers, painters, writers, will often struggle to get the flow of ideas.
If you are asking how to unlock your creativity, then here’s some great news for you. Yes, there are many surefire ways that can give very good results. It may all come down to changing some habits.
Here are some habits needed to unlock creativity…
1. Do What You Like
A rigid life held back by too many restrictions is never going to be good for your creativity. Your life may also be full of disappointments and stories of “I never got to do this, though I could have been good at it”. So do what you like. Learn a new hobby, join a class, go on that vacation. Live your life so that you feel happy and satisfied.
You will meet new people, get exposure to new ideas, which will help you generate ideas. It will also boost your power of imagination and encourage you to see things differently.
2. Have Fun
Did you know that Google encourages their employees to go out there and try bowling, play beach volleyball? And Google is probably one of the most creative businesses of our times.
Many research studies have proved that fun and games activate the creative side of our brains. Play can reduce stress. It boosts motivation and improves our ability to concentrate. Games make us feel happy. It can nurture our creative side. So it is clearly good for the human mind.
The popular English proverb… “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is right after all.
You can also attend art events because art events engage the creative side of the brain. Evidence from the world of neuroscience and rehabilitation medicine suggests that art improves the function of our brain by impacting our emotions, brain wave patterns, and our nervous system. Art also improves our serotonin levels. You will gain not just by making art, but also from experiencing it. Art also improves visual learning abilities and hand-eye coordination.
3. Free Flow
There are so many advantages of going to a gym. Physical training improves your health and helps you get a good body. Practice and repetition is also good for the mind.
The practice of meditation will help you achieve the state of mind you want. When you allow your mind to flow freely, it will be able to wander off. This state of mind is good for creative thinking.
Sit down for just 5 minutes every day to meditate. Keep a pen and paper with you. Allow it to wander off. With practice, you will achieve mindfulness, where you will be aware of everything around you, but will still be in a higher plane of awareness. Write down everything that comes to your mind. You can also draw if you want. Do not plan before. It should come naturally to you.
You will get better with repetition. Gradually increase the time for your daily meditation and mindfulness exercise.
Many believe that creative people are kind of wild. There is no structure or discipline in their lives. This has given birth to the saying… “Creative freedom”. This is just a myth.
The fact is that even the most creative people need structure and discipline in their lives. Most creative minds you will find believe in scheduling their days thoroughly. For example, the famous author Stephen King, who has sold more than 350 million books, always followed a regular writing routine. William James, the famous psychologist, has said that a well-planned schedule frees our minds, which allows us to focus better on interesting work.
So, it is essential to have a daily routine. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to work like a machine, doing the exact same things at the same time every day. This will be counterproductive. There has to be some flexibility. But, you certainly need a routine to have order in life. By doing this, you will be helping yourself to unlock your own creativity.
5. Avoid Creativity Killers
Monotony, self-doubt, the fear of failure, lack of confidence, and discouragement from others are all creativity killers.
Give your idea the chance to succeed. It may seem difficult in the beginning. Give it time and you will see it growing. The longer you work with the idea, the more possible it will appear. Don’t listen to what they say. Remember, new ideas, new ways of doing things, have always faced resistance. There are so many examples.
You have to take chances to become successful. This is the way you succeed more often. Also, you cannot create something new if you don’t try a new approach, if there is no fresh thinking. So don’t be afraid of backing your creativity.
6. Sleep On It
Often, we get the best ideas when we are sleeping or dreaming. It’s a fact that many celebrated scientists, inventors, and artists had their eureka moments in their sleep. The human brain works in funny ways.
When Larry Page was a student, he had this fear that he was accepted by Stamford University by mistake. He had anxiety dreams regularly. Larry dreamed that he was downloading the entire internet into an old computer. We woke up and did some mathematics and found that it could actually be done. It took him two more years to form Google.
Elias Howe had a nightmare in 1845. Cannibals had captured him and had asked him to invent a way to sew clothes. He failed, so they stabbed him with spears, which had a hole in the tip. Elias realized that an eye in the needle will be able to sew clothes. The sewing machine was discovered.
Movie director Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” and “Yesterday” by The Beatles were also conceptualized in dreams.
So, if you are facing a hurdle, it would be a good idea to sleep on it. You may receive new creative ideas. At least, you will be able to think fresh once you get up. A fresh mind always works better.
Not just the writers, painters, and photographers. All of us need creativity. These tips will surely help you unlock creativity. You will become a better version of yourself.