How to Be More Creative
Curious and endlessly productive, humans are creative by nature. Yet, according to a 2012 study from Adobe, while the majority of adults believe creativity is beneficial to society and essential to economic improvement, only 25% believe they are living up to their creative potential. Unlocking that potential might seem like a monumental task, but in truth, becoming more creative is just a few simple steps away.
Artists, scientists, and creative people of all kinds have traditionally offered a range of advice for harnessing creativity and putting it into action. But from Plutarch to Burnett to Einstein, many have lauded curiosity as a key factor in doing so. Whether they’re painting a mural, writing a novel, or building a website, a curious person is likely to absorb a wide range of information, and therefore develop a pool of potential connections that is both broad and deep. The more information you have at your command, the greater the range of potential juxtapositions and connections you can conjure to spark an idea.
And those connections matter as much as the curiosity that empowers their creation. Since 1978, science historian James Burke has hosted a series of documentaries called Connections, which explores the complex relationships between seemingly disparate items such as credit cards and the Duke of Burgundy. By bringing together different elements, Burke’s documentaries help underscore the interconnectedness of the world as a whole, and the sometimes surprising nature of creative inspiration. Simply comparing and contrasting ideas, images, sounds, and other information—especially those that seem to have no obvious connection—can lead you to unexpected places, and generate some fresh ideas when you’re feeling tapped out.
Beyond curiosity and connection, kick-starting creativity also requires a little bit of contemplation and critique. After all, it doesn’t matter how inspired your idea is if you never bother to refine it or expose it to outside criticism.
Becoming more creative is a process, not an unreachable dream. By being open to, and with, your ideas, you can make the most of your creativity and find a way to spark ideas you can put into action.
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