Would you like to be more creative?
I’m only asking because it’s really not as hard or mysterious as you might think.
One thing that prevents many people from boosting their creativity is the notion that creativity is somehow determined by intelligence. Another is the idea that creative people are born that way.
In truth, research shows that once you get slightly above an average I.Q., intelligence and creativity are not related. So you could be a genius and display little creativity or have fairly average intelligence and wield amazing creative powers.
Also, creativity is learned behavior. It’s a matter of how you approach things, how you act or react to new circumstances, to look at things in different ways, your willingness to question, experiment, and take chances.
In other words, creativity is not something you are but rather something you do.
Think of creativity as a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. To increase your creativity, you simply need to “act” like a creative person. Not surprisingly, people recognized as creative tend to share common traits.
Highly creative people do the following:
- Have the COURAGE to try new things and risk failure. Every big breakthrough starts as an idea.
- Use INTUITION as well as logic to make decisions and produce ideas. The heart knows things that the brain kind of overlooks, and vice versa.
- Like to PLAY, since humor and fun are the ultimate creative act. Which is to say you just have to lighten up. When you enjoy yourself, your brain relaxes and is able to produce more and better ideas. One of those ideas may be just what you’re looking for.
- Are EXPRESSIVE and willing to share what they feel and think, to be themselves. Blogging is the ideal arena for injecting your personality into your work. People are emotional creatures and respond better to people who appear real, honest, and open. Not only is it more interesting, it can also be more persuasive.
- Can FIND ORDER in confusion and discover hidden meaning in information. Information is to the brain what food is to the stomach. The so-called “writer’s block” or creative burnout almost always results from a lack of fresh information and having nothing meaningful to say.
- Are MOTIVATED BY A TASK rather than by external rewards. You must like the challenge of writing, explaining, teaching, and persuading.
- Have a need to FIND SOLUTIONS to challenging problems. Even the most creative writers won’t have a solution for everything. If they claim to, they’ve stopped thinking. Highly creative people are those whose eyes light up at a question they can’t answer.
- Will CHALLENGE ASSUMPTIONS and ask hard questions to discover what is real. If you want to wield true creative power, you will always take what others advise with a grain of salt. (That includes myself and Cristian.) If you don’t know something from personal knowledge or experience, you don’t know it at all.
- Can CONNECT THE DOTS between old ideas to produce new insights. There’s this link between memory and creativity. The more your brain can store, the more connections you can make between ideas, events, etc. to produce new works.
- Are willing to TEST new ideas and compete with others based on results.
These are certainly uncommon traits for most people, but they are not difficult to emulate until they become second nature.
As you begin to “act” like a creative person, you’ll find yourself actually becoming more and more creative. And likely, more and more successful.