By Georgina El Morshdy
Creativity is the art of producing something new through innovation and imagination. Through thinking, play, and connecting things in novel ways, something new is formed.
It’s a powerful experience…
And one that helps us grow and evolve as a species - as well as empowering us to make our unique mark on the world as we choose to be our best selves.
As Edward de Bono - a Maltese philosopher, psychologist, and author who coined the term lateral thinking - said “There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.”
This leads us to a critical question…
How do you cultivate curiosity and use it to craft your best life?
Here are three ways that work…
1. Be expectant of incredible ideas
How many times have you had a great idea, only to lose it again in the flurry of life?
The fact is, creativity isn’t always convenient! It doesn’t always show up when you crave it. You can’t force it, and it will surprise you.
Who else has had ideas in the shower, when you’re out on a walk, or when you’re sitting doing nothing!
You can unlock creativity when you see yourself as a creative person.
Allow yourself to own that label - and then intentionally create an environment that proves you’re right. For example, create space for ideas and innovation by scheduling time for uninterrupted thinking and exploration.
In addition, carry a notebook with you.
With a notebook in hand, you won’t lose thoughts when they show up. Instead, you can let your notebook be an external brain that keeps the ideas safe - for when they’re needed.
But that’s not all…
When you write down an idea, you can explore it in detail. You get to unravel it - to see where it goes. You don’t get left with the surface level thought, but you can dig into the details and depths; then magic happens.
Maya Angelou said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Just because you’ve had one great idea doesn’t mean you won’t have another! In fact, the more you trust in your thoughts, the more you’ll have because the more confident you’ll be that something incredible will show up.
2. Get yourself inspired
Creativity often follows inspiration.
This is why it’s powerful to surround and immerse yourself with things that light you up and fuel a line of thinking that has the potential to go somewhere.
With this in mind, get to know what switches you on - and make it a habit to give yourself this inspiration as often as you can. For example:● Spend more time in nature and learn from the natural world.
● Visit new places and explore new environments - let the adventure open something up.
● Listen to podcasts that challenge you and elevate the way you feel.
● Watch TED talks and similar videos that leave you with fresh insights and new dots to connect.
● Read poetry, read books, listen to music that takes you into your body and changes the way you feel.
On the flipside, turn off external influences that make you feel bad. Be intentional about your choice of media diet. As much as possible, create a feeling of possibility - and see what difference that makes to your creative flow.
Finally, remember that inspired people have inspired thoughts.
And the power to inspire yourself is something you can access and switch on - whenever you choose.
Master this skill.
3. Listen to yourself
We’re living in an age of information abundance. We’ve never had access to so much knowledge so effortlessly and quickly.
Virtually everything you could want to know is available with a few clicks.
Which makes these times incredibly powerful.
And while you’ll find plenty of answers outside of yourself, don’t lose sight of the unique source of inspiration that only you can access.
As an individual, you have a unique perspective on life.
You walk with a unique body of knowledge and wisdom because of the life you’ve lived - because of what your experiences and choices have taught you about life.
I like to call this the Lens of YOU.
And it’s through this lens that you can access, unlock, and unleash a style and flavor of creativity that’s uniquely yours.
This is where practices such as journaling and meaningful conversations can add so much value.
The more you cultivate self-awareness, the more you’ll capture and work with the wisdom that is yours.
And who knows what you’ll envision and create from this perspective.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul."
What will you choose to create next?