“I want to be more creative but I’m really not the artistic type. I can’t even draw properly!”
So you want to practice creativity in your life? That’s great! But you doubt yourself if you ever even have the strength to be one. After all, isn’t being creative left for the writers, the painters, the cartoonists, the film directors, the dancers, etc?
Well, what if I also told you that it’s really not all talent, but it can be a mindset too! You see, being creative doesn’t mean you have to be the greatest poet in the world, or the best singer the world has ever heard. Although, yes! These people apply creativity in their process. But you can also apply it in yourself even if you can’t draw properly; you can start with practicing it as a mindset!
If you haven’t considered the idea before; well, this article’s for you, as we will teach you how to think creatively in no time.
Imagine landing an entry level programming job right after college. Way to go! You spend your time troubleshooting computers, fixing hardware problems, handing basic coding, assisting Senior Developers with Software Development. Everything’s going smoothly in your job. Then, ten years later, you decided that you want to have a career change; this time you want to help those people who are just starting out in the IT industry, i.e. you want to pursue IT Consulting.
Say, you’ve already helped loads of start-ups and other professional developers too. Great! But all this time, you have this desire within you to pursue entrepreneurship. You didn’t pursue it before because back then because you have no idea what your business is going to do. But today’s different; you got this eureka moment that you can use your experience as a consultant and as an IT professional to make business out of it. What a brilliant idea and an amazing stepping stone for you. Isn’t it?
You see, confluence is the converging of two things, combining it. Okay, maybe you’re not a business person; maybe you’re more into leadership, your strong point is leading people and handling a team, but you’re also interested to write a book. Well, you can write a book about leadership, though. Since not everybody has your experience. You can use that to your advantage and generate a creative output by writing a book.
Confluence can help you create something beautiful. Shake-off this notion that one must pursue one thing only in life and be an expert on that. As you can see from the example, confluence is really of great help. Go on now!
2. Appreciate other people’s art.
If you want to be a writer, you’re probably going to start out by reading someone else’s work first before you actually put in the work to write your own novel. You’ll read your favorite author’s works, fall in love with the characters, watch the film adaptation of the book, obsess about it, etc.
Ever wonder what you call this? Well, I call it a process.
If you badly want to be a writer, but you don’t read other people’s work, forget your dream. Because if you don’t appreciate other people’s work first, you’ll completely be clueless on how to make a book, you won’t know the structure, you won’t know that there must be a conflict whenever you’re writing a novel, you’ll completely rebuild the book from scratch, and that is something you don’t want to do.
It’s the same for any discipline; if you’re an aspiring painter, look at the works of other painters, appreciate it, and get a glimpse and an idea on how it’s made. By that, you’ll be just fine creating the next art that millions of future generations are going to love. And that work of art is made by you. Awesome!
3. Question everything (Because conformity is the enemy of innovation)
I learned this from the great Steve Jobs and now I’m sharing it to you. I didn’t have the contact with him on a personal level (I wish I had, though. He’s my hero, so that’d be a dream come true), but I often watch his talks, and I extract lessons from him.
He said something, and it went like this, “Everything around you that you call life were created by people that are no smarter than you, and you can change it; you can improve it; you can build your own things that other people can use.”
Once I’ve heard that quote from him. It utterly changed the way I look at life. Imagine if we still use the internet explorer as the web browser to access Google. Wouldn’t it be a slow process before we even get to Google? I’m sure someone questioned the way we used web browsers, and asked, “Is this all? What if we find a better browser? A browser that’s more efficient and faster.”
That’s the same principle that we can apply in our lives to practice creative thinking. Be insatiably curious, and never stop asking questions.
4. Daydream or Imagine
I’ve always been fascinated with televisions. I get amazed on how it can create entertainment for people. But I can’t help but think about this: that someone imagined the TV, before it was finally created in real life! It’s in someone’s imagination first before that person decided to make what he or she imagined!
This is the beauty of imagination; we can literally create anything! It’s limitless; it has no bounds. Reality has, but our imagination doesn’t.
You’re probably saying to me that you don’t have time to imagine because you’re living a busy life. Well, you can imagine while you’re riding a car (commute) whenever you’re off to work. Surely, you aren’t doing anything but sit down and wait for you to finally get to the office. Isn’t it?
One more thing, though. In this society, we have this notion that we need to see something first before we actually believe that it will work out. But when it comes to innovation, it goes the other way around. As what I’ve learned from Guy Kawasaki, “Some things need to be believed to be seen.”
Go! Imagine. It’s free; it’s limitless.
5. Observe first. Then, the next step is: to make it better.
Say you’re a freshman college student, you’re about to enroll at your school. So you go school, excited to finally be a college student, and then as you walk in the corridors of the school premises, you see a long line from the cashier’s office. What a dreadful sight to see!
You finally found out that the enrollment process in your school requires a tedious process. You have to get the approval of the department head, pay the reservation fee, write your schedule, get your number, wait for your number to be called by the cashier, and more. This is a system that’s happening in all sorts of universities, really. And you can be the game changer of this process! You can make a system that can make the enrollment process faster, in order to avoid the students falling in line the whole day just to finish enrolling.
I hope you get the idea. It doesn’t have to be a system always; it could be a product or an existing product.
Just improve it. Start observing now! Improve it afterwards.
6. Experiment. A lot!
If you want to practice a life that revolves around creativity; you have to try loads of things. Thomas Edison’s goal was to make the light bulb work. But he didn’t invent the light bulb in a span of just one night. He actually had to try 1,000 times before finally getting it right!
That’s the same for all of us.
If you have a creative goal, you have to try what works and what doesn’t. It is only in trying that you’ll be able to know what method would work; if you don’t try, you won’t know what works. And that is your loss.
Reading the information written above would be of waste if you don’t execute it. Have you noticed that a lot of people have great ideas? Try asking them; they’ll tell you lots and lots of ideas that they’ve think about. But do you know what separates the great from the average? The great does the work!
Ideas are cheap; it’s everywhere already. Don’t be an idea woman or man. Be an idea woman or man and at the same time, does the work!
I hope you learned a lot from this article, and made a difference in your life. If there’s one thing that I want you to take away from this article, it’s this quote:
Embrace creativity because creativity breeds innovation – CollarFinder.
The world needs doers.
Be a doer today!