Five fun ways to add creativity to your life

Like the budding tree caught in my camera when I was on my walk, creativity is always there, waiting for the right time to reveal itself.

I know, I know, you’re not creative… right?   Perhaps you have your own reasons for saying this, a quest for perfection, a painful memory. There are lots of times in our lives where we believe a message that does not serve us.

To me, being creative only means connecting different dots, or connecting the same dots in a different way. There are many ways you’re already doing that now.

Your problem-solving skills have creativity at their foundation. You assess an overall situation, then drill down to detail, then connect things that hadn’t been connected before to come up with a different solution.   Problem solved.

Your sense of humor is also a reflection of your creativity. Jokes are always understood in reverse, the last sentence explains the story. A creative person can often guess the twist ahead of time, and a real punster can keep them coming for quite a while.

You are already creative, and you can adopt behaviors that stimulate your creativity even more. Here are a few ways you can keep the juices flowing:

  1. Give yourself unstructured thinking time. Go for a walk or run, take a ride on your bike, go fishing, sit on the beach. When we relentlessly dig into a problem, we can get too close to it and our thinking becomes cloudy. Stepping away from the problem gives you distance to see things from a different angle. Plus, getting outside in nature is a proven creativity stimulator.
  2. Set limits. It’s like writing a haiku. This rigorous poem structure dictates how many syllables belong on a line and how many lines in the poem. You would think that having a tight structure would make it more difficult, and it does at first, but that difficulty is what stimulates the creativity. Why is that? Because we remove options and eliminate distractions. If the rules say you can’t have a line 12 syllables long, you won’t spend any time trying to think of one. The limits set you free to focus on what’s directly in front of you.
  3. Take care of your body. Get plenty of sleep so that your brain can integrate new information learned during the day. You can’t connect dots that aren’t formed. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain as well as releases endorphins. Foods you choose and the way you prepare them can have enormous impacts and poor choices can leave you with a foggy brain.
  4. Turn that frown upside down. Give yourself a break, call your friends and go out for ice cream or to the skating rink. Find a way to goof around. Free play helps increase your ability to make unexpected associations. It also helps you stay positive and upbeat, a state that increases problem-solving skills.
  5. Ask for help. Creative collaboration is a time-honored way to expand your idea beyond your wildest imaginings. Think Myers and Briggs, McCartney and Lennon, Rogers and Hart. The list goes on. Creative work is not always the starving artist alone in the third floor garret. Find like-minded folks to share your ideas and see what else you can dream up.

Share your other go-to ideas on giving your creativity a nudge in the comments below. I’d love to hear what works for you!

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