Life is always changing, and so are the skills you need to be successful in your career. It’s not enough anymore to have a singular skill set that makes you an expert in your field, because with technology constantly advancing it can become obsolete very quickly. Creativity is hard. We all know that it’s important, but we also know that it’s not something you can just turn on and off like a light switch.
Thinking creatively is something that most people strive to do every day, but have you ever wondered where the idea of creativity came from? The concept of being creative has been around for centuries and its origins date back to the beginning of time. It may be hard to pinpoint who exactly created this word or phrase, but here are some ideas about how thinking creatively began.
By understanding where creativity comes from we can continue to inspire others and ourselves every day by tapping into our creative juices! Once you read through these theories I am sure you will start looking at your surroundings in a different way! Let’s get started on this journey together, shall we?
The most perplexing paradox is that creative thinking need not be the consequence of an apple falling on your head or being struck by lightning. It’s all about developing your imagination, practicing your powers of observation and dreaming, and doing so on a daily basis. It seems straightforward, yet in this age of information overload and fast-paced urban existence, this crucial component is frequently neglected from our everyday living.
Too often, we stick to our jobs instead of looking at the big picture. We devote so much mental energy to basic activities (including Twitter and SMS – well, I’m not immune) that at the end of the day, the most creative concept we can think of is just to sit down and relax in front of the TV or computer monitor. Sound familiar?
However, the study on this one is still in its early stages, but one research found that students who traveled outside of America performed better on creative thinking tests than those who remained at their main campus. This research investigated college students who went on a summer study program to England from their university in the United States.
Because many cultures have distinct norms in different states or regions, it stands to reason that even interstate travel might result in greater innovation.
Creativity is all about making connections
I’ve always believed that creativity is all about coming up with new concepts, but it turns out that creating new connections between established ideas is the real key to innovation. This is fantastic because it implies that connecting existing things doesn’t have to be so frightening anymore: we can now join together things that are already there, right?
Even Steve Jobs agrees with this theory of what creativity is all about:
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.”
Another quote, Austin Kleon:
“Every artist gets asked the question, ‘Where do you get your ideas?’
The honest artist answers, ‘I steal them.’”
Research has even found that intelligence is something that comes from physical connections in the brain:
“The brain regions important for general intelligence are found in several specific places (orange regions shown on the brain on the left). Looking inside the brain reveals the connections between these regions, which are particularly important to general intelligence. In the image on the right, the brain has been made partly transparent. The big orange regions in the right image are connections (like cables) that connect the specific brain regions in the image on the left.”
The Six Hats Technique
The “six hats” method entails viewing an issue from six different angles. You’ll come up with more ideas than you would if you only examined the problem from one or two viewpoints.
Black Hat: Use a negative perspective. Which elements of the solution won’t work?
Blue Hat: Think broadly. What is the best overall solution?
Green Hat: Think creatively. What are some alternative ideas?
Red Hat: Look at the situation emotionally. What do your feelings tell you?
White Hat: Look at the situation objectively. What are the facts?
Yellow Hat: Use a positive perspective. Which elements of the solution will work?
Make time for cohesive creative thinking
The necessity of setting aside a designated time for creative thinking and innovation is affirmed in every creativity textbook. For example, Google requires its employees to devote at least 20% of their time to innovative ideas or new initiatives.
There are times when even if we are eager to innovate, something does not function and fresh ideas do not sprout forth like popcorn. There are two reasons for this deadlock. The first is that we don’t do much dreaming, and the second is that we don’t practice concentrating on connected concepts.
The second guideline of creative thinking is therefore extremely basic: set aside time – may be an hour per day or per week – to engage in creative thinking about a certain subject. A good friend of mine once told me that when he was a student, he often considered how cell phones would be in the future.
At the time, he was a student at Harvard and his essays on this subject received a lot of acclaim. He went to graduate school at MIT and worked as an app designer for cellphones to make them smarter and more appealing to “millennials.”
Try to create something every day
When someone wants to reduce weight, they devise an exercise regimen that needs constant effort and dedication. The same may be stated for the creative thinking and technical skills needed to keep your intellect sharp.
With that in view, strive to develop something fresh on a daily basis. It doesn’t have to be anything huge or significant; all you need is something new that derives from the numerous new sources of information you’re taking in.
Projects like these may also be used to address day-to-day difficulties. The most vital aspect of this procedure is establishing a practice of coming up with innovative ideas, which will begin to occur spontaneously to you.
Keep up with the trends
Many of your creative ideas may be influenced by the market’s current and future trends.
Keeping up with the latest trends is more than simply reading all types of news about your profession. It’s also important to have a keen eye for what has the creative potential to go viral, as well as the ability to spot things that don’t work. In order to succeed in marketing, you’ll need this skill.
The ability to forecast trends does not need a crystal ball. Rather, you must first comprehend how your company segment functions and where new ideas originate. It’s important to have a problem-solving attitude when generating innovative and unique solutions.