All of us have been given and blessed with special talent and abilities. It is unto us to either recognise and utilise those talents and channel them in right directions or let those talents atrophy. Ever wonder why a child’s mind is full of ideas and concepts while an adult mind seems to appear so restrictive and congestive? It is because the children knows no boundaries and let their ‘bird of imagination’ fly high. In this article, we will discuss tips on how to enhance creativity.
- Use lateral thinking:
Lateral thinking as opposed to vertical thinking (logical and analytical) is illogical and aims to work without being analysed as right or wrong. It is concerned with generation of possibilities and creation of as many alternatives as possible. Children use lateral thinking because they do not put their thoughts to be evaluated by logic. For example if you’re to place a vase and a table, vertical thinking suggests you to place the vase over able as it makes sense and is the only way through which both can be placed together while lateral thinking will encourage you to generate as many possibilities as you like. You can place table over vase, table and vase parallel to each other, one standing vertical and other lying horizontal and so on.
Remember lateral thinking is all about generating possibilities and different combinations as possible without being labelled as right or wrong.
- Break up into pieces and focus:
What comes to your mind when the word ‘trees’ is pronounced? Leaves with a wooden trunk? Just like lateral thinking, break up the concept of anything you have in your mind into several pieces and now focus all your attention to every single component instead of focusing attention to one collective image. Deal with every component as if it’s entirely a separate and different entity. Now you can make birds come and reside on tree, birds can make different nests onto the tree, make fruits of different colours and taste grow onto the tree, the trunk may have a woodpecker’s home in it as well, some people may have written some alphabets on the trunk, the roots that are underground may be connected to the roots of other tree as well. The possibilities are endless.
- Eyes wide open:
Try to keep your eyes wide open when you want to retain any important conversation. Imagine you’re a reporter, an author and you have to reproduce and describe the exact situation to the world, you’ve to give them details to an extent that they start seeing the world as you see through your eyes. Note what lies to your left, what lies to your right, up, bottom.
- Say “Why not? instead of “it cannot”:
When I started research, I found that difference between research oriented people and non-research oriented people is just this a single question, the former asks ‘why cannot it happen and how to make it happen’? instead of ‘it cannot happen and you cannot make it happen’ which is generally the first response by the later. This approach helps researcher to explore and develop new technology while the other mind set people remain ordinary, prevented from creating anything new.
When you see a thing, say a painting, analyse it deeply and ask yourself ‘what more can I add to it’?, ‘If I were to remake it, how much different would it be from the original’?, ‘What does it lack’?
- Relax to think:
Have adequate sleep, rest and stress free life and relations as your creativity will only enhance when you can think more and mind thinks best when it is relaxed.
Create links and relate things to each other. If you meet a person from a different profession, relate how yours and his/her profession can be linked together and how you two can facilitate each other. Similarly what skill you own, think and generate possibility on how you can expand it to be of use and advantage to other people.
- Draw and play:
If you’re stuck up with ideas and cannot generate new ones, take a break and start drawing anything on piece of paper that comes to your mind, soon you’ll be back with new ideas. Similarly change of place going outside in garden from indoor can also enhance your mood and creativity.
- Mental map:
As soon as you start a new project, create a mental map right at the start on what you want to do and how to do it? Answering these 2 questions will provide you with all the ingredients needed for success.
- Believe “Everything is possible”:
When I was making my first computer edited video for Roxette’s song “Breathe”. I could not add audio to the video clips in Windows Movie Maker, I called a friend for help and he said ‘try and keep trying, everything is possible on computer’. I followed this advice and within next 15 minutes, my first computer edited video was ready. With creativity as well, keep experimenting till you find what you want.
- Believing in creating a difference and grow differently:
Ask yourself ‘ What else do I need to add to make it more appealing?” . Remember it is the extra step that creates difference. Every time you start a new project, separate yourself from previous work and success. Difference enhances possibilities. Do not follow or reproduce your previous work rather think differently entirely. If making a presentation, every time try adding new colours and styles.
- Change roles:
Change your role from being an artist to a viewer and then look at your work. If your work doesn’t appeal you, you need to change it. You need to be excited about your project.
Read about different professions, cultures and meet different people. It will help your knowledge grow.
- Save your time:
Studies show that the more T.V. and computer is used beyond 3 hours a day, it has negative effect on brain. Save your time and learn to give yourself time too, many new ideas generate when we are all alone and have time for ourselves.
Written by Muhammad Wasif Haq (2011)
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