Imagination isn’t simply something you are born with, you can cultivate better ideas with a little effort.
Who doesn’t want to produce the best possible ideas, the ones that are the most creative and will impress everyone at home and work? Think that you simply have to be born with a brain that is skilled in creativity and imagination? Well not necessarily. You can work to make your thoughts and ideas better with the following tips.
An oldie, but a goodie
First published in 1965, A Technique for Producing Ideas, remains a great resource to help anyone jumpstart their creative juices. The author, James Webb Young, poses two principles in the book. First, an idea isn’t anything new, it’s really just a combination of old elements or pieces of information. Second, creating something new out of those old ideas really just involves your ability to see the connections.
Well you say, easy peasy! If that’s all it takes … ok we get it. Knowing that and doing something about it are not the same thing. But the important thing to focus on is that the second part of Young’s theory is something that you can train your brain to do better, thus leading you to greater creativity.
In Working Girl Melanie Griffith’s character Tess says, “I read a lot of things. You never know where the big ideas could come from.” When it comes to making your brain more creative, that philosophy is a great starting point. You need to prep your brain to be creative and feed it with all kinds of information, because you never know what morsel will spark that creative thought.
Create a safe space
Creativity can be scared off easily. Fashioning a place of calm and peace where your brain feels free to let the bright ideas fly should be your second step in making our brain more creative. You can pack all the information you want inside your skull, but if you don’t provide an opportunity for those thoughts to emerge, it will all be for naught. Try setting aside a time to focus on being creative, in a location that encourages your imagination.
Stop thinking about it
One of the best things you can do sometimes to make your brain more creative is to simply walk away from the issue. If you have been puzzling and puzzling over something until your puzzler is sore (thanks Grinch!), then continuing to torture yourself won’t solve anything. However, if you stop thinking about the issue, maybe even sleep on it, you may be surprised with what your subconscious cooks up on its own once you stop pestering it.
It can be challenging to be objective about your ideas. Like your children, you love them all, but that doesn’t mean that sometimes your ideas don’t contain a dud or two. Don’t become so enamored of your own creativity that you forget to check them over honestly for faults. You are probably going to have more bad ideas than good, but if you don’t take the time to winnow out the stinkers, a great one may get overlooked.