Why is it important to express your creativity?
- By C L Haden -
- Apr 18, 2012
"Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way" - Edward de Bono. Here's a guest blog on just that...
I sometimes listen to people that tell me how lucky I am to have a creative brain, and that they wish they too could get creative but they say they can’t because their brains are not wired like that or their jobs don’t allow it.
Chances are if you run your own business, you have to be creative each and every day. Perhaps it doesn’t involve writing, drawing, painting or designing but in some way or another you’re using your imagination in some way.
Take for example my friend Ben who worked as a solicitor. The way in which his firm dealt with post meant that most days it would arrive late or not at all. Having worked in administrations in his college years he had a few ways of overcoming the postal issues, the only problem was, his company disliked new ideas. He usually suggested his ideas in team meetings but they were brushed off and ignored. He therefore decided to change his approach and so devised a survey which his entire team answered. He emailed his findings over to his team leader sitting 4 desks down from him and now the company uses Ben’s idea. His life along with the rest of the team is now much easier…
I define creativity as doing something different and this is what Ben did. It may have not required a paint brush, a canvas or a pen but it did require a thought which sparked his imagination which turned into a solution.
Now, there are particular jobs that are rather analytical, rigid and don’t encourage the creative part of the brain for example Accountancy. However for your business to thrive you need to engage your creative side – yes you may be dealing with numbers predominantly but you have other aspects of your business that you need to think about. How are you advertising yourself and in what way are your services different to the rest of the accountants out there? These are all things that require thought.
You need to get creative to become creative and here are my following 5 top tips to help you along:
1. No matter where you are - take in the finer detail
I took a trip to a river today. I made sure that I looked at the ripples in the water, I paid attention to the colour of the stones on the floor, I noticed how the wind made my skin feel cool, I listened to the sounds of the traffic nearby and I picked one thing that made the setting so beautiful. On my way home and when I got in - I kept recalling that information. Some of you won't be able to see the picture clear, perhaps you'll remember the sounds or the way you felt. But the important things is, take in the finer detail, be present in the moment and then recall if often and frequently.
2. Do something different
I'm rather a creature of habit, if I don't have to venture outside my house I won't. However there's only so many ideas I can have when surrounded by the same 4 walls every day. Therefore I have opted to drag myself (kicking or screaming) out of the house and to somewhere I wouldn't normally go to. So for instance I got on a bus the other day and ended up in Wales, having coffee in a small family run restaurant as opposed to my normal Starbucks.
3. Try this: What did I do differently today?
I adapted this from a coaching technique called what's better about today. I use the adaption to show my mind how creative I'm being each and every day; no matter how small it is or silly it may appear. So far my list is this:
• I struggle to get up in the morning - When I went to bed; I decided to imagine what my day was going to be like. I thought about it in as much detail that I could and made it as exciting that it could have been. I was up at 7am the following morning!
• I came to write this article and I felt my inner me go "uh oh, what do I write?" Then my friend pops up on Gmail and sends me a link to a website where I can make my own music. I spent half an hour making silly songs. Procrastination you may say. I would say inspiring - I got this piece finished didn't I?
• I set my self a goal of researching more about the advertising side of my trade. I dislike reading and struggle with books but I found a book that looked rather useful and now read 3 pages a day. Slow and steady wins the race...
(These may seem very small, but when I read them back it shows that I’ve suggested new solutions, ides and it encourages me to suggest more)
4. Do the opposite of what you're meant to do
When I have deadlines and I know they're fast approaching my brain tends to go into hibernation mode. I find that because I'm concentrating on the task in hand too much, I'm forcing it so it's not natural. That's how my creativity block happens. The simple answer is to stop what you’re doing and do the opposite-occupy your mind with something else!
5. Engage and interact
I’m not the most social person at the best of times but for me to write effectively, I need to be inspired and people help with this process. Being surrounded by friends, family, work colleagues and even strangers enable this. Always ask questions, interact with people – not just from your normal social circle! Talk to people you wouldn’t usually talk to and get involved with conversations you have no idea about!
Chances are if you're still determined that you are not creative then you're still over thinking it! You need to look at getting creative in a new way. Perhaps view creativity: as creating something new, to make your life easier, to give you a sense of fresh perspective, finding a solution or even a new answer. If you are still clinging on to the old chestnut of having a job that doesn't 'allow' you to be creative then perhaps it's time to find a pass time where you are 'allowed' to get your creative juices running.
Creativity is the warm stream of life, go with the flow!
By C L Haden.
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