Intellect at its best - How to enhance personal creativity?

5, Jun, 2014, by Seema Bhatnagar

creativity quote by James Russell Lowell

How many times you surprised yourself by creating something which you never thought of, something you never imagined about. It might not be a piece of art but it could be as little or insignificant as organizing your closet or a drawer or some new way of doing your everyday work. Probably, you have done it several times but every time you ignored thinking it something as usual. If you have done such tiny little tasks with a touch of difference, then congratulate yourself for expressing your creativity. You might not take it seriously but it is true. Creativity is generally misunderstood of being something belonging to highly intelligent people or artists. This is not true and in fact it is a very narrow view of word "creativity".

Creativity is something which is so vast and diverse that it will be unjust to bind it to any particular definition. Trying to express it as a creation of something new and unique also doesn't justify the vast expression and substance hidden behind the word "creativity".

The central idea behind enhancing personal creativity is to break established patterns of thinking in your daily activities. Think out of the box to accomplish every activity, problem or challenge.

This is a quality which each one of us possesses with a degree of difference. Some of us develop a vivid expression of it while some are subtle in its expression but for sure it exists in all. Let's break this age old view that only artists, painters or scientists can be the creative people on this planet. Let's register the fact that it is not limited to any particular class of people, geography, and caste or any age, it is a quality present in all human beings.

Then why do we feel that we are lacking creativity? This is for a very simple reason that we are bogged down by our routine and mechanical ways of living life. Our life has become so mechanical that everything is predefined and tied to clock. Look at your personal daily routine; it is replete with emails, calls, meetings or driving to work. Depending upon the nature of work, our life is accordingly filled with predefined routines which makes us feel that it is the only efficient way of living life.

Secondly, we carry a baggage of our previous knowledge and experience about various subjects, situations and people which actually doesn't let us to try and think in different ways. No wonder, kids are so creative, simply for a reason that they don't carry a baggage of knowledge.

Where is creativity?

Our subconscious mind has a vast expanse of knowledge lying in a dormant form. Exploring this vastness needs all our sensory faculties (seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling) completely focused on reaching this zone. On a moment to moment basis majority of our actions and thoughts are controlled by external events which keep sensory faculties constantly occupied to receive inputs further to be processed by brain. This keeps brain completely occupied with processing of information and leaves little chance for it to deep dive into its subconscious zone. Sleeping is the only time when brain takes rest from receiving inputs from sensory organs. This is a reason why people feel that they get best solutions for problems after waking up or after relaxing well.

So, it makes complete sense to conclude that creativity is that quality which cannot be learnt from any school, it is something which is inherent in all and we just need to explore ourselves to give it a full-blown expression. In today's fast life, gadgets, cell phones, and computers have stolen away the opportunities to be with others, to think more, to do different things and most importantly to read. This all culminates to a dumb state of personal intellect because intellect grows with more thinking and connecting existing information. If thinking is limited and there is nothing new in received information, our intellect doesn't grow and hence we experience lack of personal creativity in thoughts and actions.

Being a human being, each one of us carries creativity in abundance it is only how we approach to access this treasure. Creativity needs a special environment to for its nurturing and cannot be expressed through a stressed and anxious mind which is constantly drawn outwards. It needs an environment where mistakes are not considered as sins and individuals are encouraged to make mistakes, to learn, to fail and to think differently. Google Inc. has understood this reality and strives to provide highly creative and intellectually stimulating environment to its employees. Here is a link to Google workplace. Check out some interesting pics.Creative and inspiring work places.

Creative person is a precious gift to society, having least emotional dependence on others, derives high levels of personal satisfaction from work. History is replete with inventions, discoveries, plays and arts etc. which are true expression of creativity of highly creative people. Imagine how our life would have been without their expression of creativity, it is only because of them our life has improved incredibly.

How to enhance personal creativity?

If you feel your expression of creativity is not honed enough and want to give it a try then here are few tips. If you try these for a month you will surely see a high degree of creative expression in your life.

  1. Experiment with new ways of thinking while doing your routine tasks

  2. Device at least 3 ways (more the better) of doing a particular task.

  3. Think how your life problems can be solved in more than a single way.

  4. Imagine things by altering their structure or shape.

  5. Correlate your knowledge from different domains.

  6. Read books on different subjects, especially those which are new to you.

  7. Spend time in nature and observe how creativity is expressed in shapes, colors and movements.

  8. Spend time with kids, they are naturally creative and think unusual ways of doing simple tasks.

  9. Do yoga and meditation.

  10. Spend time in noise free zone, completely disconnected from TV, cell phones or any other personal gadgets.

  11. Create time to pursue your personal hobbies and interests.

  12. Stop pursuing perfection in your tasks.

  13. Create a luxury of freedom to do what you want at a particular time of a day without following any rule or guidelines.

  14. Think of creating something out of waste products at home or office.

  15. Solve puzzles.

  16. Choose a group and participate in intellectual discussions.

  17. Use pen or pencil to scribble your thoughts than using gadgets.

  18. Create your own names of colors and objects.

  19. Imagine same person in different faces and different clothes.

  20. Read biographies of creative people.

There could be several other ways to give boost to your creativity, you may extend this list further and use all of them to become more expressive in your creativity.

The central idea behind enhancing personal creativity is to break established patterns of thinking in your daily activities. Think out of the box to accomplish every activity, problem or challenge. Six Thinking Hats, book by Edward de Bono, is a highly popular and one of the best books to enhance personal creativity.

My personal experience

I am an ardent lover of creativity with good degree of expression. I dislike monotony in life and constantly on my toes to beat it. My area of creativity is not limited to one particular field, I would say, it is my way of life. Each and every activity whether it is writing a blog post, design of my website, change of interiors, thinking patterns, daily routine activities, arrangement of pots in my kitchen garden, reading on new subjects, using waste products at home, tossing a new salad or cooking a new dish etc, I utilize to think differently.

Being a thinker and a freedom lover, mixing n matching of thoughts, ideas, and objects comes naturally to me. I am like this since my childhood. By the way, this is also a very solid reason that I had least interest in doing job because my job didn't allow me to express personal creativity in a larger way. Even if it allowed sometimes, it was in a very narrow and tight range. I used to look for assignments through which I could express my creativity. Not always but on few occasions I was lucky enough to have such assignments and I thoroughly enjoyed them.

Given a choice, I simply love to be surrounded by people who think creatively and do creative things. It is indeed difficult to find such people but whenever I come across such a person I feel really inspired and find myself deeply connected to him/her. On an average, people are nitpickers and are more focused on insignificant details and miss on the creative side of ideas and solutions. Such people are surely not my favorite and sometimes I simply avoid them to focus more on my creativity.

After practicing meditation and Yoga daily, my expression of creativity has become more vivid and I experience a better flow of thoughts and ideas. Whatever floating thoughts or ideas come during meditation I simply apply them, I have observed that it has gradually enhanced my creativity.

My favorite personality who has been my constant inspiration for creativity is Leonardo da Vinci. His expression of creativity is so vast and diverse that it makes difficult to imagine that such a person had ever existed on this planet. Engineering, medical, arts, philosophy are the areas where his works speaks of his incredible highs of creativity. It was my deep love for his creativity which gave strength to my desire to see his spectrum of work at his birth place i.e. Italy. My desire was so strong that universe created an opportunity for me (check out inspirational quote.) to work on an assignment in Italy. When I came to know about my selection for this assignment, it was only I and my God knew the secret behind it. I was located in Milan and during my stay of two years I visited his museums throughout Italy especially in Rome, Florence and Milan. These are the three hubs of arts in Italy. His museum exhibits work in various fields. Saw his real paper drawings about anatomy of humans and animals, designs of tanks for war and many other subjects.

My moment of glory was, when I saw, "The Last Supper" hand painted fresco at Milan (check out official website). Explaining its grandeur in words would be really unfair because it is something to be felt. It is called as "L'Ultima Cena" in Italian language. My experience was just inexpressible, I felt as if he is still present in the vicinity and speaking through his painting. To keep memories alive of this beautiful experience I bought some souvenirs, his biography and post card paintings of "The Last Supper".

He was such a creative personality that the more I say would be less, I find him creative in a real sense because his creativity was not limited to any particular domain. Whatever field he touched he created a history.

Create a difference

Organizations constantly seek creative people because innovation and creativity holds the key for success in competitive world. It is only the capacity of humans to think creatively which creates a difference between humans and machines. Before this difference gets eroded, throw away those mechanical routines of life and take some time out every day to explore your creativity.

Encourage creativity in your environment be it at home or at work. Encourage everybody to express personal creativity, it not only makes people happy and positive but also creates a very healthy and nurturing environment for all, including you.

Becoming a creative person is not difficult and impossible at all, it only needs your constant zeal to explore the vastness of your intellect. Being creative means life is never boring and monotonous and you are always filled with curiosity to see, feel and hear something new. Never rest and never stops because you never know if your zeal can create something which can possibly change the life of millions.

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Seema Bhatnagar
, Blogger, Writer, Life Coach and Founder of Abundance Thinkers, site for personal growth and development. Empowering people in achieving and living the best of personal potential.

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