“Chance favors only the prepared mind.” Those were the words of Louis Pasteur, the chemist who fundamentally changed our understanding of biology. To be a pace setter, an innovative entrepreneur, or just an outstanding individual, you’ll want to foster creativity in your daily life so that your mind is ready when opportunity arises.
Also according to Steven Smith, a professor of cognitive psychology at Texas A&M University, “Creative ideas often come from unusual combinations,” The best solution or idea is not going to be the one that everyone thinks of, nope, It’s going to be something unusual; something out of the box, something mind-blowing.
These extraordinary combinations, called “remote associations,” are related ideas that may at first glance, seem unrelated. They are the very essence of creative thinking.
In other to cultivate creativity, you’ll want to increase the chances you of stumbling on an unexpected link or connection. After some research, I have compiled four strategies you can employ in your everyday life that will train your mind to be more creative.
1. Change your routine.
To develop your creative horizons, you need to surround yourself with a broad spectrum of perspectives, opinions and experiences. A heterogeneous workplace is helpful, but it is not enough. Outside work, seek variety in what you eat, what you read, where you hang out, the people you relate with, the types of art you look at, the places you travel, the types of movies you watch or even the types of music you listen to.
Diversity has a way of introducing all kinds of new stimuli, Smith still speaking claims that “It opens you up to a number of new possibilities. Looking at it realistically, you are more likely to find an unusual solution when you have more options at your fingertips.
2. Cast a wide net for feedback.
We often discuss important ideas with the same inner circle of colleagues, but in doing that we can miss the obvious answers. “Someone less expert may notice invisible assumptions right away,” Smith says. They may help you see a problem or idea in a new light.
Find intelligent people with little knowledge of your business and talk through whatever you’re working on now. You may be surprised by the solutions they help you discover.
3. Don’t be bound to rigid rules.
Remember the queen in Alice in Wonderland? I bet you do. She had a weird habit of thinking of impossible things for half an hour every day. To the average man, it might seem like a foolish thing to do but I bet you, if cultivated, it would train your mind to be more open. Practice the art of letting your mind wander and come up with as many ideas as you can, however absurd they may seem. You can even be silly or funny. Humor helps loosen up your constraints.
Relaxing your standards and looking at things from a supposed ‘foolish’ perspective while generating ideas, increases your openness and boosts creativity. “If you think of 99 stupid, impossible ideas and one that works, then that was time well spent,” Smith says.
4. Relax and observe the world around you.
Have you ever noticed that when you get all worked up or wrapped up in your own head, it’s very easy to miss an idea staring you right in the face? Take some time to relax; read a book, listen to some soothing music, if you are like me, watch some cartoons, you’d be surprised how quickly you’ll get the solutions you seek when you are not thinking about the problem.
The most creative people are always on the lookout for interesting things, even if they don’t apply it to whatever they’re working on now. Keep a notebook or a computer folder full of interesting ideas, articles, images, or even passing thoughts. They will likely come in handy at a moment you least expect.4 Ways To Increase Your Creativity At Work by Stellamaris Obomanu