Sunday, June 14, 2015

Tips For Staying Creative


*This article is also published on Thought Catalog*

Creativity is not only a skill, but also a lifestyle. Although it's not easy to teach yourself creativity, you can become more creative by altering your mindset. These seven tips will help you look at situations from various perspectives, become a more open-minded individual and hone your abilities to think differently.

1. Find your place
One of the most important aspects of staying creative is finding a place that you can claim for your alone time. Whether this is your bed, a chair, a table, a coffeeshop or a corner in a room, let this place be your safe haven where you can truly spend time alone and think about things. 

2. Transfer your thoughts into words
It's important to keep a journal or find another type of way to document your life. Ideas don't just invent themselves. Whenever you think of something inspiring or worth looking into, make sure that you remember it in case it becomes something more than just a passing thought. Our ability to reason and think about cause and effect is what makes us intellectuals instead of animals. Your most powerful weapon is imagination. 

3. Don't obsess over pop culture or other people's lives
Although you should be aware of what is going on around the world, try not to obsess over pop culture and celebrity lifestyles. Yes, it's important to know cultural trends and fads, but don't do what everyone else is doing just because you think it'll make you a trendier person. Instead of immediately liking what is popular or posted all over social media, try to discover your own interests and tastes. Don't be afraid to hang out with people who will introduce you to new things and inspire you to form your own opinions and beliefs.


4. Learn about a new religion
Religion helps humans interact with one another, divine beings and the world around them. Even if you are not a very religious person, taking a class about religions or interacting with someone of a different religious background can help you learn lot about people: their various cultures, how they relate to the world and what makes their society and their individuals unique. Understanding the world from various religious perspectives also helps a creative individual develop his or her ability to think differently and solve problems using more than one frame of reference.

5. Think outside the box
Creativity is honed by one's ability to think outside the box. Try to look at situations from various perspectives. Don't strive to create something "perfect", but to create something unique. If you are stuck, experiment from a different angle. Focus on improving your weak points instead of perfecting your already good points. Approach the problem in an innovative way and challenge yourself to conceptualize differently and possibly even uncomfortably. To improve your conceptualization skills, do something you normally wouldn't do; learn new things. 

6. Step out of your comfort zone
Change is good. In order to make the most of a situation, a creative person must embrace life's uncertainty and figure out a way to adapt to changes. Most people believe that creativity must come from a pure and untainted place. When a person is creative, he or she is doing something nobody else has ever done before. Although that is true, creativity is more than just thinking of an idea. A creative person is courageous and challenges him or herself to try new things. You'll never realize your full potential unless you acknowledge that you can do more and then actually do it.

7. Lastly, always question how situations can be improved
How can my writing be improved? What about my work ethic? Is there a way to make this food taste better or this couch more comfortable? Never settle for less when you know that something can be worked on. If someone gives you feedback, take his or her thoughts into account. However, don't let their opinions stifle your motivation or drive to do something differently. Always know who is willing to provide valuable criticism and who is threatened by your creativity and inventive thoughts.