The majority of books that profess to teach you how to increase your creativity, are all preaching the same sermon: New and different ideas are the result of new and different thinking. It all begins in the mind.
Imagine your mind is a car driving down a road. After time, because age, comfort or sheer laziness, we tend to travel down the same roads. Those individuals that we admire as being inventive and innovative intentionally steer their cars down different roads, paths not usually taken or even apparent.
It’s a skill that anyone can learn. Sure some people have a natural gift for it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t re-train your mind to navigate through the uncharted territory of your imagination or environment. So where to begin?
With small, simple but entertaining and engaging tasks, start taking your mind down a different road. Give yourself permission to do a familiar task in an unfamiliar way. Then, allow yourself to experience people, places and things that are completely new to you. These two actions will build your creative muscle.
The goal is that over time your mind will naturally bring you ideas, thoughts, solutions and perspectives that are increasingly original and alternate to the norm because it’s in the habit–and quite comfortable and confident–of thinking outside the norm.
Does this really work? Is this the secret behind folks like Steve Jobs and the like? Will come up with awesome ideas in meetings and solve problems in new and amazing ways? Well, there is only one way to find out.
Of course, I’ll share my adventures and please feel free to share yours. Every new challenge and any follow-ups will be a post first, but then archived on the Creative Challenges page. In case you forgot how good a healthy artistic challenge can be, here is Bill Cosby and Sandman Simms to remind you. Challenge!