In this post, i will explain to you the various steps on how to be creative, also everything you need to know concerning creativity.
Creativity is a phenomenon in which someone creates something new and valuable. The created thing can be tangible – like an idea, scientific theory or musical composition – or a physical object – like an invention, literary work, or a painting.
My intention with this article is that you learn how to be creative and innovative; the most important concepts to start a life of innovation and creation. You may have so far considered yourself unimaginative or too rational, but don’t worry; Creativity can be improved.
“Only a few people have a natural aptitude for creativity, but all can develop a certain ability if they deliberately propose it” -Edward de Bono.
What is creativity?
First of all, we must make clear what creativity is. Different definitions can be given, although they all refer to the same concept:
-The ability to generate original and innovative solutions.
-Creative thinking (fluency, flexibility, originality) + affective elements (interest, motivation, values) + character (discipline, tenacity, boldness).
-Ability to think differently than what has already been thought.
-Ability to use the imagination to produce original ideas and produce value.
Fundamental elements to be creative
Being creative, the first thing you will find is with the negativity of the people around you and, probably, with yours. To be creative, it is essential to have confidence, respect for yourself, and not be afraid of what others will think when you express your ideas.
If you have an attitude without imagination, receptivity, and dependence on others, you will destroy possibilities of creativity. Everything that has been invented, from airplanes to the telephone or footwear, was once someone’s idea.
Eliminating prejudices: The myths of creativity
– Myth 1: Creativity only exists in geniuses. Fact: we all have potential and genetic creativity at birth and can develop it through the social and cultural environment.
– Myth 2: Creativity develops by itself in a stimulating environment. Reality: creativity needs to be cultivated and trained for it.
– Myth 3: Creativity cannot be taught. Reality: anyone can learn the creative process and implement the ideas derived from it.
– Myth 4: It depends on the job. Reality: in all areas of life, we can innovate. From the kitchen (new recipes), cleaning (invention of the mop) or new technologies (iPad).
– Myth 5: It depends on the personality. Reality: it depends on the appropriate training, environment, and attitude.
– Myth 6: It is a risk. Fact: the risk is in the eyes of the beholder.
How are creative people?
There are certain personality characteristics that define creative people. Knowing them will help you to model them and adopt those that you think can be adapted to your personality.
- Very curious, inhibited, radical.
- They generate many ideas.
- They have many questions and concerns.
- They take many risks.
- Very broad fields of interests.
- Collectors of unusual things.
- Lateral thinking.
- Determination to succeed, tenacity.
- Sometimes messy.
- Perseverance, commitment to the task.
- Attracted by novelty and complexity.
- Great sense of humor (often unexpected, quirky, irreverent, inappropriate).
- Very self-conscious and open to the irrational with himself.
- Intuitive / a lot of emotional sensitivity.
For me, the four fundamentals that best describe the creative person :
- Hipster tolerates ambiguity, accepts chaos, is not interested in details.
- Described as an “individualist,” he is not worried that he will be classified as “different,” internally concerned, restless, needs time to think.
- Think differently and admire the world through observation.
- He does not want to accept what the authority says without evaluating with much criticism.
Avoid critical judgment
Only through an open attitude can creativity be encouraged. In addition to your thoughts (for example, the typical “go silly idea, or it will have occurred to thousands of people”), the people around us crush creative impulses. If it is hard to combat our negativity, if a person who destructively criticizes our ideas joins, creativity dies instantly.
Here I leave you some eminent critical judgments so that you are aware that critics are not always right:
-The flying machines heavier than air are impossible-Lorrd Kevin, 1895.
-After the first six months, this device will not be maintained in any market that captures. People will soon get tired of watching a wooden box every night – Daryl F. Zanuck, director of the 20th Century film studio, talking about television in 1946.
-Who the hell wants to hear the actors speak? -Harry M. Warner, president of Warner in 1927.
– «The horse is here to stay, but the car is only a novelty, a passing fad» -The president of Michigan Savings Bank.
Intuition is not superstition. These are decisions we make based on organized information and that we are not aware of.
For example, a firefighter who knows when a floor is going to crumble in a fire and intuits that event seconds before it happens, which allows him to be saved. What has happened is that, from his experience, he has gathered information about the environment such as the heat of the room, the state of the floor, the noise and other relevant information that has reminded him of other situations in which the floor collapsed.
Intuition is not seen, felt, and is what is added to all the information gathered. You cannot make safe decisions based on intuition because you can never gather 100% of the information. Even so, there is no right answer for everyone and to succeed with a creative idea you have to take risks and lose your fear of failure.
«An essential aspect of creativity is not afraid of failure» -Edwin Land.
-If you always think the same way, you will have the same results.
– Always ask yourself the status quo, enjoy the uncertainty, get out of the comfort zone.
-Extráñate for everyday life and be inspired by it.
You can have creative ideas in all areas of life, even in creations from everyday life objects.
(Enric Bernat-Inventor of the Chupa Chups).
Hellen Keller, famous deaf and deaf American writer, wrote:
«I wonder how it is possible to walk through the forest for an hour and not see anything remarkable. I, who cannot see, find hundreds of things: the delicate symmetry of a leaf, the smooth skin of a silver birch, the rough bark of a pine. I, who am blind, can give advice to those who see: use your eyes as if they were going to be blind tomorrow. Make the most of every sense. Enjoy the glory of all facets and pleasures and beauty that the world reveals to you ».
Creativity expert Edward de Bono said:
“A very important aspect of creativity is the willpower to stand up and look at things that nobody else cares about. The simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a very powerful resource for creativity.
Bandura calls for self-efficacy the belief that we can get results from our actions and that we can get what we want.
Many people often think that they are rational or that they are creative and pigeonholed in those adjectives; however, creativity can be learned, and there is an effective process for it. People are naturally creative.
With the rebirth the individual was placed in the center of the universe, it began to be thought that creativity came from within the individual and that people are geniuses. However, making someone believe that it is a resource for creativity creates too high expectations and builds an inevitable ego.
In ancient Greece and Rome, people did not believe that creativity came from within the human being, but that creativity came, for unknown reasons, from external spirits. The Greeks called these spirits of creativity “demons.” For example, Socrates believed he had a demon that spoke to him. The Romans had the same idea, but they called him “genius,” a kind of entity that lived on the walls, went out and reached the artists.
What was this for? For example, they protected themselves from narcissism (not believing that the credit of each job was theirs) and the pressure of always having to have good ideas. Creativity is something that is built, which also depends on your behavior, your environment, the people you are surrounding, and the culture in which you are immersed.
«Creativity is simply connecting things. When you ask someone how they did something, they feel guilty because they really don’t know how they did it, they just saw something. After a while, it seemed obvious. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they had and synthesize new things »-Steve Jobs.
Creativity process: The 6 Ultimate steps
It is based on preparing for the creativity process, working and being aware of the points mentioned, becoming accustomed to different ways of thinking about solutions and fleeing the routine to see different ways of solving problems.
It is very important to be aware of the inner voice of self-censorship and avoid it.
It is a time when you are immersed in a problem; you open yourself to any option, even some that, in principle, are not related to it. In this phase, it is very important to observe, listen, and be open and receptive.
It is crucial at this stage :
-Avoid thinking about common ways to solve a problem.
For example, the wheeled suitcase was not invented until 1970 by Bernard D. Sadow. Until then, there was no other way to solve the problem of having to carry heavy bags.
-Avoid the voice of self-censorship. “This can’t work,” “Too hard,” “I don’t have money to do it.”
– Dealing with frustration: periods of frustration are actually part of the creative process. It is inevitable to encounter moments when you feel that you are not advancing and that you do not encounter ideas. “There is always darkness before dawn.”
2-Start with a question
Start with a question about how to solve a problem, situation, or improve something.
In your work, at school, at the University. By asking yourself a question, you begin the process of finding a creative solution. In my opinion, it is the most important step.
The questions are guides to follow a creative life, and the most useful are open ones since they allow a new answer.
Adult people are afraid to ask questions because we think we are going to make a fool of ourselves or that we seem to know little. But then how would we learn without asking?
You may have never heard the following questions, although the names surely sound like you :
-Why can the rockets not be cheaper? -Elon Musk (founder of Space X).
-Can all the global information be collected? -Larry Page and Sergei Brin (Google founders).
-Why can’t there be a reliable, fast mail service? -Fred Smith (founder of Federal Express).
-What would a wave of light look like for someone traveling next to you? -Albert Einstein.
-Why don’t we remove the recording function and the microphone and put headphones on the recorder? -Masaru Ibuka (Sony’s president).
In their time, these ideas proved meaningless to others, but today we know that they marked an era. The next time you hear such a question or ask yourself, will you think the same way?
“Formulating new questions and possibilities, seeing old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and is what identifies the true advance in science” -Albert Einstein.
3-Search / Research
Research is something natural in the human being, like a child who asks everything or the baby who takes everything in his mouth. Be curious, try to do new things, an experiment in the world, and gather information related to the question to solve.
It is about reflecting on all the relevant pieces and avoiding the rational mind, letting the thought flow relative to the question to be solved. Think differently, look from another perspective, think metaphorically, and visualize a solution to the problem.
4-Term of investigation and incubation
The time has come when enough information has been gathered to solve the problem.
It’s about digesting all the information and thoughts you’ve had. It is a passive phase in which your unconscious works more.
Throughout the day the mind is busy at school, in the park, at work, talking with friends, reading or watching TV. Any time you can relax is useful for the creative process (a shower, a long drive, a quiet walk, your favorite activity). It is about simply allowing the mind to dream awake.
The eureka moment comes after hard work in the previous phases. It usually comes at a time when we feel calm and “daydreaming,” so it is important not to skip the previous phase.
«Genius is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration» -Thomas Edison.
It is about bringing the idea to reality, and it is the most difficult step because you have to overcome the fear of failure and know how to turn it into something useful for you and for others.
It is often long and arduous. An important part is the dissemination and socialization of creation to know what people think of your idea.
Actually, the process is very fluid. One person can take more time in the implementation phase and another in the search information.
The phases are not fixed; they may be in different order although it is convenient that you be aware of the phase you are in because it will allow you to enter the process more frequently and perform the relevant actions.
– Request feedback
As a complement to the implementation of the idea, you can ask for feedback from known or unknown people. This will help you to be aware of what can be improved or what you are missing.
Our 6 Ultimate Steps to Creativity:
- Start with a question
- Search / Research
- Term of investigation and incubation
- Moment «eureka»
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