As I stepped out the door of my place yesterday, I was delighted to find authentic urban art. Creativity at its best! The kids close by discovered this shady spot from the heat, and decided to make some chalk drawings. One little girl was quite proud she could write the number 2, which is her age. Another made a triangular shape, with curves at the top. Perhaps a teepee? An ice cream cone? An upside-down heart? The wee artists didn’t care. They were exercising their instinct to be creative. And they were delighted to have someone admire their handiwork.
Perhaps you claim you aren’t creative. You don’t have it in you. Maybe you had responsibilities as a child that sopped up the time that would be given to fantasy. Maybe someone told you that you couldn’t draw, without realizing you were a budding Picasso who didn’t color between the lines. One man was told by his third-grade teacher he couldn’t draw, when in reality, she wanted someone to take care of the art supplies.
But creativity isn’t limited to art. It’s the unique way you express yourself. Hairdressers. Dog groomers. Mechanics. Community innovators. Nurses. Waitresses. Chefs. Grandmas and grandpas. Lawyers. Quilters. The lady behind the counter at Circle K. They all have that creative gene. And so do you.
Here are five tips to spark creativity
- Turn your thoughts upside down. You’re used to the same pattern of doing. What happens when you explore new worlds? Let’s take auto mechanics. Learn the basics. Then refine it into an art where you can identify a problem by a sound. That’s creativity.
- Silence that Inner Critic. For about five minutes before you begin, take some slow deep breaths as you pay attention to your breathing. If you continue to notice your breathing as you create, that negative chit-chat stops in its tracks. No room for it.
- Sleep on it. Imagine a problem with your project before stretching out to sleep. Your subconscious mind will usually create a solution as you catch a few Z’s.
- Take a solo vacation. A friend toured Vietnam for Christmas. Once there, she would break off from the group and create her hand-tailored tours. Being in a different environment stretched her mind.
- Play, play, play. The children who gifted me with their chalk drawings were playing. I think we lose that skill as we grow up. We are put down. Or not encouraged to try. Who cares if it isn’t perfect? Have fun!
Capture those new ideas. Take on novel tasks and stretch your mind. Be creative and live unstuck!