Wise Wednesday: The Joy of Creativity

Hand Heart at Sunset

I have read many creativity books over the years  Most recently I am reading Thinking for a Change: 11 ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work, John Maxwell shares 5 Ways to Discover the Joy of Creativity:
1) Remove creativity killers
2) Ask the right questions
3) Develop a creative environment
4) Spend time with creative people
5) Get out of your box

I am using Maxwell’s 5 Ways as a starting point and adding insights from my experiences.

Remove Creativity Killers
Years ago I read a great book titled: No Yes But’s, and Other Creativity Killers. The premise of the book was that when you respond to an idea with, “Yes, but…” you infer the original idea was ‘not good enough’ and are sure to discourage and stifle all creativity from that point forward.

Learn to Eliminate Discouraging comments like:

It is not logical
We’ve tried that before
It has never been done
It can’t be done
It’s too much work
Be serious
Be practical
There is only one way
Don’t ask questions

Ask the Right Questions

To stimulate creative thinking, ask yourself:
Why must it be done this way? What is the root problem? What are the underlying issues? Why is it important? What is the opposite? What happens if we do not do this at all?
“The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a creative mind to spot wrong questions.” – Sir Antony Jay, Management Trainer

Develop a Creative Environment

Encourages creativity
Places a high value on trust among team members and individuality Embraces those who are creative or different
Focuses on innovation, not just invention
Places high value on options
Willing to let people go outside the Lines
Values Dreamers

Also consider the physical environment: if you have white or gray all around you, perhaps you need to bring someone in to help set a more creative surrounding.  Put things on your desk that have color because color excites the brain for most people, it evokes feelings and associations and tends to spark creative thinking.  Place a few toys on your desk to play with when you need a brain break.

Spend Time with Creative People
Creativity is contagious!  And, personally, I believe it is FUN to hang around people who are creative.  They are unique in their thinking, dress, words, ideas and tend to get me out of my comfort zone because they think EXTRAordinarily.

Get Out of Your Box

The most effective way to help yourself to get out of the box is to expose yourself to new paradigms. One way we can do that is by traveling to new places. Explore other cultures, countries, and traditions. Find out how people very different from you live and think. Another way to get out of your box is to read books on new subjects.

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