More Thoughts on Creativity

Hunches

"...a hunch is creativity trying to tell you something..."
Frank Capra as quoted by Cathryn Lloyd, 2020

Need to explore hunches and see what their possibilities are.

Creativity

"...creativity is not a purely intellectual activity. It is also an embodied way of being that includes the heart, mind and soul......it is our greatest natural resource..."
Cathryn Lloyd, 2020

There should be no judgement when being creative. The aim is to generate ideas irrespective of their potential value, ie quantity rather than quality.

To be creative you need to:

- be open-minded and receptive to different perspectives and new ideas, ie apply your skills, experiences, personality and perspective in different ways
- have an enquiring mind that appreciates experimentation
- have a willingness to challenge the status quo, ie a restlessness
- be original
- encourage spontaneity and opportunism, ie 'lady luck' and chance are all part of creativity, eg an unexpected and random event can be influential; you have to be at the right spot at the right time
- be non-judgemental, ie record all ideas, irrespective of their initial worth; later on you can become selective
- use your imagination
- encourage robust discussions
- be comfortable with uncertainty, ie allows us to adapt and improvise
- have a positive attitude
- allow your subconscious mind to make new connections
- be aware of your complacency, the zones of comfort and habits, so that you will move outside them
- find ways to disrupt and challenge yourself
- become aware of your thought patterns, your unconstructive habits and staleness that may hinder creativity
- expose yourself to alternative ideas
- read a variety of content you would not normally access
- have discussions with people whose ideas and life are radically different from your own
- study something completely different from what might normally interest you
- travel to some new places
- focus on things you are passionate about
- have a strong enough character to handle the 'naysayers', ie be resilient
- use other people for inspiration
- see challenges, threats, risks, etc as opportunities
- understand that play (physical, symbolic and metaphorical) is an important side of creativity
- learn from nature, ie nature can provide us with inspiration and ideas like

    i) biomimicry involves learning from and mimicing strategies used by other species 
    ii) biophilia is

"...the complex and intricate relationship between human society and our natural affinity with other forms of life..."
Edward Wilson as quoted by
Cathryn Lloyd, 2020

NB we need to work with nature, rather than against it.

Furthermore, with the increasingly sedentary and technologically-driven lifestyles, scientific studies have indicated the importance of the natural world for health and well-being.
"...allow your creativity to be touched and stirred by the natural world. How you might experience this? Cultivate a garden: begin with soil, sow seeds, grow plants, herbs and flowers. Sit under or beside your favourite tree: feel the roots beneath you and imagine you can hear the complex communication in tree life. Swim in the vast ocean: taste the salt on your lips, feel the water ripple over your body. standby a river, lake or ocean and listen to the world around you. Rise early to see and admire a sunrise: breathe deeply into a changing sunset, in awe of the vast painted sky; be delighted by the magical offerings in the colours of rainbow. Engage your senses, and invite the external landscape to  imbue your internal landscape......One way to make a deep connection with the creativity through the natural world is to draw it......Observe the creatures around us - the birds, sea-life, ants and insects - and how they live......When you experience a deep affinity with nature, you will find a deep connection with your creative spirit..."
Cathryn Lloyd, 2020

Convincing others

Convincing others of the value of your creativity requires that you have belief in yourself and your work. Some questions around convincing others
"...- How do you reach out to the world with your creativity?
    - How do you influence others to convince them of the value of your creative work?
    - How do you remain strong, agile, resilient, committed to your creative life when questioned or unsupported by others?
    - How do you overcome the external and internal obstacles that may prevent your creativity from flourishing?..."

 
Cathryn Lloyd, 2020

In summary - how do you market and promote your ideas and projects to others, ie what are your strategies and tactics?

Change 'yes but' to 'yes and'

The statement 'yes and' is much more positive than 'yes but'; the latter is more blocking.

The 'yes and' encourages exploring possibilities, encourages improvisation, provides a safe environment for experimentation, seeing things in a new light, etc

Creativity takes time and is risky

"...creative work doesn't always come easily. At times it require determination and perseverance..."
Cathryn Lloyd, 2020

There are always risks in being  be successful with creativity. As humans we are risk averse, ie prefer certainty. Creativity can create uncertainty, ie no guarantees. You need to overcome this risk aversion to be creative. This can mean stretching yourself, working outside the zone of comfort and in the unknown, etc..

It can take considerable time for creative ideas to be fully appreciated and there can be many setbacks on the way. But you need to find ways to maintain your enthusiasm and belief in your creativity plus the courage to proceed.

Creative energy

To be creative requires energy. Your energy comes from your emotional, spiritual and physical environment.

Need to understand what
- provides you with creative energy to help you get going, implement and complete projects (need to find ways to increase this)
- sucks your creative energy away (need to find ways to reduce this).

Creativity and flow

Flow is regarded as
"...A state of consciousness and concentration that offers deep enjoyment and absorption in an activity......feeling of effortless control and unconsciousness......when a sense of time and emotional problems seem to dissolve......where we feel and perform at our best..."
Cathryn Lloyd, 2020

It is thought that flow can be controlled and not just left to chance, if we set ourselves the right challenges

(for more detail, see elsewhere in this knowledge base).

Curiosity

Curiosity and creativity go hand in hand. Generally curiosity is associated with children, ie being inquisitive.

The questions around curiosity
- What are you curious about?
- What intrigues you?
- Why are you drawn to one thing and not another?

Some techniques

i) Imagine you are somebody else like an explorer, artist, judge, warrior, etc and consider how they would handle a situation, challenge, etc that you are facing.

ii) Some questions around creativity
- What do you think about creativity?
- How do you perceive your own creativity?
- What is holding you back from being more creative?
- What attitudes or beliefs influence, ie help or hinder, your creativity?

NB some influences can be previous experience, culture, family, education, etc

iii) Some more questions
- What expectations do you have for living a creative life?
- What can you put in place to bring these expectations to fruition?
- Who and what inspires you and why?
- What brings you joy?
- Do you wait for inspiration to find you or do you actively seek it?

iv) mindfulness, ie allow yourself to be in the present, eg push the pause button.
"...When we pause we become present, more aware of our own existence, more aware of our surroundings, and more receptive..."
Cathryn Lloyd, 2020

Need to be aware that you have become

- 'too busy' and busyness is regarded as a indicator of success in the Western world
- creatures of habit akin being on autopilot or sleepwalking
"...the best way to get a good idea is to have a lot of ideas..."
Linus Pauling as quoted by
Cathryn Lloyd, 2020

Owing to your busyness, you often prefer to latch onto the first 'good" idea presented. However, the more ideas you produced, the greater the chance of discovering a great idea.

Exercise and creativity

Humans are designed to move.
"...Regular activity to get the body moving and oxygen flowing starts the endorphins. endorphins reduce pain and boost pleasure so enhance our sense of well-being. Endorphins trigger a positive state or mood and have been linked to increases in creativity. Anecdotal studies suggest movement can help overcome creative blocks and lack of inspiration..."
Cathryn Lloyd, 2020

This can be linked to the sense of flow (for more detail, see elsewhere in this knowledge base).

In summary

Participate in some physical activity that interests you, oxygenates your body, increases endorphins and sparks your creativity.

Sleep and creativity

Getting enough sleep will enhance your creativity and problem-solving abilities.

Sleep enables different parts of our brain connect on both regular pathways and to make new connections.

Most of us have had the experience of going to bed with an unresolved situation and then waking in the morning with a new perspective.
"...Catnaps can also be beneficial as they help us process the huge amounts of information we receive throughout the day..."
Cathryn Lloyd, 2020

(for more detail, see elsewhere in this knowledge base).

 

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