There is this idea that many of us have about creativity: Either you’re born creative, or you’re not. And that’s just the way it is.
As it turns out, creativity – like many other things – is something that we can become better at.
Creativity is about connecting ideas in different ways to create something new. In fact, the word creativity comes from the Latin word creō which means to create or make.
But, here’s the thing. Creativity isn’t just for the arts, although that’s what we often think about when we think about creative people.
- In business, we call creativity by another name: innovation.
- In life, another word for creativity is problem-solving.
Innovation is about creating new methods, ideas or products that are different from what we currently have.
Solving problems means to create a solution to overcome some obstacle.
When the pandemic changed the world, businesses, communities and families had to create new ways to get things done in a world of physical distancing and lockdowns.
So, yeah, creativity is something we need to achieve our goals.
SEOT is an acronym to help us get the most out of life. The T stands for Tinker.
(It’s explained more in the goal setting slideshow)
SEOT Step to Success #8 is to GET CREATIVE
How do we be more creative?
It’s not like you can say “I’m going to be creative now” and have a flash of inspiration.
Well, if creativity is about creating new connections between ideas…
- in ways that we personally haven’t thought about before
- or in ways that the world hasn’t really seen before…
Then, it makes sense that the more ideas we have, the more life experiences we have, the more connections we can make.
One way to get more life experiences is by doing something new every day.
In other words, we’re building a collection of experiences in our head as raw material to help us be more creative later on.
- Try walking a different way to school or work.
- Try ordering something new off the menu.
- Try something that scares you – like public speaking or making friends with a new classmate or colleague. (If it scares you, chances are you don’t do that that experience very often.)
Here’s an important one, but a tricky one:
Choose to work with people who are different from you.
You know that saying, “birds of a feather flock together”?
We like to work with people who look like us, think like us, belong to the same culture as us, or have similar experiences like us. Make a conscious choice to connect with someone who is the opposite and see what happens.
The more varied and different your experiences are, the easier it will be to “think outside of the box” later on.
Think about your goal.
- Now think about things that are completely unrelated to your goal.
- Think about different subjects, topics, things you’ve seen or read about.
- What are the similarities or differences between your goal and these other topics?
When we wonder about solutions to problems or how to achieve your goal, see if you can draw on your prior knowledge in different areas of life. Maybe there’s something in a completely different context that might work in this case too.