Redefine the Lines
At least once in our lives, someone has demanded that we step outside the box. What we hear is “be creative,” but what we should do is ask better questions.
Being creative is often dressed up as intuition. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Creativity comes from identifying a unique advantage, perspective, or solution and implementing it. It’s not this lofty sense of sight solely for our left-brained counterparts, but the ability to see past the obvious.
How often in our daily lives do we accept the ‘obvious’ over the potentially peculiar? We are creatures of habit, so it makes sense that we establish these rhythms to control the noise, but at what cost?
Perhaps a better question, what do we miss when we choose to gloss over the finer points of life for the sake of efficiency?
Breaking From Your ‘Box’
I believe that creativity stems from curiosities. Deep, meaningful experiences are derived from simple moments given a chance to breathe. It is through routine, productivity, and assumption that life loses it’s flavor. In order to combat it’s blandness, we must deviate from the paths we make.
Cultivating creativity comes in all sorts of ways. It could be taking a different route to work, changing up your lunch menu, or simply engaging with the barista at your local caffeinated hangout. Curiosity breeds wonder and excitement and the release from not knowing allows us to let go of our ego and embrace serendipity.
So, if you’re really struggling to be creative I offer this advice:
- Don’t be so serious. Being too serious is like waterboarding creativity. Things aren’t really that intense, so seek out absurdity and revisit play. You used to enjoy it as a kid, you’re just out of practice!
- Ask better questions. The moment we stop asking is the moment we start assuming and stop growing. Questions are the keys to the knowledge you seek. The better your questions, the better life answers you back.
- Go against the grain. Following the current may keep you from making waves, but it’s a sure way to get lost in it. Contrary thinking forces you to break from the mold and your initial trains of thought. Instead, think of the possibilities of not doing what everyone else is and let that be your guide (hell, here’s five bad habits you could afford to break right now).