Welcome to spring and the 2nd quarter of 2016, Passionistas. It’s “April showers bring May flowers” time or so they say. Spring is the time of rebirth, rejuvenation, and if you haven’t been in the gym working off that holiday weight, now is the time to get to it. But I digress…
“The only unique contribution that we will ever make in the world will be born out of our creativity.” – Brene Brown
Because it’s spring, I started thinking about creativity and new ideas. Since I started my business, people often ask me how I come up with the ideas for my blog posts, for the copy on my website, and for the projects I have underway. They say, “I don’t know how you do that. I’m just not creative. I would never be able to think of something to say.”
If you are an Abraham Hicks follower, you know that a statement like “I’m just not creative” can keep you in a non-creative vibration for a very long time. (Yes, I am a lawyer saying vibration.) But the real problem is that we narrow the scope of what it means to be creative. People think that you either fall into the artsy/creative camp or you don’t. They also think that you have to be gifted with the ability to draw, paint, write or play music in a way that people will say, “wow, you’re really good at that” to be considered creative, but that’s not true.
Creativity is not about comparison. It’s about putting a new idea, work, or concept out there for the sake of giving something meaningful of yourself to the world. Creativity is about fulfillment, purpose, and vulnerability. Each time you tap into your creativity, you are sharing your gifts with the world and pushing our collective awareness forward. Because the truth, as eloquently stated by Brene Brown, is, “the only unique contribution that we will ever make in the world will be born out of creativity.” So here are some ways to cultivate creativity for non-creatives.
Try Something New
Like most entrepreneurs, I’m addicted to productivity. In fact, here is my Passionistas post on the topic. The hustle is part of my DNA, but to shake your creativity tree, you have to try new things just for fun. A few years ago, I started taking a “How To Draw” class. As a kid, I was always on the scholastic achieve track so I never took those fun classes like art and photography. However, I always felt that if I learned a little technique, I could probably draw, and I’ve always wanted to express myself that way. Turns out, I was right. Now I’m not Pablo Picasso or anything, but drawing gives me such joy and peace. It has brought out a more soulful side that I am able to take back into my business, and I’ve learned that creating outlets for my creativity that are unrelated to work makes me more creative in general.
Read for Fun
Do you know why there are so many self-help and business books out there? Because if you are an entrepreneur, you read them like they are air, and you should. Developing entrepreneurial skills are essential to our survival in business. Equally as important, though, is reading for fun. Fun fictional reads, short stories, magazines, comics or cartoons really open those creative channels especially if you are a writer. They will expose you to new phrasing, ideas, concepts, and even words. My favorite new word right now by the way is, “mmmkay.” Without those fun reads, I would have never been exposed to such a great word.
People always talk about the benefits of meditation like stress reduction, better focus, and better health, but for whatever reason most of us left brain folks are hesitant to try it. I used to be one of them until I started meditating consistently. The hype is real. Meditation works. In addition to all the health benefits, meditation helps to calm your thoughts and spark creativity too. Whenever I start to feel anxious about writing, I stop and meditate. Inevitably, I find myself sitting at my computer typing away a few minutes later.
Steal Like An Artist
Steal Like An Artist is actually the title of a great little book on creativity by Austin Kleon. In the book, Kleon provides 10 basic principles for boosting your creativity. The main one being, “steal like an artist.” This doesn’t mean plagiarism. It means embracing the fact that you are a mash of all your experiences, skills, environments, and perceptions. So to create something original you simply must decide to build upon those skills and ideas. By adapting the “steal like an artist” thought process, you realize that creativity is not as hard as you think. It’s about building on everything that you’ve learned in the past and pushing those ideas forward through your personal lens.
How do you shake your creativity tree? Do you commune with your muse, recite a mantra or do some physical like exercise to get the juices flowing? Let us know your top creativity tips in the comments below.