Thinking 'what if'
Creativity takes many forms and can be expressed in many ways.
Good teachers, for example, have always stretched the imagination of their students by asking questions like “what if.”
Young minds then begin to awaken to a thousand possibilities. What if we no longer had fire? What would the world be like? What if the oceans dried up?
If you are a homemaker, you can be very creative. A culinary artist in the kitchen can be very expressive. Home decoration with innovative lighting, beautiful color schemes, floral arrays and varied furniture arrangements also can be imaginative.
Parents understand that child-rearing can require all kinds of thinking outside the box.
If you are in a business, where do you get ideas for improvement?
Do your resist change because it has always been done the same way, or do you constantly seek new avenues to avoid conformity and group thinking?
You can sharpen your creative ability by following some of these examples:
* Be innovative. Don’t focus merely on not making mistakes. You can always learn from them. A mistake can be a signpost telling you to change direction.
* Be glad you don’t like the status quo, where you become bored with the routine and the ordinary.
* Think of something you have always wanted to try. Get off the beaten path. Explore new opportunities. Arrange and rearrange. Someone once said there is nothing new under the sun, only a new way of doing it. Sometimes you can combine two or more old ideas and come up with something new and fresh.
* Don’t look for the only answer. What else might be possible? Don’t categorize everything into right and wrong. Look at lots of maybes.
* Think of inventors who tried and tried and never thought about giving up. Look for what other people may consider insignificant details. Don’t worry about being called eccentric or foolish. Think of those past heroes who plodded on until their fantasy came to life.
* Keep your sense of humor. Laughter relaxes and pushes the mundane aside. Creativity is sharpest when you are rested and the mind is at ease, so laugh more and maintain a laid-back attitude.
Remember that being creative can set you apart from the crowd and give you the competitive edge when keeping a job or applying for a new position elsewhere.
Creativity is looking at life through a different lens. Give it a try.
Harold H. LeCrone, Jr., Ph.D. Copyright © 2012