Boosting Creativity

Is it possible to nurture creativity or is it just a part of the casual conversation to brag about?

If creativity can be nurtured, then how do we do so? Should we spend a lot of time trying to learn how to be creative? Is it restricted to only some people? Can we nurture children, too?

These and so many other questions become redundant the moment we start using creativity. We are being creative for the fun of it. The enjoyment it provides is incomparable to anything else!

So, rather than asking and answering superfluously, let us dive into finding out how we can foster creativity in 11 different ways.

1. Postpone Evaluation

Evaluation is good when you have two sides. You just have to see which side has greater strength and lean towards it. But you can’t do that when you have no sides. As it is, you are creating something new. When no sides are present, which side will you take? So, wait for the sides to emerge and then start evaluating.

Rejecting an idea takes little time

Considering an idea leaves little time

2. Avoid Negative Thinking

Saying not possible or difficult are ways of avoiding to become creative. When certain problems need innovative solutions, we must get on with it to attempt.

Creativity lives in defying

And not in denying

3. Suspend Critical Judgment

Critical thinking has to continue until the solution is successfully found. Even after the problem is solved, it is always necessary to continue with the critical analysis. Who knows, there could be problems within the solution!

When jumping to conclusions

Don’t jump short of the goals

4. Generate Different Possible Solutions

The solution that looks fantastic may not work at all due to many unpredictable reasons. Rather than coming back to the problem afresh, it is always better to gather different possible solutions.

If one solution doesn’t always work

Then the other one will work

5. Manipulate Objects and Ideas Mentally

Some creative solutions cannot be simulated beforehand. There are cases where the solution has to be executed in the first attempt itself, and the failure may cost heavily. In such instances, it is better to think of what all can go wrong.

We usually conform to ideas

But rarely confront ideas

6. Record Ideas on Paper

Creativity happens at two simultaneous but opposing parameters. To ensure that one parameter does not overtake another, it is important to record the ideas on paper, so that there is no need to remember our thought processes.

Creativity is a balance between Divergent and Convergent Thinking

Not a competition between them but a harmonious exchange within them

7. Do not Sensor Ideas

During the brainstorming, all ideas need to be entertained. Some ideas may look superfluous, or ridiculous, or preposterous, or meticulous. We may not know which of these ideas work. We need to tolerate ourselves and rush to conclusions.

Several individuals can come out with one idea

One individual can come out with several ideas

8. Do not Hesitate

Throw ideas as if they are stones. The ideas do not have value until one of the stones hit the target. Then that stone becomes omnipotent. Wait till then and keep making attempts with all the vigor and vitality.

Obstacles to the goals should be seen as opportunities

And not as hindrances to achieving success

9. Borrow Ideas from Anywhere and Everywhere

You can learn physics, for instance, in a classroom, or a laboratory, or a playground. What you learn becomes more important than where and when you learn it. So, keep your mind open for ideas and entertain them without questioning its source. However, there is a caution to be kept in mind. In case you borrow someone’s idea, please give them credit and acknowledge their contribution.

Someone’s innovation maybe our creativity

Our innovation maybe someone’s creativity

10. Avoid Habitual Set and Functional Fixedness

We are made to believe that facts are ultimate and irreplaceable. What was once a fact has become a myth now, and vice versa. Ideas are not in a vacuum. They keep floating around everywhere and by putting a boundary to them we are defeating the purpose of creativity.

Structured Learning Kills creativity

Institutionalized Indoctrination buries creativity

11. Find Similarities between the Problem and Other Systems

No system of learning is finite. Interchangeability and mutual acceptance should become the highlight of every system developed on earth. That is when creativity grows and innovation prospers.

In an honest exchange, you do not get what you have

You exchange what you have with what you do not have

The following list provides all the eleven ways that can nurture creativity.

1. Postpone Evaluation

2. Avoid Negative Thinking

3. Suspend Critical Judgment

4. Generate Different Possible Solutions

5. Manipulate Objects and Ideas Mentally

6. Record Ideas on Paper

7. Do not Sensor Ideas

8. Do not hesitate

9. Borrow Ideas from Anywhere and Everywhere

10. Avoid Habitual Set and Functional Fixedness

11. Find Similarities between the Problem and Other Systems

Rather than learning how to become creative, we must focus more on how to avoid the obstacles to creativity. By letting out our minds free and inviting ideas from anywhere and everywhere, we can nurture our creativity.

Be Creative and Be Alive.

Originally published at https://sujendraprakash.blogspot.com on December 7, 2020.

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Sujendra Prakash

Sujendra Prakash

Formerly Professor & HOD of Department of Psychology; Ph.D. (Faculty of Science - Psychology). Over 39 Years of Experience in Teaching, Training, & Consultation