Most people assume creativity is something you are born with—that it is an innate talent that is computed into your DNA, just like the fact you have hazel eyes, or that you are right-handed. But what if I told you that everybody is born creative, and creativity is a skill that you develop over time with practice? And even more—what if I told you that one of creativity’s best applications is actually in the boardroom?
It’s been documented that doing brain exercises like crossword puzzles and word searches can help increase your brain’s ability for memory and recall. Just like those crossword puzzles can help you remember things, participating in creative acts can help your brain stretch and spin and think differently. Creating something out of nothing proposes unique challenges that you may have never been faced with before. The act of making something forces you to find solutions to unknown problems which eventually make you start looking at everything differently and more strategically.
How can you become more creative?
Engage in one creative act per day. You can write something, draw something, paint something, sing something. Heck, you can even dance. It’s okay if you aren’t good at any of these things. The fact you’re doing them and challenging yourself is what makes the magic.
Share your output with others. Getting feedback from others helps fuel you to continue, and it also gives you additional insights on your project. An easy way to do it is to share on social media and use your own unique hashtag. But if it’s something big then consider having a show or recital to share your output.
Be committed. Everyday seems daunting. But you brush your teeth every day. You might also watch television every day. Try to make creativity part of your daily routine. Find a pocket of time in your day and schedule it. Of course you’ll have uninspired days here and there, and sometimes you might call in sick. But shoot for every day. On December 31, 2016 if you’ve only created something 256 times that is okay. That is 256 more times that you exercised your brain than last year.
In 2016 I decided to commit to engaging in one creative act per day. I’ll admit, I’m pretty all over the board with my endeavors so I focused on a very early passion of mine—hand lettering. I used to be really good at it, but fell out of practice. I’ve picked up my pen again and I’m going to create one piece per day.
I was struggling with what to write each day. The alphabet gets boring pretty quickly. For some reason, 80s song lyrics surfaced as the answer.
So for the rest of the year please join me, Jon Bon Jovi, Axl Rose, Cyndi Lauper and the like as I embark on my challenge. You can follow along on Instagram and Twitter by checking out #DilaraWrites.
But back to you—yes, YOU are creative. It’s there in your DNA. You just need to rattle it up a bit. I challenge you to dust off your creative hat and find something to do each day. I promise it will sharpen your overall approach and reasoning as you think through challenges you face in the business world and in everyday life.