"Creativity is what helps me escape a lot of my inner demons." - Demi Lovato
Have you been stuck in a situation where there were no obvious solutions and after fretting about it for some time, all of a sudden, you come up with a brilliant, innovative idea that works like a charm? Chances are you have, and what you have experienced then is your creative faculty at work.
Creative moments are usually intense, accompanied by a feeling of flow, where perception becomes elastic and one loses perception of space and time. Everyone has this faculty and everyone uses it; it is not a gift bestowed on artists only, although they seem to put it to use more than others. A leader looking for a new way to move his team, a sales person finding ingenious new ways to help customers, a scientist trying to figure out how to make things better, they all need creativity to invent new ways of how to do things easier and better.
Creativity is turning the mundane into marvel and it is a wonderful ally; keep feeding it and it will keep you motivated by increasing your interest in what you are doing. When you are being creative, you are allowing yourself to make mistakes and take risks and those are the two main ingredients for learning and growth. When you let go of the certainties you hold on tight to, you will be able to get creativity running; it has been said that nothing prompts creativity like poverty, hopelessness, and panic (I would add boredom to it). It seems that creativity comes when you need it most provided you allow it to happen. Another thing that unleashes creativity is passion because passion makes you more willing to take risks and that is what creativity is all about: creating something that is untested and unfamiliar. The more mistakes you make as you are creating, the more your learning opportunities are, the better your end product will be; it has been said that an Art is the one who knows which of the mistakes to keep.
People used to believe that creativity was not the product of the human mind, instead, it is bestowed on him and channeled through him by some divinity, creative genius, or Muse. This meant that artists had to be at the mercy of an uncontrolled, invisible force. Some think that this was a belief that seemed from the apprehension artists have of not being good enough, and having some other force to blame if the product fails; having that force as an invisible one, makes it even more convenient.
We now know that those invisible forces do not exist (some still do!), and that creativity is a process that you can master. You are neither creative nor not creative, you are not the states of mind you experience, and creativity is merely a state of mind. You can train your mind to run your creativity program at will, provided you have installed the necessary algorithms (the series of steps) that unleash it when you need it. It does not need to be an elaborate plan, it can be as simple as what writers refer to as BIC (Butt in Chair), just do your job and show up for your part, and like the spark of firestones, it takes a lot of rubbing them together till the spark is produced. Similarly, when you “BIC” your way through a problem or a challenge, rubbing ideas together, sooner or later a spark will light up the whole fire; a brilliant idea takes hold of you and you get immediately engaged in it, thus initiating a state of Flow, filling you a host of other pleasurable feelings. A confident sense of being in control follows.
You can also leverage the power of Anchors with are the brain’s made associations between stimulus and states. You can anchor yourself when you are in a high creativity state and fire that anchor again when you need it. Just imagine a time when you were very creative and in Flow, make sure to increase the intensity of that internal state and associate it with something unique, be it visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Repeat until you can test it and reproduce the state at will. You would love that, wouldn’t you?