Know The Fundamental Skills Of Creative Thinking

It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it.”
– Descartes

Technically speaking, the best way to boost your creativity is to boost the communication flow between your two brain hemispheres: your left and right brains.

Apparently during the creative process, our left and right brains are focused on the problem, exchanging information to and fro in a form of a “partnership.”

Highly creative people are known to have an easy and unobstructed flow of information between their left and right brains. They know how to increase the stimulation to their brain and expose it to lots of experiential stimulation, stretching and expanding its creative prowess by bringing it to new uncharted waters.

After all, they understand that every learning experience is a mental one. And the more mentally stimulating and experiential an activity is, the more they learn.

======================

Seizing The Opportunity

======================

One of the most fundamental skills of creativity is the ability to see an opportunity and seize it.

Every day, we are faced with countless opportunities to develop our creative thinking skills. Such opportunities present themselves while we are at home with the kids, going to work, at the workplace, at board meetings, out to lunch, or hanging out in the pubs with our friends.

The problem we face is not so much a lack of activities or events to stimulate our creative senses. There is in fact no shortage of encounters for us to develop our creativity. The real challenge is for us to recognize these moments as opportunities for seizing and for creative outburst.

======================

Challenging Assumptions

======================

Many inventions were the result of people who were willing to challenge assumptions that existed during their time.

People tend to see only what they think to see. Every time we look at something that is in our world, we make our own assumptions about the reality before us. We based our lives and decisions on those assumptions we make. If we accept those assumptions as real and concrete, we will live by them. However, the moment someone chooses to challenge those same assumptions as “unreal”, he or she may be on the road to discovering something new and different.

Challenging assumptions is an important component of creativity because it forces us to look beyond what is already accepted or is obvious. It can lead to the kind of perceptual breakthroughs we are looking for in the problems before us.

Oftentimes our assumptions of things are so entrenched that it never crosses our minds to challenge them. These assumptions are apparently so established that we no longer question their validity, even though time has passed and things have changed. We are so used to them that we simply accept them as they are.

But many of our life‚s problems are tainted with false assumptions and they prevent us from thinking something new and different. They stifle our creativity and the result is the more or less the same set of tried solutions. No new and novel possibilities.

======================

Taking Risks

======================

Taking risks is part and parcel of being a creative thinker.

If you’re not willing to take risks (and these can include calculated risks) and experience failure, then you cannot expect to be a great creative thinker. No one truly succeeds without failing first. And no one truly becomes a creative genius without having to “risk his ideas.”

However, if you really want to experience major leaps in your creativity, then you’ll have to learn to take risks. You’ll fail but failure is good: it accelerates the learning process by generating new information and science has shown that our brain literally rewires itself each time we make a mistake. Our brain learns through a series of trials and errors.

Looking At Problems From A New Perspective
No new ideas will evolve from old perspectives. To create a new product, you must be able to visualize that new product. But you cannot do this if you keep looking at your problem from the same perspective.

You got to look at your problems from a new perspective in order to gain new insights. By changing your perspective and shifting to a new one, you will be able to expand your mental horizon and capture something you were previously unable to see. Only by seeing something new, will you be able to think up new ideas and create something new.

======================

Thinking Ambiguously

======================

The ability to think ambiguously is a great boon to yielding creative insights.

This same ability is being exhibited every time someone indulges in wordplay or humor.

People who can think ambiguously are known to be fluid and flexible thinkers. A tinge of ambiguous thinking during the idea generation stage of the creative process has the power to bring out a genius of an idea!

However, the main problem in our society is that people generally prefer things that are clear and unambiguous. They don’t like to associate themselves with things that are vague and have more than one meaning. As a result, we become rather rigid in the way we think, preferring to be involved in only things that have clear and specific parameters. The outcome: predictability.

By Patrick C.

About the Author
Patrick C. is a creativity trainer & bestselling author.His unorthodox creative thinking techniques, icebreakers, brainteasers & learning systems at http://www.wordjuxtapoz.com intrigued hundreds of audiences.

Article Source: http://www.simplysearch4it.com/article/45739.html

5 Inspiring Action Verbs That Can Change Your Life

If you’re having trouble getting inspired, it may be simply your choice of verbs. Here are 5 action verbs that can help get you inspired and get you out of your rut.

We’ve all been stuck in that place where things just don’t seem to go forward. We have trouble getting motivated and our goals seem either out of reach, or too weak. In short, we are uninspired! Master motivator Tony Robbins tells us that it’s not that people are lazy, it’s that most people have weak, or as he puts it, impotent goals.

Some self improvement experts will tell you that you have to have a good attitude in order to improve your life. I would agree with that, but it’s not always that easy. It’s hard to set aggressive goals and get inspired to achieve them when your mindset is not right.

If your mind is not ready to embrace more exciting goals, then change will be at best, difficult. In fact, if you’re not ready for it, then it will be hard to conquer even small challenges. If you can’t take on small challenges, then it’s going to be impossible to change your life to the degree you’d ultimately like.

To that end, I recommend using action to inspire yourself and create change. In effect, we’re placing the cart before the horse here, and forcing our attitude to match our actions. If you shake things up by taking action first, you’ll get your mind ready to create and pursue more exciting goals.

Below are 5 inspiring action verbs that you can use to shake things up and get yourself mentally ready to take on new challenges. If you use these techniques, even in small ways, you will naturally find yourself on the road to change. Change leads to bigger and better goals. Bigger and better goals lead to accepting greater challenges… and so on, and so on.

1. Give – Give to a charity, an individual in need, or simply a friend or relative. You don’t have to give something expensive or big. Just a show of appreciation will do, such as a card or a flower. Why it works… giving is a very uplifting experience since it frees your mind from thinking that there is not enough in the world. Giving teaches you that there is plenty to go around, and it will cause you to attract more good things in your life.

2. Learn – Learn a new language or a new dance. Learn about something you know nothing about, or learn to play a song on the piano or guitar. Why it works… learning something new develops your nervous system and makes you think in ways you’ve never thought before.

3. Change – Change your routine, take a different route to work, change your usual clothing style, your hair style, or change what you normally eat. Why it works… change begets change. If you want a big change, start by making a small change.

4. Participate – Participate in community activities, a sports team, or join a club. Why it works… participation requires social interaction and creativity, both of which will stimulate and inspire.

5. Create – Create a piece of art, write a short story, make a bookshelf, or start a web site. Why it works… creating stimulates all those dormant forces that allow change to enter your life.

Each time you perform one of these inspiring actions, take several minutes to feel good about it. You want your attitude to catch up to your actions. Also make sure that you enjoy the process, knowing that what you are doing is good for you and those around you as well.

Sometimes, just the exercise of reviewing these action verbs will be inspiration enough to get you thinking of what you could do to change your life. I hope you enjoy using these inspiring action verbs to change your mental state and improve your life. I’m sure that now you can think of some on your own. Remember, though, nothing happens without taking action!

More than One Way to Skin a Cat: Adventures in Creative Thinking

How many times have you caught yourself saying that there could be no other solution to a problem – and that that problem leads to a dead end? How many times have you felt stumped knowing that the problem laying before you is one you cannot solve. No leads. No options. No solutions.

Did it feel like you had exhausted all possible options and yet are still before the mountain – large, unconquerable, and impregnable? When encountering such enormous problems, you may feel like you’re hammering against a steel mountain. The pressure of having to solve such a problem may be overwhelming.

But rejoice! There might be some hope yet!

With some creative problem-solving techniques you may be able to look at your problem in a different light. And that light might just be the end of the tunnel that leads to possible solutions.

First of all, in the light of creative problem-solving, you must be open-minded to the fact that there may be more than just one solution to the problem. And, you must be open to the fact that there may be solutions to problems you thought were unsolvable.

Now, with this optimistic mindset, we can try to be a little bit more creative in solving our problems.

Number one; maybe the reason we cannot solve our problems is that we have not really taken a hard look at what the problem is. Here, trying to understanding the problem and having a concrete understanding of its workings is integral solving the problem. If you know how it works, what the problem is, then you have a better foundation towards solving the problem.

Not trying to make the simple statement of what problem is. Try to identify the participating entities and what their relationships with one another are. Take note of the things you stand to gain any stand to lose from the current problem. Now you have a simple statement of what the problem is.

Number two; try to take note of all of the constraints and assumptions you have the words of problem. Sometimes it is these assumptions that obstruct our view of possible solutions. You have to identify which assumptions are valid, in which assumptions need to be addressed.

Number three; try to solve the problem by parts. Solve it going from general view towards the more detailed parts of the problem. This is called the top-down approach. Write down the question, and then come up with a one-sentence solution to that from them. The solution should be a general statement of what will solve the problem. From here you can develop the solution further, and increase its complexity little by little.

Number four; although it helps to have critical thinking aboard as you solve a problem, you must also keep a creative, analytical voice at the back of your head. When someone comes up with a prospective solution, tried to think how you could make that solution work. Try to be creative. At the same time, look for chinks in the armor of that solution.

Number five; it pays to remember that there may be more than just one solution being developed at one time. Try to keep track of all the solutions and their developments. Remember, there may be more than just one solution to the problem.

Number six; remember that old adage,” two heads are better than one.” That one is truer than it sounds. Always be open to new ideas. You can only benefit from listening to all the ideas each person has. This is especially true when the person you’re talking to has had experience solving problems similar to yours.

You don’t have to be a gung-ho, solo hero to solve the problem. If you can organize collective thought on the subject, it would be much better.

Number seven; be patient. As long as you persevere, there is always a chance that a solution will present itself. Remember that no one was able to create an invention the first time around.

Creative thinking exercises can also help you in your quest be a more creative problems solver.

Here is one example.

Take a piece of paper and write any word that comes to mind at the center. Now look at that word then write the first two words that come to your mind. This can go on until you can build a tree of related words. This helps you build analogical skills, and fortify your creative processes.

So, next time you see a problem you think you can not solve, think again. The solution might just be staring you right in the face. All it takes is just a little creative thinking, some planning, and a whole lot of work.

Creative Notions, Unleash Your Creative Thinking

People seem to have the misconception that only a select few are able to unleash a steady flow of creative genius. That is not true at all. The fact is, creativity is very much like a muscle that needs to be exercised in order to consistently give out great results. If you don’t practice harnessing creative thinking, this skill will very much atrophy into inexistence. But keep working and this skill will soon come to you in a snap.

So how do you unleash your creative thinking? Well, the first thing is to become a human leech. No, we’re not talking about just sucking the blood out of every living being available, we’re saying that you should take in as much knowledge and learning you can find. Read everything available — good and bad, and keep your mind open to the infinite possibilities of the universe. The more you know, the more you’ll want to know, and the more your faculty of wonder will be exercised. Prepare to be amazed at little facts that add a bit of color into your life.

Focus on a creative activity everyday. Yes, it’s an effort. Even doodling is a creative activity. Don’t let anything hinder you. Mindlessness may be a creative activity, but for people who are just starting out to unleash a little bit of creative thinking in their lives, it is helpful and encouraging to have concrete evidence, that, “hey, what I’m doing is getting somewhere.” So why don’t you try it. Practice drawing for a couple of minutes each day. Bring out your old camera and start snapping photos like crazy. Keep a journal and make a point to write in it religiously. Another cool idea is to write by describing something with your five senses. Try to avoid vague adjectives like “marvelous,” “amazing,” and “delicious.” Before you know it, you’ll have built yourself a tiny portfolio, and you’ll be amazed at the growth you’ve undertaken after amassing all those works of art. Who knows, you might actually take to liking those things you do everyday. Pretty soon those things will become a part of you and you’ll be addicted to these creative exercises.

Think out of the box — or don’t. Sometimes, constraints are actually a good thing. Limitations discipline you to work within your means. It enables you to be more resourceful. Creative freedom is great, but limitations enforce discipline.

Try something new everyday and let your experiences broaden your perspective. Explore a new district in your neighborhood. Spend an afternoon in a museum to which you’ve never been before. Chat up someone on the bus. Open up to the people around you. As you thrust yourself out of your comfort zone more and more each day, your sense of adventure grows and so does your zest for life. Think about it. When was the last time you did something for the first time? If it’s been a while, I tell you, you’ve been missing out on a whole lot of experiences that could’ve added to your growth, emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually. Why don’t you try bungee jumping today? Not only will you learn, but you will also have plenty of stories to share, enabling you to practice your storytelling skills and making you the life of the party.

Embrace insanity. No, not to the point of practically admitting yourself into the mental ward. As John Russell once said, “Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting.” Exactly! Every creative thought was once deemed insanity by other “normal” people at one time or another. Luckily, that didn’t stop the creative geniuses from standing by them. The thing is, sanity or being normal confines people to think… well, normally. Withink limits. Creativity is essentially breaking through barriers. Yes, this includes the bizzarre and the downright strange. I’m not saying that you yourself should develop a creative personality. That might go haywire. An example of a creative personality would be George Washington, who often rode into battle naked, or James Joyce, who wrote “Dubliners” with beetle juice for an intense fear of ink, or Albert Einstein, who thought his cat was a spy sent by his rival (or in thinking creatively in this case, the term could probably be “archnemesis.”) It’s important that your creativity doesn’t get you detached from the real world completely.

I hope this article has inspired you to start thinking beyond your “limits.” If you follow these steps pretty soon you’ll be living a life full of interesting adventures. Unleashing your creative thinking will bring about a new zest for living life.