The study of creativity intrigues me. I am innately drawn toward people who explore their abilities and push their limits. It seemingly goes hand in hand with travel for me. Something ignites my inner creative whenever I shake up the physical world around me. When it isn't possible to take off to a far-flung corner of the world - there are several exercises that i practice in my daily life to spark my creativity.
5 Ways to Channel Your Creativity:
1. Observe the ordinary
I'm making a conscious effort to do this every day. Hence my recent fascination with the sky. One of my favorite things in the world is watching the sun rise and set - and you don't need to be anywhere special to do it. You literally can just walk outside wherever you are, and take it in. Be mindful of the little things that you unconsciously ignore.
2. Appreciate the mundane
Very similar to observing the ordinary, this one goes deeper into your day to day routines. Smile while you brush your teeth, take time to carefully make up your bed and really watch the people floating in and out of your coffee shop in the morning. This kind of purposeful study is incredibly valuable in generating new ideas. I also practice this when I travel - it is a great way to dive head first into the local culture and live in the present. Heading to a market when I get somewhere new is one of my favorite things while abroad. You can learn a whole lot about a place while walking down a produce or meat aisle in a new place.
There is a reason why people say great ideas happen in the shower. Distracting the mind from the problem at hand allows your brain to make connections between seemingly unrelated experiences and observations - and it does this the best when you are at ease (hence why some say a warm, calming shower is what does it for them). Others run - I find that is where I think the best – when I'm concentrating on keeping my legs moving and my mind can wander.
4. Steal (like an artist)
Study and observe the greats. Emulate not imitate. Stay curious and constantly search for answers. Challenge yourself every day. Keep a notebook with you at all times. Doodle. If you are looking for some inspiration, read this book because it is spot on. If there is one thing in common between all creative minds it is practice. There is a reason there is a saying "practice makes perfect'. If you don't physically put pen to paper, fingers to keys or hands to clay - you wont ever hone your craft. Don't wait until you know yourself to get started. Just start.
5. Test your boundaries
Stretch your limits. Get uncomfortable. Immerse yourself in something you find intriguing and slightly scary. Study a foreign language, figure out the subway system in Tokyo, or do something risky and get your adrenaline pumping. Jump out of an airplane, hike a mountain or run faster and harder than you thought you could. The added benefit to taking the exercise route is that it send a rush of dopamine to your brain - an essential component to forming ideas and new connections in your mind.
Have another tip for sparking your creativity? I'd love to hear it. Let me know in the comments.