Everyone Can Learn to be More Creative

We are all creative, but our culture seems to drum creativity out of us during school. The ‘arty’ ones go one way, the ‘science’ ones another, and the remainder end up distributed across all the subjects. This is brought up again, and again in articles. A key proponent of the notion that ‘school removes our creativity’ is Sir Ken Robinson, who discussed the topic in his TED Talk in 2006. Bookmark it now and watch it later to be inspired.

We can change our ‘creativity level’ through practice. Our brains are always ready to learn new things as long as we offer them the time and opportunity. We need to broaden our knowledge, change our behaviour, and change our lifestyle to be our most creative according to WikiHow, and FastCo. To this I would add that we mainly need to do the following:

First, adjust our mindset. Tell ourselves that “we need more practice being creative” instead of saying that “we’re not creative.” Tell children this too, by the way. This will help us with the next step.

Second, create opportunities to practice being creative. This can range from doodling more often, to joining a reading group, cooking more, or taking painting classes. You choose, and be flexible by trying a variety of options such as those suggested by Michael Michalko, or HuffPost.

Third, walk more, and exercise more. Both of these offer space to think, and to pull us out of our regular thought patterns, which creates a space when innovation can happen.

These changes will affect you quietly, but you should notice with time that you pick different types of solutions than you would’ve in the past. You might also find that you’re more innovative in general too.

The last step in all of this is to always be looking for more options when exploring challenges and identifying solutions, as I’ve explained previously.

While all of this sounds like something we each do individually, you can also bring people along with you too, by taking part in games such as the cards from the Try or Die game shown above, which Janny and I ran for the Aberdeen Science Centre last June.

The University of Aberdeen is a charity registered in Scotland, No.SC013683