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Whoever Says Creativity Is Inborn Is Just Giving Themselves an Excuse

Whoever Says Creativity Is Inborn Is Just Giving Themselves an Excuse

What if I told you creative people are found to be more attractive by others? According to a study done by Christopher Watkins,

“Creativity can enhance your attractiveness both as a potential date and as a potential social partner” [1].

This may sound great, but there is more to the study than just this. Other factors that come into play include gender and physical appearance. Surprisingly, the effects of creativity are stronger for average looking people than people who are genetically gifted. Creativity is also thought to be more beneficial for men[2].

At this point you may be thinking, “HOW DO I MAKE MYSELF MORE CREATIVE!”

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Before we get ahead of ourselves, let us first define what creativity actually is.

Creativity Is Intelligence Having Fun.

What is creativity? Rollo May, the author of The Courage to Create said,

Creativity is “the process of bringing something new into being. Creativity requires passion and commitment. It brings to our awareness what was previously hidden and points to new life,”

As a matter of fact, creativity does not only make one more attractive; creativity also accompanies with many benefits. Below you shall see some of them:

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  • Become a better problem solver: creativity allows one to overcome challenge with innovative methods.
  • Save Money: creativity yields inner fulfilment, which reduces the urge to consume.
  • Embrace Freedom: creativity helps one fully engage with him or herself, surpassing all detrimental self-judgement.
  • Relieve Stress: creativity invites us to fully utilise our mind, our hand, and our energy, which awards us contented happiness [3].

There Is a Big Common Misconception about Creativity.

Many people have a misconception about creativity — it is something inborn. If we aren’t born creative, there is no hope. This is not true. Demian Farnworth, a Senior Content Writer at Lutheran Church Extension Fund, says this is not only a myth, but also an excuse.

The truth is anyone can learn to be creative, including you!

Now that we know what creativity is, it’s time to learn how to become creative.

What Separates Creative People from the Majority is that They Think Outside the Norms.

A change in mindset is the first step to becoming creative. Think outside of the box! If you run into a problem and can’t solve the problem, then the problem usually isn’t the problem, the problem is the way you are looking at the problem. “Divergent thinking is essential for a creative mind,” says Eddie Opera, a neuroscientist who has spent years studying the brain and creativity [4].

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There are both pros and cons to thinking outside the box. The pros are that you will become a better problem solver. Switching the way you think is essential. It can make an almost impossible problem become seemingly simple. Thinking outside the box is also good for innovation and communication.

The cons are few and far between. The major con to thinking outside the box is that it can be extremely frustrating. If you’re not feeling creative at the moment, then stop. Don’t return doing whatever it is you’re doing until you’re in the proper mindset.

Moreover, Creative People Do Not Let Others’ Opinions Bother Them.

Self-consciousness is an assassin of creativity. How can you be creative if you’re constantly worrying about what other people think?

Put other people’s opinions to the side and just be you. Let your mind go to work. Creativity is often sparked when we are alone. Find yourself a quiet, judgment-free zone in order to boost creativity.

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Creative People Understand the Importance of Harboring a Clear Goal.

Creativity is innovation. Innovation is progress. And progress leads to somewhere different than the starting point.

To become more creative, start with an end vision. This will allow you to develop a path; however, this is not a set path. Think of all the different ways you can reach the end point. This will get your creative juices flowing and allow you to think in more innovative ways. If you get stuck don’t worry. Everyone gets stuck, even some of the best minds in the world [5].

Creative People Also Excite Their Brains with New Events Consistently.

Switch up your daily routine. Go to different places and meet new people. These places and people can provide you with new insights and ideas that you’ve never had before. There have been studies that show how new experiences affect the neurons in the brain to help boost creativity [6].

“When you meet new people or try unexpected events, it creates an idea cocktail in your brain,” says Mikael Cho, founder of Unsplash and Crewlabs.

Your Life Will Be More Colourful Once You Introduce Creativity into Your Life

Life is more fun when we are creative! You’ll become a more interesting person with cooler ideas. You may even find yourself out and about with some hot dates (wink wink). Pick up these common characteristics of creative people to help yourself become more creative!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

More by this author

Brian Knight

Communications Major at The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Whoever Says Creativity Is Inborn Is Just Giving Themselves an Excuse

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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