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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 June 18, 2019

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Making Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More About Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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