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7 Basic Rules Of Creativity You Should Know

7 Basic Rules Of Creativity You Should Know

If you’re want to live the creative life, you need to know the rules of the game. There are 7 basic rules of creativity that every creator should know to flourish.  These rules of creativity are the culmination of years of experience as a creator and I know that if you follow them they will make a big difference in your creative life every day.

1. Create Something Every Single Day

Persistence is key when it comes to creativity. Every day you create, you are exercising your creative muscles and becoming bigger, better and more confident with what you do. You’re also keeping the momentum going which is essential to living the creative life. Create something every single day and you’ll quickly see your creativity flourish.

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2. Always Have Your Basic Tools at Hand

Always have your most basic creative tools at hand and you’ll never be stuck with an idea and no way to express it. Your most basic tools might be as simple as a sketchbook and pencil, or as complex as an entire creativity on-the-go kit complete with all the tools you need to create on the spot wherever you are. Whatever it is, make sure you have it on hand for when inspiration strikes.

3. Believe In Your Creativity

To live the creative life you need to believe in your abilities and set out to express them creatively every single day. Without the belief, staying focused and creatively productive can be tough! Importantly, you need to believe in your creativity before anyone else can, so if you’re ready to make your mark, start believing in your own creativity today.

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4. Cultivate a Creativity Habit

Forming a creativity habit is essential to living a creative life. Set aside as little as 30 minutes a day, and choose a set time and place to make it happen. Stick to it and show up to create every day, even when you’re feeling uninspired and out of ideas. Of course you can go on and create for much longer than your set time each day but it’s a minimum and a start to get you going. You’ll be surprised at the difference it will make to your creative output over the course of a week, month and year!

5. Limit Your Options to Focus In

As a creator, you instinctively think that having options would a great thing but it can actually make the creative process much harder. Give yourself some self imposed boundaries to create within such as specific creative medium, theme or a time limit. Limiting your options by setting these rules of creativity will help you focus in and spark unique ideas you never would have thought of before to create something truly amazing.

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6. Embrace Your ‘Bad’ Ideas

Embrace all your ideas, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’, and give them a go before dismissing them. It’s easy to make a judgement on a half formed idea but until you have further developed it, your assessment of it as a ‘bad’ idea is just a hunch. Some initially bad ideas can form into something amazing so give them a fair go, to form into something wonderful first.

7. Join a Creative Community

There’s nothing more powerful than joining a creative community. Whether it’s online or in your local area, joining together with other creative people and sharing your experiences, challenges and successes is a powerful way to propel yourself to living a fulfilling creative life every single day. Your creative community will be there to support you through both good and bad and cheer you all the way. Being part of a creative community is one of the most crucial rules of creativity because it will help you keep going even when things get tough.

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You might also like: 10 Things You Probably Do That Block Your Creativity

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Last Updated on November 15, 2019

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems, why?

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

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The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

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The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

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It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

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For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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