How to Unlock Your Creativity
Creativity is something that we all possess, but as we get more and more connected every single day, we are beginning to lose one of the key drivers of creativity...SPACE. Londoner's can now get wifi at each tube station, making it almost impossible to spend more than two minutes at a time alone with our own thoughts. While having the world at your finger tips is often hugely helpful (seriously, what did people do before City Mapper?!), the danger is that it is encroaching on our sense of independent thought and our ability to just experience whatever we are doing, wherever we are.
Apply the same thing to the way in which our attitude to international travel has changed - you can now arrive in a totally new country, without speaking a word of the language and without any prior research, switch on your data roaming and find yourself the best spot for lunch before you've even left the airport. No asking for directions to the hotel, no experience of the new city and no waiting around while your friend tries to explain what it is that you are looking for through exaggerated hand gestures and bizarrely pronounced English words!
Don't get me wrong, it is REALLY helpful to know that it is going to take me just 38 minutes to get to my next class which starts in 45 mins so I am not knocking it for a moment, but what I do want to do is draw your attention to this dependance that so many of us have and the impact that it has on our thoughts. Stepping away from social media, anxiety, mental health etc for a moment - this time I want to talk about our ability to create!
1. Challenge Yourself
Most of us are inclined to do more of the things that we are good at. Because most of us like to be good at things. However, where we learn new skills is by doing things that we are not so competent at. So that's a pretty good place to start!
2. Keep Notes
Have a notebook with you at all time for the random thoughts and ideas that pop in your head. Even undeveloped ones which are only considered in passing. Doodles, words of inspiration, funny anecdotes can go in there too. Make it your creativity note book and, well - get creative!
3. Start Over
Don't be scared to scrap an idea and start again. Often we think of something and then try to develop it by adding to it again and again, coming back to the same idea and trying our best to get creative with it. Sometimes its good to let it go and start from scratch. The scrapped idea will probably come back to you anyway if it was good enough.
4. Finish What You Start
This kind of opposes number 3. so be creative in your choices here! Don't let self-doubt creep in before you finish something. You wont know if an idea is good if you don't follow it through. So have a sense of commitment to your creativity. Who cares if it lines the recycling bin the next day, just flow with it for now and learn from it later.
5. Make SPACE for Creativity
Switch off your phone in the evenings, read a book on the train, go for a walk without following Google maps and don't be scared to spend time alone. Where there is space, good ideas begin to unfold. And probably some bad ones too, but just learn to be cool with that! Basically, put your phone down as often as possible, open your eyes and take in as much as you can.
The moral of the story?
The world is wonderful, people are amazing and there are millions of free creativity sources all around us if we just take a look around. Be open, be curious, be playful and do whatever it is that you have the urge to do. Write, sing, dance, draw, build a fort in your living room. Just do more, think less and just see what happens. GO CREATE SOME MAGIC!