Creativity is a trait many consider to be unlearnable—they believe
As it turns out, creativity is more akin to a learned skill than an innate quality. If we consider creativity to be the ability to extend ideas given a basic premise, this sort of extrapolation should be dependent on observing patterns and thus be trainable.
An article in Business News Daily breaks this concept down: “At the core is the ability to look at problems from different angles, to connect and combine concepts, and the ability to challenge traditional assumptions. These are skills that require practice to master.”
Let’s explore some of the ways in which any person can give their creative side a boost.
1. Practice Pattern Recognition
One way to foster creativity is through recognizing patterns in what we observe. For example, if you read a lot of detective novels, you might realize that detective fiction uses a finite number of motifs and be able to predict the outcome of stories with similar premises.
Of course, some people are better than others at picking up patterns quickly, but you can sharpen your pattern-recognition skills in a variety of ways by studying math, nature or art.
2. Pick Up a Musical Instrument
Musical instruments and the coordination of mind and body that is involved in producing music can nurture your creative side. Picking up an instrument like the piano can lead to great benefits as you begin practicing and internalizing the basic finger movements.
The connection between creative power and practicing music is well demonstrated, and many famous figures, including Albert Einstein, Oliver Sacks and Paul Klee, attributed part of their success to their exposure to music.
3. Play Chess
While chess may not seem like the most creative hobby, there is a surprising amount of depth associated with the game and its various positions. The opening, middle game and endgame all have specific, repeatable patterns that blend into each other just enough to allow for creative maneuvers.
Studies have shown that chess players outperformed a control group in the areas of fluency, originality and flexibility.
Believe it or not, a bout of strenuous exercise can do wonders for getting your creative juices flowing. If we’re too sedentary, we become vulnerable to one set of thought patterns and never try to break out of those strictures.
A study published in the NIH indicated that exercise was a surefire way to combat things like mental fog and fatigue, noting that “physical activity is associated with improved affective experience and enhanced cognitive processing.”
5. Drawing and Photography
Jeff Koons, an American artist focusing on creating art based on objects associated with popular culture, notes: “If I try to articulate every little detail in a drawing, it would be like missing the forest for the trees, so it’s just about getting the outline of the forest.”
Getting involved in the fine arts is a great way to improve your creative ability and, as Koons indicates, can assist you in seeing the larger picture. And with the rise of internet classes, drawing and photography classes have become relatively cheap. A combination of platforms such as Udemy, Skillshare and YouTube can get you pretty far.
Photography and drawing are deeply creative activities. The ability to accurately produce or frame representations of what you see can change the way you view the world. Every time artists draw a person’s face or their surroundings, they are calling on the sum of their visual experience in order to synthesize certain details into a coherent drawing.
6. Do Nothing at All
The best-selling author Alan Cohen once wrote: “There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” Sometimes your mind just needs to unplug from processing and skim past volumes of information in the form of internet articles and posts, text messages and other miscellaneous materials.
Processing too much information can make your mind reel and put a stop to your productivity as well as your creativity. Relaxing for a while before continuing a task can yield great dividends for your creative capacity.
Culled from Forbes