5 Ways to Creativity

Where do you get inspiration to be creative?  How do you keep the innovative and creative ideas flowing?

Here are five ways that I find helpful in quenching my thirst for creativity.  I’m sure there are many others, and I welcome your comments to keep this conversation going.

1.  Associating –  Something good can happen when two similar, but different, elements enter into a relationship with each other.  In my journal I include words and pictures from magazines to symbolize metaphors.  It is powerful how an application of a word or phrase to an object or concept it does not literally denote can cause creative tension to spark insight and discovery.

2.  Questioning – I question everything, including subject-matter-experts, by asking “what if”, “why”, and “why not” questions that challenge the status quo and open up the bigger picture.  I ask “what if”, “why”, and “why not” questions of myself to awaken my imagination.  If I want to originate breakthrough solutions, I need to think differently than I usually do.  In a familiar phrase, I need to “get out of the box” and be curious by using the same kind of curiosity and inquisitiveness I see in small children.

3.  Observing – Closely observing details of things in my world by using my five senses to engage.  I find that all creative writing – depends on the writer being able to convey impressions of their world through the senses. To define and appreciate the details, I pay attention to the details of people’s behavior and also the color, shape and fragrance of a flower.  It is a real treat to be outdoors for a nature walk and whether the walks take place in a park, on a nature trail, or even in my own back yard — all I need to do is go outdoors and use all five senses in my observation: sight, smell, feel, taste, and hear.

4. Experimenting – I experiment by taking what I call “creative excursions” to give me inspiration from other places, people and products.  I visit galleries, go to lectures, markets and parks that I normally wouldn’t have time to explore.  Sometimes I take a different route to recharge with the sights, sounds and rhythm of the city.  I am free to make mistakes.  I try to grow by experimenting with people and things to recharge and recover creativity.

5.  Networking – To me isolation is a dream killer.  I have a creative community who share my passion, values and interests.  My tribe of creative people give me energy to climb in a direction that unleashes my creativity in ways that I would not do on my own.  It is a diverse group with musicians, artists producers, doctors, lawyers and engineers (to name a few) and we find it insightful to share our disciplines. Some of the best thinking is done with a “walk ‘n talk” in the woods, it sure helps to exercise the body with the mind.

There’s a starter.  So, what do you do for inspiration?

About Kate Mulcahy

Kate Mulcahy is principal of Brand New Discovery Inc., a consultant and coach who provides a strategic and creative experience for business leaders, entrepreneurs and forward-thinking individuals who want to fully optimize or refocus their professional lives. Applying her extensive leadership, marketing and communications experience, Mulcahy leads you closer to a higher level of thinking by encouraging you to prioritize your goals and objectives for what you plan to achieve both personally and professionally. Her imaginative, optimistic, and engaging approach leads to reinventing, rediscovering and defining what’s possible for yourself and your personal brand.
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