I used to tell myself I wasn’t the creative type. I have a lot of creative friends who create their own music, can knit, sew clothes — do all the things and what can I do? I’m the nerd of the bunch working on data analysis and reports. Everything is a formula in my world and definitely not cool like writing your own music, right? But then I read chapter three of How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell and guess what it’s called? “Harness Creative Thinking”!
This is the quote that changed my whole perspective: “My definition of creativity is the logical combination of two or more existing elements that result in a new concept.” John C. Maxwell
Creativity is simply thinking of things in a new way. Taking your knowledge and your experience to a problem and meshing all that together to bring a new solution. That’s all creativity is! I find we often psych ourselves out by thinking of all the things we can’t do or the resources we don’t have when really creativity is taking a minute, looking at what you have and coming up with a new way to bring all that you have together! So, let me tell you how John Maxwell wants us to harness that creative thinking! He had 5 different things we should do:
- Remove creativity killers: Get rid of that horrible mindset of I can’t or I don’t have. You have everything you need right there within you. And if you are a believer like me you already know we all were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) – you know the One that created the whole universe? Yea, Him. So, I think we automatically have a little bit of a creative streak in us!
- Think creatively by asking the right questions: Start asking questions! Ask why do we do things this way? Or “What really is the real problem?” Start looking beyond what you see and get behind the current problem with some good questions.
- Develop a creative environment: A cluttered space will not garner you a creative mind. Clear your space, clear your mind and watch creativity flow. One process I love to do with people is called the “Clear Mind Process” (check out my blog “Practice what you preach”) to learn a bit more about it!
- Spend time with other creative people: Get some folks around you that don’t take no for an answer and who love to take ideas and build amazing things from them! What do your current friends do in conversation? Do they ask the right questions? Do they encourage you to dig deep with your ideas? If not, find you some new folks to hang around.
- Get out of your box: Now this one? This one punches me right in the nose! I am usually an in the box type of girl. I mean rules are meant to be followed right? Why in the world would we do something different if this thing is working – even if it’s limping on one leg and crying for mercy. It’s fine! Haha! How many of you are like this? Well to really harness creative thinking we have to get out of that “it’s fine” box. So, who’s with me?
Whelp that’s it guys! Creative thinking is something we all can do because we are made in the image of a creative God and it’s really not that serious! Creativity can be as simple as taking a moment to turn a problem upside-down, shake it, and see what falls out together!