How to think more creatively?
Improving creativity and creative thinking involves a way of looking at and approaching problems that will lead to solving a problem in a way that is somewhat unorthodox. By that I mean, it does not just involve critical or what we think of as logical thinking. It is also somewhat ‘out of the box.’ Some associate creative thinking with brain storming, and coming up with solutions in a more unstructured way. As a student of depth psychology which is the study of the unconscious and also what we call the creative imagination, creative thinking involves engaging the creative imagination as a partner in your creating.
The problem is that we are currently in the throws of a creativity crisis. Creativity scores are declining with young children. Researchers say they are finding exactly in a 2010 study Kyung Hee Kim, a creativity researcher at the College of William and Mary, found creativity has decreased among American children in recent years. Since 1990, children have become less able to produce unique and unusual ideas. They are also less humorous, less imaginative and less able to elaborate on ideas according to his research.
Creativity comes from being able to see things differently. Everyone is born creative and has the capacity to cultivate their creativity. We all have it, but lose it usually when we start the process of formal education, but creativity can be reawakened. Even artists must learn to continually re-calibrate their creative lens to stay within the creative flow. Creative thinking is not left- or right-brained only, but involves both which is the job of the corpus callosum a broad band of nerve fibers that join and connect the two hemispheres of the brain. Connecting the hemispheres is the Holy Grail of creativity.
While we tend to think of how one person may be more creative than another the real difference lies within how people’s creative styles are different. Understanding and appreciating one’s creative style is how you begin to turn on and tune into the creativity that is within all people.
Michael Ray and Rachael Myers’ who developed the Creativity in Business program at developed at Stanford University have found the following principles to be the most effective framework to awaken creativity.
- Understand your creative style
- Ask Penetrating Questions
- Cultivate the capacity for Observation
- Since the Critical Voice
- Activate the Voice of Objective Intelligence
In addition to this I would add that we tend not to understand that creativity is a process that follows stages. This was first identified by Graham Wallas in his seminal book The art of thinking.
When we try to improve our capacity for creative thinking we must learn how to activate and navigate the creative process and what we depth psychologists call the creative imagination. This is the subject of the book I am writing that will be coming out soon.