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Creativity Is Like a Muscle. Here’s How to Build It

One very common misconception about being creative is that you are or you are not. That’s absolutely not true. Everyone has creative potential. Here’s a piece of better news: There are plenty of tools and techniques that you can use to nurture that potential.

For instance, if you think that you are not a creative person: begin by recalling any one moment, that you think you ever produced something. That it’s fair to call creative.

What exactly were you doing just before that your moment of production? What might happen if you dwell on that frequency of thought again? If you gave your mind the go-ahead to explore? How much creativity can you really stand?

Inside everyone is a disciplined soldier who’s focused on planning and organizing (the executive function of the brain). They also have a free-associating creative: an inner artist (kind of a part of the Brain’s Default Mode Network), mind-wandering.

You nurture your creativity by first recognizing that both the inner artist and the inner soldiers are good for you and can be helpful to you. Next, you give the inner soldier / the perfectionist / the critic some time off. Go away for a while, take a fun hike somewhere, it’s now time for the artists to play.

Next, you chose a playspace. It could be a blank paper for sketching. Or writing words– just any words, any meaning, any form. Or even paint. You could fold into any weird origami shape. Your playspace could be any instrument or even be the gym, it doesn’t matter.

Finally: commit to doing any lousy job in your playspace. You’re only playing so no matter the word you drop on your paper, paint you splash on your canvas or notes you hit out on your instrument: it’s no issue. Just doing that and allowing your mind to wander and experiment and play is the point.

The more you repeat this the more your creative muscle will develop and expand and woaw you.

The truth is that visionary innovators are not born with it, they are those who have trained their creative muscles through constant practice and also have learnt to put a balance between their inner artist and soldier.

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