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Improving Your Creative Mindset

Developing a creative mindset does take time and work. Developing creativity requires flexibility and the ability to move away from rigid thought patterns that blind us from taking advantage of new ways to improve creativity. Changing the way that you view the world may not be comfortable at first, but it is worth the reward.

Open Mind

Creativity requires keeping an open mind when faced with ideas that you do not agree with. Many people assume they are open-minded but have strong, negative emotional responses when they are faced with views that do not line up with theirs. Keeping an open mind demands understanding your own belief system, this is easier to do when you have introspection. Having an open mind does not mean that you have to change your own beliefs; you simply have to try to listen to other points of view without automatically shutting people out. It is possible that you will find common ground with people who disagree with you and be able to learn from opposing points of view. After all, you do not know everything.

Do Not Judge

Part of keeping an open mind requires refraining from making judgments. The speed with which information travels in the digital age seems to encourage people to pass emotional judgments before they have all of the facts. It is easy to see people as two-dimensional tropes or stereotypes based on a single opinion. Rather than making snap decisions about people and viewing the world as black and white, take the time to appreciate different points of view and ideas. Just because someone believes something that you do not, does not make that person evil or the enemy. Do not make the mistake of allowing personal bias to keep you from learning something new or developing relationships that will empower your creativity.

 

Positive Mindset

Remaining positive is essential to the creative mindset and in everything we do. It is easy to focus on the negative aspects of life because we are hardwired to remember negative information, but this will only lead to depression and self-fulfilling prophecies of failure. There are ways to improve positivity and change your mindset so that you can become more successful in whatever you do.

  • Count your blessings: Focus on the things that you have to be thankful for in your life. You may want to keep a daily list of good things to pull your attention away from the negative.
  • Use positive affirmations: This may seem strange at first, but positive affirmations will help you truly believe that the best is possible.
  • Confront negative thoughts: When facing difficult times, place the events in perspective. It is easy to overreact. Facing the situation directly and honestly will prevent an unhealthy focus on the negative.

 

Ask Why?

As we have already noted, rushing to snap decisions and judgments will actually hinder creative thought. Rather than accepting everything at face value, it is better to question. Questioning will increase creativity. It is important to question everything and get as many answers as possible. Find different opinions from different people, and explore the answers that they provide. Taking the time to find the answers will prevent any unnecessary confusion and allow you to see things from a different perspective, which will increase your creativity.

 

Curiosity

Curiosity is a trait that people typically associate with children. Curiosity, however, is a trait that we should all cultivate. A lack of curiosity is associated with depression. People who engage and cultivate curiosity are happier and more creative than those who do not. By taking the steps to improve curiosity, you will also improve your own creative process.

 

Spark Your Curiosity

The human brain responds to rewards. We are not likely to repeat behavior if we do not see the benefit, which is why rewarding curiosity is necessary to spark it. Look for intrinsic and extrinsic motivations that will help you on the road to pique your curiosity. The reward of satisfying curiosity is an example of intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is an external reward. Gamification, which borrows from gaming theory, is a useful tool to reward your curiosity.

  • Choose tasks related to curiosity: Make a list.
  • Assign points: Assign a number of points to each task. Tasks that are more difficult should be given more points.
  • Assign rewards: Better rewards have higher points attached to them. For example, a visit to a coffee shop could be 20 points, while buying an app could be 50 points. The rewards will depend on what motivates you.
  • Keep score: Find a way to keep track of your points that works for you. You could use anything from spreadsheets to phone apps.
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