How To Think More Creatively With These 7 Steps

Art or Science?

You're right, creativity is both.

If you're caught up believing 'you're either creative or not' - then you're using a proven formula for limiting your creativity. Whatever you tell yourself - you're right. So let's flip your thinking.

Imagine placing a 'pause button' on judging your creativity - and then, just for a moment, think about creativity generally in a slightly more useful way. Because creativity comes in all sorts of forms. Yes, it can be in producing beautiful pieces of art. And yes, it can be in solving problems with a little innovation.

While I mostly focus on the creative sides of things on this website - there is a deeper root to creativity. And it is in the science - or the structure - of creative thinking. At its heart, creativity is the double-helix - our creative DNA - needed for survival and thrival ... (yes, I know it's not a word - but it rhymed!!!) 

In the video below, I take a look at a model of creativity developed by Robert Weisberg's through his CHOICES model which explores the 7 steps needed to think more creatively.

1. Developing a creative mindset

Creativity is a skill every one of us has. 

2. Habitual thinking

Requires us to develop a level of expertise requiring practice, reflection and experience. Excellence is often reached through 10,000 hours to develop the depth of thinking required. Creative people have a broad range of interests which allows them to transfer knowledge between domains.

3. Ordinary Thinking

You don't need to be a genius to 'think'. Extraordinary results and creative advancements all begin with the thinking strategies we apply to everyday problems.  Watson and Crick, in developing the double-helix model for DNA followed 3 critical steps: collaboration, developing an approach, creating a model. Picasso painted Guernica in response to a bombing at Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. His work touched a nerve with the public, that change can occur. It needs someone to create the spark.

4. Incremental Thinking

Taking small, yet measurable steps that build towards giant leaps lead to those wonderful a-ha moments. Incremental thinking builds on 'ordinary thinking'. 

5. Conscious Thinking

Involves focusing on the issue or project you're working on and 'tiring' the mind so that during rest or sleep your unconscious mind can continue the work and create connections between ideas.
6. Evolutionary Thinking

Creative thinking builds on all that has come before. Ideas aren't created in vacuums. They draw from what has already evolved.

7. Sensitivity Thinking

This involves having the flexibility and adaptability to incorporate new and different ways of thinking to help move your work forward.

How Can You Use This Thinking To Enhance Your Everyday?

Thinking never stops - unless you're mindfully meditating. Even then, it's the focus that keeps things centred and directed. Over the next week, aim to choose one way of broadening your thinking. It may be through going somewhere different. It may be going a different way to school or work. It may be trying new recipes. It may be taking up a new hobby. 

Whatever it is, do it deliberately and keep your mind open for new opportunities and ways of approaching different problems with a slightly different mindset.

No guarantees that you'll become an overnight genius. 

But there aren't any guarantees that you won't either.

Chance favours the brave ... as they say.

Share your thoughts in the comments below - what will you do to bring more creative thinking into your day?