3 Steps to Greater Creativity
There aren't many people in the world who think, "I'm as creative as a person can get. I don't need any more creativity at all!" But there are plenty who think either you are or you aren't, and nothing can change that—as if creativity is as predetermined as height, shoe size, and hair color. Okay, bad example. Actually, creativity is as changeable as hair color. And there are some things you can do to increase it.
- If God is the ultimate Creator, and we’re connected to him by faith, then isn’t he the best source of creativity? Don’t all good and true ideas flow from him? George Washington Carver began each day with an earnest prayer that God would reveal to him the secrets of the peanut, as well as many other plants. He wanted to put more food in the bellies of the hungry. God answered by showing him more than 300 uses of the peanut and more than 100 of soybeans, sweet potatoes, and other crops. Now that’s creative. If you want a fertile field of ideas, ask the source and expect answers.
- Have intentional downtime. No one can be creative in a relentlessly high-speed lifestyle. You have to reflect. People who are productivity-minded tend to see downtime as a distraction or a waste. And it can be if it prompts one of those purely vegetative states—like watching SpongeBob or The Bachelor. But not all downtime is created equal, as these great habits Work actually becomes more productive if you take time away from it to let your mind flow in directions it doesn’t normally flow. Great ideas usually come from outside your typical thought patterns, not from within them. Otherwise, you would have had them before. So get out of the normal patterns.
- Cultivate the habit. Creativity is a habit? Yes—or at least the conditions for creativity are. If you spend time in “creative mode,” it becomes more habitual, and therefore more natural. It also helps to view/read/enjoy the works of other creative people too, not to copy them but to be inspired by them. Their works can trigger your inner genius.
Remember that creativity comes from being made in the image of a Creator. “I’m not very creative” isn’t an appropriate statement for an image-bearer. Neither is “I don’t have time for that.” Regardless of whether you’ve developed it or expressed it in the past, it’s in there somewhere. And if you ask for it, receive it, and give it room to grow, it will deepen your sense of connection with the one who gave it to you.