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Can Creativity Be Increased?

By Dr Jill Ammon-Wexler

Increase Your Creativity There is strong evidence that certain strategies definitely increase creative output. These strategies include…

Strategy 1. Embrace Your Problems
One of the most fundamental skills of creativity is the ability to recognize an opportunity and seize it. You have countless opportunities to expand your creative thinking skills. Such opportunities present themselves daily at home, while driving to work, during meetings or lunch – or while just hanging out with friends. There’s really no shortage of opportunities to refine and develop your creativity. The most basic approach is to recognize that a problem  may actually be a golden opportunity for a creative explosion – and seize the moment.

Strategy 2. Challenge Your Creativity Assumptions
It’s natural and necessary to make assumptions about the reality of our everyday world. We would otherwise spend all of our waking hours performing unnecessary mental analyzes of ordinary things. As a result, many times we see only what we expect to see. Our analysis of a situation or a problem is based entirely on assumptions based on our past experience or accepted knowledge. Plus assumptions can become so entrenched it doesn’t cross our mind to challenge them.

A problem may arise simply because we perceive a situation or condition through a set of false assumptions preventing clear thinking. Challenging your assumptions is an important component of creativity. This allows you to look beyond what is obvious or already accepted. And it leads straight to the creative breakthroughs you’re looking for.

Truly creative people in all fields of interest tend to automatically challenge both their own assumptions, and the commonly accepted knowledge about a problem. This mental attitude is the true source of all of the world’s great inventions and businesses. The moment you choose to challenge one of your assumptions as possibly untrue or incomplete,” you are on the way to discovering something new and different.

Strategy 3. Take Some Creativity Risks
A willingness to take risks is at the very heart of creativity. No creative person succeeds without first failing – as failures are part of the process of testing one’s assumptions. There is simply no creativity without failure.

To experience major creative breakthroughs, it’s important to become comfortable taking risks. Each failure you encounter will actually supercharge your creativity by generating new information. If you’re unwilling to take risks and deal with what ordinary people call failure, then you cannot expect to become a great creative thinker.

Modern neuroscience has shown that our brains are literally rewired each time we learn something new by making a mistake. The brain is designed to learn through the trial and error process.

Strategy 4. Use Alternative Thinking
To come up with a creative idea, you will often need a new vantage point. Creating a new solution to an existing problem, for example, may require looking at the problem from a fresh perspective.

There are many tools used by creative thinkers to create such a fresh perspective, including: Brainstorming, MESV creative visualization, and various other means of considering the problem from a fresh vantage point.

Additionally, a great way to kick start your creativity is to look at your problem from the vantage point of another profession. If you are a mechanical engineer, for example, how would an architect view your problem? Or if you are a product designer, how would an interior decorator approach your problem? This approach can lead to some remarkable creative breakthroughs.

Strategy 5. Accept Ambiguity
Many people prefer that everything be clear and unambiguous. They are uncomfortable with anything that seems vague, or could have more than one meaning or application. As a result they tend to be rigid, highly predictable thinkers.

A touch of ambiguous thinking during the idea generation stage of the creative process has the power to bring out genius-level ideas. People who can think ambiguously are fluid and flexible thinkers. The ability to think ambiguously can yield amazing creative insights. This is ability is experienced (and built) when you indulge in wordplay or humour.

Strategy 6. Expand Your Vision
An excellent way to build your creative muscles is to read and explore outside your normal area of interest. This can be especially useful when you are struggling to solve a creative problem.

Strategy 7. Massage your brainwaves
Creative thinking best occurs when your brain is in certain states called alpha and theta. You are in an alpha/theta state when your brain is producing a predominance of slower brain-waves, as opposed to the faster beta brain-waves associated with normal waking consciousness.

Alpha /theta brain-waves are the reason many people have creative ah-ha experiences during a nap, a stroll, or some other mentally-relaxing activity. But consciously entering into an alpha/theta state can be a challenge. Meditators spend years learning to initiate this state on will, but modern technology has introduced a much faster method of building alpha/theta expertise – Self Growth Planet. Be sure to check it out – your creativity will never be the same. Incidentally, a great side benefit of entering into the alpha/theta brain-wave state is virtually instant stress reduction.

The author of this article has written several books that can get you started. Go take a look, and get the free course by the author while you’re there =>> CLICK HERE FOR A FREE COURSE

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Solve Problems Easier

By Dr Jill Ammon-Wexler

At one time or another most of us have experienced feeling somehow stuck by a problem and uncertain of what to do. This can be very frustrating and unsettling. Here’s a brain-smart solution.

The challenge you face in such a situation is this: How can you move forward when you feel unclear about what to do in the face of the problem? Admittedly, such a lack of clarity can make it hard to find a solution.

Then stress adds fuel to the fire, because it is the exact opposite brain state required to find a solution to your problem. So you find yourself on a seesaw – stressed and feeling stuck – but still knowing you need to DO something.

Your Brain When Challenged

You have bumped up against your brain struggling to deal with an overload from trying to deal with a problem. When life is easy our brains function so smoothly we rarely pay attention to what is happening inside our skull. We primarily operate on an unconscious level as our brain automatically directs our thoughts and actions 95 percent of the time.

Introduce a complex problem with no clear solution and it is natural to begin to feel anxious. Our brain whirls around trying to choose from the possible answers to the problem. But suddenly your mental screen just goes blank and you feel utterly and totally confused.

Working Memory Overload

What just happened?

You overloaded a function of your brain called the “working memory.” Your working memory is a temporary workspace that lets you hold your possible solutions to your problem in mind while you analyze one at a time.

However your working memory has limited storage, and is prone to overload if you are stressed or anxious. In such a situation it can go blank – just like overloading a fuse in your home electrical system.

The Solution to Overcoming Challenges

So what can you do if you feel stressed, confused and uncertain when facing a problem? The only way out of a mind freeze is to choose from among your possible solutions and take action.

Emotion and thinking are closely tied together. Your emotions tell you how important something is to you. They are tied to motivation, since they actually pave the way for our actions.

So getting clear requires cutting through your emotions and putting some clearly focused attention on the problem at hand. Start with an analytical definition of exactly what the problem is.

Balance your choices using focused attention and truthful analysis of the challenge you face. The brain naturally focuses on one thing at a time – avoid the confusion of multi-tasking from one solution to the other in an endless circle. Really dig into each possible solution one at a time. Write down your possible solutions and note the pros and cons of each.

Finally weigh the pros and cons of the possible solutions to your challenge and identify what seems to be the most promising solution.

Take Action

The challenge you might face is: How can I take action without knowing for sure this is the best solution? This may involve just taking a small step in what seems to be the best direction, whether or not you feel certain your solution is the right choice.

There is great power in action. Movement in any direction will break your mind free from the cement of indecision. Your action will provide new information and experiences related to your problem. And since life is so totally unpredictable, who knows how your situation will change once you get into motion.

Even if you move on the wrong solution, at least you will break free of the painful, mind-numbing cement of indecision and come to more clarity!

The author of this article has written several books that can get you started. Go take a look, and get the free course by the author while you’re there =>> CLICK HERE FOR A FREE COURSE

Build Mind Power