When was the last time that you produced a truly creative idea?
Employers and customers want new ideas that are creative, innovative and novel. They need people that can generate unique solutions.
Why should you care? Well, most of us want to grow in our careers and businesses. We want to produce better results for ourselves and our families. You do this by standing out and being a top performer.
If its been awhile since you came up with an ingenious idea that was impressive to others, then it is time for you to get inspired!
Finding Inspiration for Creative Ideas
Chance is always powerful. – Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.
If you want to produce creative ideas, then you need to be fishing for them. You’ve got to intentionally do things that arouse your brain and generates creative thought. Ideas don’t just spring out of nowhere. They are born out of certain types of mental stimulation.
Have you been suffering from your own version of writer’s block lately? Do you feel dry and discouraged? If so, then you need to engage in some mind stimulating activities to jumpstart your creative juices.
Five Ways to Inspire Truly Creative Ideas
1. Set an Artist Date
The Artist’s Way is a book about creative recovery. In it, Julia Cameron recommends the Artist Date. She describes it as follows, “The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly ‘artistic’– think mischief more than mastery.”
You don’t have to be an artist to benefit from an Artist Date. The idea is to spend some time alone doing something you enjoy to loosen up and stimulate your mind. Spend it at a museum or taking a pottery class or going to a movie or watching a sunset. Do something you enjoy that is inspiring. Do it weekly and do it alone. I’ve found this to be very helpful. Here are 101 Artist Date Ideas to get you started.
2. Attend a Seminar or Retreat
I recently attended a day and a half seminar related to my career field. I talked with other professionals, heard presentations and mingled socially. I do this annually, but I should probably do it more often. It is incredibly mentally stimulating. I always walk away with new ideas and directions to explore.
Whatever your interest, there are others out there that love the same thing. Find these people and start congregating with them. I’m a bit of an introvert so, I kind of have to force myself to engage in these group settings, but afterwards, I’m always glad I did. They are definitely mentally stimulating. Be sure you take copious notes because the ideas will flow and you’ll lose them if you don’t record them in some way.
3. Get Outside and Read
I get some of my very best ideas when I take a lawn chair to the prettiest park in town and sit outside reading a great, thought-provoking book (here’s some I like). If you have a properly equipped netbook or iPad you could even read free motivational blogs (like this one) while at the park. Whatever the material, this is definitely a technique that works for me.
The combination of nature’s beauty and the mental stimulation from the book seems to make my mind race. I always take my notebook so I can scribble down my ideas as fast as they pour forth. This is absolutely one of my favorite ways to generate truly inspiring and creative ideas.
4. Sit Still and Be Quiet
Solitude is a lost art. There is so much “noise” in our world today that our minds get overwhelmed. It may not be stimulation that you need. It may be quiet time to give your mind a rest. Brains that are overstimulated tend to lock up like a computer. The only way to reboot is to get away from all the hustle and bustle for awhile.
Depending on how overstimulated you’ve become, you may need an hour or a week to fully refresh and rejuvenate your brain. The key is to let your mind unwind. You’ve got to break your addiction to constant input to give your mind time to think. So, leave Facebook, the iPod, television and your mobile phone at home. Find the quietest and most peaceful place possible and just relax. Do nothing for as long as it takes. You’ll find your creativity coming back to you.
5. Go On an Purpose-Driven Adventure
Going someplace new and exciting is a great way to get your mind churning again. There are a ton of great adventures that can help you regroup mentally. One of the reasons that our minds grow stale is because we lack purpose. The adventures I suggest were specifically selected to help you rethink how you are spending your time.
Once you reconnect with a solid purpose in your life, you’ll find that your creativity will return. It goes along with the old saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” When you have the proper inspiration, your mind will deliver all the ideas that you need to accomplish the mission. You’ve just got to find a task that your brain can sink its teeth into. A purpose-driven adventure might help.
So, what do you think? Are you going to try one of these ways to generate some new creative ideas? If so, which path will you follow? Leave a comment and let me know.
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