If the brain is a muscle, and in a way it is, it is possible to train it or even to stretch it. But remember, being creative is hard and continuous work.
Here are some interesting ways to train the brain.
Strategy 1. Take Some Creativity Risks
The fear of doing things different is a killer of creativity. Overcoming that fear and turn it into 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. Makes sense, doesn’t it.
Strategy 2. Embrace The Problem
There are many opportunities to expand your creative thinking skills. There are zillions of them, you just need to see them. It is important to define the problem in a positive way as the discrepancy between the current and the wished for situation.
The bigger the distance between current and wished for situation,
the bigger the number of creative opportunities.
One of the most fundamental skills of creativity is the ability to recognize an opportunity and seize it.
Such opportunities present themselves daily at home, while driving to work, during meetings or lunch – or while just hanging out with friends.
When you’re aware of ‘the problem’ you’ll see them. Write them down.
Strategy 3. 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
But, 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. Besides assumptions can become so deep-rooted it doesn’t cross our mind to challenge them.
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 4. Use Alternative Thinking
To come up with a creative idea; you will often need a new point of view.
Creating a new solution to an existing problem, for example, may require looking at the problem from a fresh perspective.
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
In general people don’t like things that seem to be vague, or could have more than one meaning or application. As a result they tend to be rigid and highly predictable thinkers. Not creative.
Daring to think ambiguous 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 humor.
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. Read comics, Science Fiction or just magazines. Stroll the Internet. Keep the ‘problem’ in mind and find these creative solutions.
Strategy 7. Walk a mile in their shoes
We have the tendency to project things on ourselves and our own experiences. By changing your point of view in a literate way and putting yourself in the shoes of the other, creates a complete new perspective of things.
I often use my mother and try to look at the problem or solution from her perspective, but in general, just don’t think as yourself.
Strategy 8. 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 brainwaves, as opposed to the faster beta brainwaves associated with normal waking consciousness.
Alpha /theta brainwaves are the reason many people have creative ah-ha experiences during a nap, a stroll, or some other mentally-relaxing activity.
But be aware the reason for creativity: The Problem or Problems. And don’t forget to remember them or write them down.
Strategy 9. Supercharge Your Brain
The one thing that robs you of creative energy more than anything else is stress. Get rid of stress (it isn’t good anyway) and you will raise your (Creaitive) IQ, develop clear mental focus, study and learn better, and increase your creative output.