We are all born to be creative and innovative and yet somehow many of us seem to forget that we have this birthright.
Maybe you found yourself in a situation where you had a really great idea, but you weren’t sure whether it was good enough, so you said nothing. Or maybe you brought it up but then you said it so quietly or presented it in an unclear way that no one really heard you. Or maybe no one was ready to hear that idea at that time.
Worse, someone else brought forward a similar idea and it gained traction for the people you are working with. In addition, that person gained accolades as the source of that idea.
There are a bunch of reasons why these things happen — over and over again.
There are also a bunch of things that can be done to help you address these issues. If being heard about a great idea is something that you hold close to your heart. Most of us do, whether we wish to reveal that or not.
Wherever you might find yourself on this continuum, these are things that I have studied closely over a long time and feel ready to share with many what I’ve discovered along the way.
For this inaugural blog post, let’s start with 3 elements to boost your creativity and innovation.
We’ll touch on elements within three distinct and overlapping spheres: mind, heart, and will.
Creativity and innovation can start in your mind — But not always necessarily
When it comes to creativity and ideas springing forth from your mind, there is one thing that you can do with your mind that equips you to produce amazing results.
Keep an open and curious mind willing to learn about a lot of things in a lot of different areas.
For all kinds of reasons that make sense and also don’t make sense, a lot to do with how things work in our world, we find ourselves facing compartmentalized bodies of knowledge into domains or disciplines.
This can give the false illusion that we have to colour within the lines, so to speak, by staying within the boundaries of the discipline or domain. Who said? Anyway, that topic for another time.
For now, keep in mind that the most interesting creative ideas and innovations come from the crossroads between disciplines or domains of knowledge. This is the place where they intersect.
Also, ideas and solutions that have emerged in one domain might not have been tried yet in a different domain. So similar applications in different areas can lead to interesting results. Conversely, different applications in similar areas also lead to interesting results.
The more information, ideas, concepts and so on that you are able to internalize within your mind, the more interesting combinations you can move around in your mind in different configurations when you undertake your creative and innovative thinking exercises.
Feelings hold greater sway over your ability to create and innovate — More than our mind allows us to know
Intuition, a gut feeling, a moment of inspiration, guidance and insights received… all of these refer to something that appears to be outside of ourselves to bring forward creative and innovative ideas.
But are they really outside of ourselves?
Perhaps to our mind, yes.
But they are in fact in many cases part and parcel of who we are. The access point is different, however. The access point to these considerations stems from the heart.
I’m not referring to a mechanized version of the heart that basic biology lessons have taught us.
I’m talking about our hearts being a doorway to a space deeper within us that allows us to see and understand things differently than how our minds see things.
In my observations, there are a bunch of reasons too why there seems to exist a push and pull between the heart and mind. That’s another conversation for another time.
For now, what’s essential is to focus on making that distinction. If your mind seems to resist this notion, it’s a signal that this is good time to tell your mind who is truly the master of your body, and it’s not your mind.
You are more than your mind.
You are your feelings too.
And so much more. Yet, another conversation for yet another time.
Let’s maintain focus here!
Creativity and innovative ideas will and do bubble up from your feelings and how you perceive things. “Thinking” creativity and innovation has its limitations. It can only go as far as the mind has the bandwidth and knowledge to do so.
Feeling with the heart allows you to leap over that chasm to bring in more interesting ways to frame a problem, ways to consider solutions to address that problem, applications to test out the ideas and more.
On being “more” creative and innovative — Your will is where the magic of action happens
Consider a gifted painted who has natural talent or ability. With consistent application, they could eventually produce incredible art.
Yet they don’t!
There are usually a bunch of reasons why they don’t or cannot. Too much work, too many obligations, not enough time, not properly equipped and so on. And logically, these reasons are all valid.
Yet… something doesn’t quite make sense.
When one steps back and looks at the bunch of reasons as a collection, the collection seems to signal something else. This could be resistance due to fear of failure, for instance. Or in some cases, resistance due to fear of success. Both work equally successfully at holding back the gifted artist from bringing forward into the world the full potential of their body of work.
This happens more often then we’d like to admit to so many people. It is a very sad situation. We all live it, to some extent.
We all have special gifts that we might be expressing or holding back at different levels.
This is not about making you feel wrong or guilty. Not at all! This is simply about acknowledging a state of affairs. Recognizing a situation as it is — which can then lead you to changing things around. How can one change one’s future if one cannot acknowledge one’s present in its current state?
So that’s the third element to boost creativity and innovation – Acknowledge to yourself where you’re at when it comes to applying your bundle of talents in consistent ways.
It’s a big job and takes time to work through each talent. There are a bunch of reasons too why this is so, and undoubtedly food for thought and more conversation.
However, don’t let your fears or worries stop you from getting started. Each step leads you to doors you can open but might not even know exist. The irony being, you can’t know those doors exist until you take those steps unpacking and understanding what your bundle of talents might in fact be.
In many ways, it’s an act of faith – believing in you!
And that is definitely another topic for yet another conversation, or possibly even many conversations.
So, to recap…
What are three elements to help boost your creativity and innovation?
- Be curious and learn a lot about different things
- Your feelings are a valid point of entry for creativity and innovation so be sure to understand how your heart and mind operate in different ways
- Applying ideas in practical and consistent ways leads to the discovery of solutions
- Bonus: Have faith in your bundle of talents!
A case study on creativity and innovation: An author’s blog or website
While writing this blog post, I noticed I wanted to talk about so many more things related to these themes of creativity and innovation. There are many things I’ve discovered in my own journey studying these topics, sub-topics, intersecting topics and so on.
While I did not intend to start and stop so many topics when I started to write this blog post, these placeholders for additional conversations tie in very nicely with the intention that I had set for myself for this blog post.
In my own experience and observation, author blogs and websites can both be interesting and boring at the same time. Interesting because of the ideas the author brings forward. Boring if there is too much of: “I thought this” and “I did that” and “I launched this” and “someone I know is doing this” and so on.
While I do believe that it’s important to have a website acting as a hub for one’s body of work, in previous iterations of this website I found that I struggled sustaining the momentum producing relevant and useful content to stay personally engaged.
I also wanted to find a way to reduce the risk of falling into what I call the “author announcement trap” and the website giving off “me, me and more me” vibes.
In addition, the platform itself needs to have inherent value and interest for the reader — from everything that I’ve learned about websites and branding and so much more about marketing etc. etc.
It is my hope that this version of my hub website – a 3rd or 4th attempt (for a bunch of reasons for other conversations down the line) – with this dual focus, will be more interesting and easier to sustain over the long term.
My hope is that talking about things that I have studied and learned a lot about out of personal interest over much of my life to date will ensure that I can draw on a deep and wide well of knowledge and experience to populate the content…
… and that these ideas can be of benefit to readers like you.
If you feel it might be interesting to join me on this journey and see where our conversations might lead you in boosting your creativity and innovation, be sure to register your email so that you can be kept in the loop as the body of work unfolds.
P.S. Available to you an opportunity for a chat to help you boost your creativity and innovation. No obligation. Simply, if you’re looking to bounce ideas off of someone in a one-on-one conversation to help you get a better sense how to increase your creativity and innovation, you can book a Creativity & Innovation Chat with me.
Curious about the topics flagged above and discussed in greather depth elsewhere?
Below, for your convenience, references (and placeholders) for the conversations I hope to bring forward to topics I alluded to above.
- When you have a great idea but doubt its value
- When you have a great idea but it’s not getting traction
- The impact on creativity and innovation when you can blend heart, mind and will
- Dealing with the compartmentalization of knowledge
- Working with emotions in effective ways to create and innovate
- Leveraging the value-add of the “mind” of the heart
- The role of application to boost creativity and innovation
- Dealing with the force of resistance to boost your creativity and innovation
- Unpacking your bundle of talents
- Believing in you is an act of faith
- What setting intentions can do for you when creating and innovating
- There is only failure when you give up