By Halin Roche
What could you use a paperclip for?
If you immediately say it’s used for holding sheets of paper, then you are thinking the traditional way. However, if you see different uses of a paperclip, that’s when your creative thinking comes out.
A paperclip can be used as a small screwdriver for delicate stuff, remove seeds off cherries, unclog pepper shakers, fix a zip, improve motor skills of a child, bookmarks, and much more!
The same is the case with writing.
Creativity is infinite but content keeps repeating itself one way or the other. This is not ethical as the content keeps moving in the same circle without any possibility for distinct and peculiar ideas.
Ergo, creative thinking plays a key role.
How do we boost our brain to get the creative juice flowing? Here’s how.
- Change the box
- Spice it with humor
- Break the patterns
- Opposing the usual
- Follow the freeze-unfreeze method
1. Change the box
“Think outside the box”, is a common phrase that we know. It means to let go of age-old notions and ideas concerning a particular idea and come up with unique ones.
But, how do you think outside the box when you are living inside it?
We are brought to believe that certain ideas are acceptable and others are unacceptable. It is similar to Ivan Pavlov’s experiment of classical conditioning.
Letting go of preconceived, “automated” notions is tough. It cannot happen overnight, but step-by-step.
Start by questioning the status quo. A bulb may not always indicate ideas; it could also refer to a warning bell. Don’t just avoid accepting things as they are, but make it a point to analyze the facts and come with valuable inputs.
2. Spice it with humor
Humor opens your creative thinking to a wider phase, which is ready to accommodate complex issues on a lighter, yet impactful note. Serious thinking is a double-edged sword. If you continuously think and express negativity without releasing it often, people may be overwhelmed.
But, if you top it with a punch of humor, your storyline will hit differently. It passes through a net of laughter and then as logic. Readers and listeners start to think and connect it with everyday situations. In the end, the main punch line removes all the assumptions and makes the reader jump into introspection.
3. Break the patterns
Following the same pattern will help you create content but not create a creative one. The work that follows a writer’s block is more interesting than the one with the usual patterns.
But how does one come out of the pattern?
Identify the way you assess a problem. Understand what made you think that way and then deliberately refrain from using it. Take on a new idea and make sure the approach works out.
For example, if you are someone who works on a schedule, try working at the last minute to see how your mind processes the deadline. And vice versa.
4. Opposing the usual
Creative thinking is not just centered on coming up with new ideas. It also refers to the mind-set of challenging the usual beliefs. Question the status quo and instead of being hesitant to welcome the change, adopt the idea, and present it with confidence. Don’t be embarrassed to embrace the new.
5. Follow the freeze-unfreeze method
Constant activity is a trap. It clogs your mind and you are neither in a position to go ahead nor behind. In that case, the best solution is to detach from the problem. Stop thinking about the task at hand for a while. Engage with other leisure activities you love such as music, reading, painting, or as simple as taking a walk.
When you allow your undisturbed mind to sort an issue, you tend to come with better ideas.
What are your thoughts about creative thinking? Let us know in the comments section.
Content writer with about two years of experience as a freelance writer. Interests include writing speeches, blog articles, reports, poems, book reviews, and book recommendations.
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