Pop culture is dominated by the young, the beautiful, and the creative. Regardless of age, career, or stage of life, creativity is in there somewhere for everyone. It may seem more difficult to harness than it once used to be, but after getting a few projects under your belt, creative thoughts and ideas will come to you as naturally as ever. If you’re looking to unleash the powers of the right side of your brain, here are some tips that can help you tap into your creative genius on your own time.
Make your environment inspiring
It’s difficult to unlock your full creative potential unless the right environmental conditions are at play. The state of your mood and situational timing are factors over which you have little control, but your physical environment is a different story. Make your apartment a fun, happy, and creative space where you feel inspired. Choose works of art and desk accessories that make you think. Keep your desk clutter-free and organized. Comfort is also important. You should be able to comfortably spend hours at a time in your creative “studio,” wherever that may be.
Listen to music
Music is a manifestation of the creative mind, and it can inspire creativity in others. Unless it’s difficult for you to be productive while music is playing, try listening to music more often. Listen to music you know and like, but also listen music you’ve never heard. Listening to music from a genre you’re not acquainted is a great way to open your mind.
Engage with your surroundings
Try not to perfunctorily go through the motions of your daily life. Instead, engage with your surroundings. Observe and participate. Appreciate natural phenomena occurring around you. Tune in when your coworkers or loved ones are talking. Closely read literature and watch movies, thinking critically about the events unfolding before your eyes. This engagement is sure to come out in your creative work, making it more interesting.
Meditation can help you break free from your conscious mind. It may even yield creative epiphanies and breakthroughs. Meditate on your observations, your relationships, and your feelings. It’s a great way to process your experiences through an alternate lens that is still uniquely yours.
Acknowledge and address your biases
We all live with experiential biases. These biases are unconscious, and it takes training and effort to ensure they don’t come out too strongly in our work. Creative works need not be bias free. Some of the most widely respected paintings, drawings, songs, and poems are rife with strong opinions and world views. In many instances, these works are effective in part because of the ideas that influenced them. It’s just good to be aware of your biases so they don’t find their way into your work and have unintended affects on others.
Explore a range of creative mediums
Are you so drawn to one creative outlet (writing, painting, making music, etc.) that you haven’t explored others? Continue to foster the outlet you’re most passionate about or feel you have the most talent in. But explore other creative outlets as well. Give free writing a shot, if it’s something you haven’t done before. Pick up some acrylics and a brush and give painting a whirl. Flex your vocal cords and see what type of range you have. Get creative in the kitchen. Work in your default creative outlet will benefit from this exposure to other outlets. And you just may discover a new passion while you’re at it.
Harvest thoughts and ideas
Your mind is full of thoughts, many of which are probably quickly dismissed. This is a practical response to life in the modern world, but it can stifle your creativity. Do yourself a favor by setting aside times to let your mind wander. See where it goes. Jot down notes about the thoughts and ideas you have. Use brainstorming exercises if you’re struggling. They’re a great tool for encouraging creative thinking.
One reason young people may be viewed as more creative than older people is the common perception that youth, generally speaking, have less to lose. Regardless of whether this is true, most of our most celebrated works of art, discoveries, and inventions rely heavily on people’s willingness to take chances. You don’t need to risk losing your job or put your life on the line in order to create or discover something admirable. You do, however, need to risk feeling like a failure when something doesn’t turn out as you hoped.
And when you do fail, embrace it. Celebrate it. Learn from it. Failure is inevitable when you experiment and take chances. Let your failures motivate you to work even harder at tapping your creative genius. Your creative side will thrive.
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