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How to Master Creativity and Uncover Your Creative Genius

Creativity

The creative process is the act of making new connections between old ideas or recognizing relationships between concepts.

While being creative isn't easy, nearly all great ideas follow a similar 5 step creative process.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Master Creativity and Uncover Your Creative Genius

How to Master Creativity and Uncover Your Creative Genius

https://jamesclear.com/creativity

jamesclear.com

5

Key Ideas

Creativity

The creative process is the act of making new connections between old ideas or recognizing relationships between concepts.

While being creative isn't easy, nearly all great ideas follow a similar 5 step creative process.

The 5 Step Creative Process

  1. Gather new material directly related to your task as well as learning general material by becoming fascinated with a wide range of concepts.
  2. Thoroughly work over the materials in your mind.  Examine what you have learned by looking at the facts from different angles and experimenting with fitting various ideas together.
  3. Step away from the problem. Next, you put the problem completely out of your mind and go do something else that excites you and energizes you.
  4. Let your idea return to you. After you have stopped thinking about it, your idea will come back to you with a flash of insight and renewed energy.
  5. Shape and develop your idea based on feedback. For any idea to succeed, you must release it out into the world, submit it to criticism, and adapt it as needed.

Creativity is learned

Some people are primed to be more creative than others.

However, nearly every person is born with some level of creative skill and the majority of our creative thinking abilities are trainable.

How to Be Creative

  1. Give yourself permission to create junk.
  2. Create on a schedule. Genius arrives when you show up enough times to get the average ideas out of the way.
  3. Finish something. Anything. Stop researching, planning, and preparing to do the work and just do the work.
  4. Stop judging your own work. Laugh off your mistakes and continue to produce the thing you love.
  5. Hold yourself accountable. Share your work publicly. It will hold you accountable for creating your best work. 

How to Find Your Creative Genius

Finding your creative genius is easy

  • do the work, 
  • finish something, 
  • get feedback, 
  • find ways to improve, 
  • show up again tomorrow. 
  • Repeat for ten years. Or twenty. Or thirty.

Inspiration only reveals itself after perspiration.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Restrict yourself

Research suggests placing self-imposed limitations can boost creativity. 

It forces your brain to come up with creative solutions to finish a project around the parameters you’ve ...

Re-conceptualize the problem

Instead of thinking of a cut-and-dry end goal to certain situations, creative people sit back and examine the problem in different ways before beginning to work.

If you find yourself stagnating by focusing on generic problems, try to re-conceptualize the problem by focusing on a more meaningful angle.

For example: Instead of thinking “What would be something cool to paint?” rather ask, “What sort of painting evokes the feeling of loneliness that we all encounter after a break-up?”

Create psychological distance

Creating “psychological” distance may be useful for breaking through a creative block.

Try to imagine your creative task as being disconnected and distant from your current position/location - this may make the problem more accessible and can encourage higher level thinking.

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Pamela Slim
“We are made to create. We feel useful when we create. We release our ‘stuckness’ when we create. We reinvent our liv..."
Pamela Slim
Creativity is complex

It means producing something novel or original, evaluating, solving problems, whether on paper, on stage, in a laboratory or even in the shower.

Knowing how to think

Geniuses know “how” to think, instead of “what” to think.

People who are more creative can simultaneously engage brain networks that don’t typically work together.

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Early History

The connection between genius and possible insanity was first documented in 1891 in the Italian physicians’ book The Man Of Genius.

In 1869, this was taken up by the cousin of Charles Darwi...

Genius and Heredity

In a 1904 study by English physician Havelock Ellis, a list was made of 1030 individuals through extensive research, examining thoroughly the intellectual distinction people had by the various factors like heredity, general health, and social class.


These works established that genius minds are often hereditary.

Genetic Studies Of Genius

A body of work of Stanford psychologist Lewis M. Terman, was an in-depth multi-decade study of gifted individuals, and an attempt to improve the measurement of genius and its association with the degradation of mental stability. This also included an enhanced version of the French IQ (Intelligence Quotient) test.

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The right side of the brain
The right side of the brain

Creativity isn’t the preserve of one side of the brain, and it isn’t a talent confined to people with a special kind of brain. If you’re human and you’ve got a brain, you’re capabl...

The “Eureka!” moment

This myth encourages the belief that creativity is a passive process. It suggests you have to wait and hope that you’ll make a breakthrough.

That Eureka moment is actually the last step in a long, involved process and not the only step. For this to happen, your unconscious mind needs material to work with. You have to put in the hard work of studying and mastering your field and exposing yourself to different perspectives.

The lone, eccentric geniuses

In reality, creativity is a team sport.

The lone genius myth is a stereotype and it’s unhelpful because it suggests the route to innovation is to cut oneself off from colleagues and collaboration. You need a modest amount of intelligence to be creative, but extremely high IQ is neither sufficient nor necessary for being an innovator.

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Creativity: An Open Process
Creativity: An Open Process

The element of surprise is something creative professionals do not have in their radar, as they are having the ‘constraints’ of knowledge, expertise, skill and past experience to s...

Embracing The Uncertainty Of The Creative Process

Creativity becomes a moving, living thing when it is set free, and one has to incorporate multiple perspectives and ideas to foster and nurture the plant, facilitating the blossoming of something unique and truly innovative.

Ignorance is not an enemy, and it helps to shake yourself out of the plan and build something out of a unique flowering, where knowledge can be a hindrance.

Creativity Means Breaking Preconceptions

When we start something with a preconceived notion, we stifle any creative process. An open-mindedness combined with a willingness to experiment can provide us with a pleasant surprise in the final outcome, as we embrace the unexpected and are open to where the process takes us.

The unknown territory is to be reached in our path towards being creative when our expertise fails to hinder our experiments.

Divergent Thinking

Is the ability to generate many ideas or solutions from a single idea or piece of information. 

It’s thought to be one of, if not the most, important factor in creativity.

Convergent Thinking

Is the ability to take many pieces of information or data and generate one solution. 

It is largely taught and encouraged in schools and workplaces.

Exercising Divergent Thinking
  1. The Many Uses Exercise: Pick an ordinary object, set a timer for 5 minutes and try to come up with as many alternative uses for a paperclip as you can.
  2. 10 New Ideas: Every day for a week, try to come up with 10 new ideas within a specific topic or category.
  3. Daily Headlines: Imagine that your day was a news story in the New York Times. What would the headline be? 
  4. Articles on Trial: Challenge the conclusion of articles you read by coming up with one question you’d like to ask the author.
  5. Start to notice your automatic thoughts and generate alternatives to them.
Intelligence is not genius
Intelligence is not genius

Genius is not about having an extraordinarily high IQ, or even about being smart. It is not about finishing Mensa exercises in record time or mastering fourteen languages at the age of seven.

...
Geniuses and problem solving

Leonardo da Vinci believed you begin by learning how to restructure the problem by looking at it from many different angles.

In order to creatively solve a problem, the thinker should not use the usual approach that is based on past experience. Geniuses use several different perspectives to solve an existing problem and thereby also identify new ones.

Making your thoughts visible

_Galileo Galilei revolutionized science by making his idea visible with diagrams, maps, and drawings. Einstein believed that words and numbers as they are spoken did not play a significant role in his thinking process.

Geniuses seem to develop a skill to display information in visual and spatial forms, rather than only mathematical or verbal lines.

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Combinatory Play

We’ve all experienced that flash of insight, that fleeting moment when a solution we’ve been grinding away at reveals itself in an unexpected place.

Einstein, for example, was known...

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
“Creativity is just connecting things.”
How The Brain Works

The brain’s building blocks are neurons: nerve cells that receive and transmit signals along neural pathways. Certain pathways are forged at birth. Others can be manipulated by learning. 

So when you’re stuck in a rut, your brain’s neurons could literally be stuck on a neural pathway you’ve carved out through your behavior. But you can get unstuck by choosing to make new connections.

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Encouraging creativity within the team

In order to make sure that the team members make the most of their creativity, leaders should focus on creating working spaces where individuals feel at ease with each other and, therefore, feel fr...

Handling your team's ideas in the best way

When encouraging your team's creativity, you might find it useful to try all the new ideas they provide as soon as these have been introduced.

This way, your employees will feel trusted and appreciated. Moreover, you will most certainly have a nice surprise discovering that, at the very end, all this results also in an increase in productivity.

Creative Thinking Defined

Creativity is not just reserved for artistic tasks such as writing, painting or composing music.

Creative thinking is the ability to consider something – a conflict between empl...

Top Creative Thinking Skills
  • Analytical. Before thinking creatively about something, you first have to be able to understand it.
  • Open-Minded. Setting aside any assumptions or biases you may have, and look at things in a completely new way.
  • Problem Solving. Using your creativity to solve important issues.
  • Organization. Being able to structure a plan of action with clear goals and deadlines is vital.
  • Communication. Strong written and oral communication skills to communicate your solutions effectively.
Examples of Creative Thinking
Generally, anything that involves an “aha” moment is considered creative.
  • Artistic Creativity. You don't have to be an artist for your work to have an artistic element. For example: Composing a new fundraising script for volunteers or devising a lesson plan that will engage students.
  • Creative Problem-Solving. For example: Coming up with new procedures to improve quality or suggesting a way to improve customer service.
  • Creativity in STEM. For example: Constructing a research model to test a hypothesis or devising a computer program to automate a billing process.