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10 Ways to Cultivate a Creative Mind

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cultivate a creative mind - creativity

More often than not, success is synonymous with creativity. Thomas Edison is known as successful because he created the lightbulb. Richard Branson’s mega success came from his unique creations and branding of the Virgin company. Jony Ive, who has repeatedly been described as the creative genius behind Apple’s greatest products is indeed notorious due to his creativity. The list goes on and on with the numerous creative minds behind successful products.

If success comes with being creative, the crucial question then, is what does it take to possess a creative mind?

Creativity has been defined by neuroscientists as the ability to take disparate or scattered ideas and bring them together in new and useful combinations. Not surprisingly, the creative process of the mind is similar in bringing together different parts of your brain. Thankfully, much of the research in modern neuroscience has demonstrated that mental capabilities such as creativity are a result of a person’s own intentional activation of different parts of the brain. It is something that can be harnessed through practice, cultivation, and development.

Here are ten ways to spark off your creative mind!

 

 

1. The cloud exercise

You probably had to do this when you were a child, but do not let the simpleness of this cause you to think that it is not effective!

Clouds are notorious for resembling something else. Take a look up at a few different cloud formations and note what some of the shapes resemble. A tree? A Cat?

 

2. Increase your vocabulary

Most online dictionaries will always have a “word of the day” already featured. No need to try and chew up a ton of words in one go, just add one word a day to your vocabulary. Most importantly, find a way to use it during a conversation- that even makes it challenging and fun.

 

3. Pick any object and describe it ten different ways

What is in front of you right now? Most likely your laptop or computer. How many different ways can you describe it? Shiny…sleek…modern…silver…try and come up with ten adjectives for it.

 

4. Pick up a pencil and draw

Studies have shown that drawing activates certain parts of your right brain. You do not need to be the next Da Vinci to reap the creative benefits of trying to draw something you see. Just take a look out the window, or try and draw the coffee mug in front of you.

 

creativity picture quote

 

5. Do something with your non-dominant hand

Doing something unfamiliar will give your brain a kick in the pants and fire off neurons that will support your overall creativity. Whether it is brushing your teeth, combing your hair, or writing your name on a piece of paper, try it with your less dominant hand.

 

6. Learn a few phrases in a different language

Always wanted to throw out a couple of romantic French or Italian phrases? Learning a language activates the left temporal lobe of your brain. You will not only be able to impress someone with your bilingual talents but also do your creative brain a favor! Pick up a little phrase book from a used book store for a couple of dollars.

 

7. Play devil’s advocate to yourself

Come at a conversation or discussion from a different angle. Argue with yourself and force your brain to wrestle with a different side. Stretch your mind into having to reason through a different perspective.

 

8. Experiment

Try something new. If you are a foodie, step out and try a different ingredient or a style of cooking you have never had. If you are into concerts and music, try listening to something different. Uncharted waters gets the brain to lay some new creative networks. Ask yourself, “when was the last time you did something for the first time?

 

9. Learn a musical instrument

Most songs are a repetition or variation of four simple chords which are easy to learn on a guitar or a piano. Music is immensely powerful tool in activating creative parts of your brain as it stimulates multiple areas of your brain.

 

10. Find a different use for an item

A pillow could be used as a chair cushion- you do not have to actually go ahead and use it, unless you really want to, but come up with alternative uses for items in your possession. An empty jar of strawberry jam could be used as a drinking glass.

All these exercises are designed to activate dormant parts of your brain and cause different portions to work together in ways that they usually would not. This unique cooperation of different portions of the brain will create the perfect environment for your mind to be at its creative best.

A refugee from Vietnam, raised in Australia, with a BA from Texas, Thai writes for many publications including The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Addicted2Success. A professional chef, international kickboxer, and spiritual teacher, Thai is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves. Signup for his free weekly Infographics at TheUtopianLife.com | Connect @ThaiWins | On Facebook 

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. rayano

    Oct 28, 2015 at 3:31 am

    Nice articles thank you it even let less stress

  2. Band Grrl

    Mar 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Each week go somewhere new… Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) called it “The Artist’s Date”. Great book by the way.

    • Thai Nguyen

      Mar 14, 2014 at 6:08 am

      Thanks for the recommendation! Will definitely check it out.

  3. Daniel

    Feb 5, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    The drawing idea is actually interesting. Way back I would sit down and draw my dining room from my point of view. When I finished the replica blew me away. Now that’s creative.

    • Thai Nguyen

      Mar 14, 2014 at 6:07 am

      Hi Daniel, I gave drawing a shot a little while ago and had a similar experience! Worth doing just for that experience.

  4. Thai N

    Feb 5, 2014 at 4:24 am

    Glad you enjoyed it Ankit- hope you are able to start incorporating some of them into your life!

  5. Ankit

    Feb 4, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Hey Thai, the article is awesome. I am completely agree with you.

  6. Ve Dixon

    Jan 31, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Great Article.

  7. Steve

    Jan 31, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Great article!

  8. Naomi@quitmyjob

    Jan 31, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Thai,

    Creativity is important for success. A good business can’t survive without it.

    Meditation is also supposed to be very good from improving your creativity.

    I like the idea about musical instruments. I’ve been meaning to start learning how to play guitar for about a year now. Knowing it can help with my business is all a better reason.

    Thanks for the good read

    Naomi

    • Thai Nguyen

      Feb 1, 2014 at 2:03 am

      Yes, meditation! Great addition to the list Naomi! Thanks for your contribution. I taught myself guitar a few years ago and it has been great for giving my brain creative spurts! Wishing you all the best!

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