Often, creativity is associated with something dysfunctional – a problem needs to be solved, something that works badly could be improved. Rarely, we devote our creative ability to something that works well: “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!”
But by focusing our creativity on the problems, we are drawn to places where others already are or have already been. Because we can be absolutely certain that if something is a problem for us, it’s also a problem for someone else. This reduces our chance of becoming the first with something brand new.
By doing just the opposite; focusing on things that are not a problem, the probability dramatically increases to come up with something unique. At the same time, we train our creative ability to also serve us better to solve problems when they appear.
An effective way to do this is to every day take a step back and focus on something ordinary in your immediate surrounding. Perhaps something that you see or do every day without ever reflecting on it. Try to look at that in a completely neutral and objective manner.
Why is it right where it is? Why does it look like it does? Does it provoke any thoughts? Does it bring out any feelings? Could it be in any other way? Can it change? Can it be improved?
If you sit at your dinner table eating, you may consider the plate, the glass, the cutlery. Are these the most appropriate things for their purposes? If the glass was square, more glass could be placed in the kitchen cupboard. If the plate had a built-in heating loop, the food had not cooled so fast …
See this as a no-demand project of exploring your world. Most of the time, you will not get any new idea, but even once in ten would give you more than thirty unique ideas in a year if you make this a daily routine. And this habit will certainly both enrich your life and sharpen your creative ability. As it becomes a natural daily routine to focus on something neutral everyday, it will be much easier to creatively focus on the problems you will inevitably encounter.
Illustration: Pixabay.com – DaniloFernando