• Creativity can be developed and strengthened.
• We share quotes from creative thinkers like Steve Jobs, Hans Christian Anderson, Jeff Bezos and Tim Burton to inspire you.
You may think creativity is innate; the truth is, it can be developed just like any other skills – you just need to know how. These quotes from renowned creative thinkers will show you how to jump out of the box and keep the creative juices flowing.
Find the Connections
What do birds and trains have in common? Creativity, according to Jobs, is the ability to connect seemingly unrelated things. It’s a mental “muscle” that can be trained using the Forced Connections technique: pick two random objects and try to make unexpected connections between them. This can be applied to real-life problem solving and here’s a famous example: inspired by the kingfisher’s ability to dive with little splash, the Shinkansen bullet train engineers designed a beak-shaped nose to reduce noise level – and that’s creativity in action!
Tell the Tale
The wait for inspiration can be a frustrating one. But inspiration is everywhere. And if Anderson could write stories about just anything that he encountered, then you can, too. All you need is a little imagination and observation. A simple improvisation exercise can help develop these skills: look around you and pick one thing that catches your eye – it can be a chipped mug, a cheerful colleague, or an eagle outside. Observe closely and identify everything that makes them interesting, then make up a backstory for them. Finally, add a plot twist – what would surprise people?
Limit the Unlimited
Have you ever stared at a blank page for hours, unable to put down even one word? Sometimes, when we’re given free rein to create something, we don’t know where to start. Boundaries don’t always stifle creativity – as Bezos said, constraints can drive innovation. Train your creative brain with a constrained writing exercise: the Six-Word Story Challenge, for example, pushes you to write an entire story in just six words. Experiment with different restrictions, such as using only a certain set of words, and see how far you can go.
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Draw It Fresh
Presenting your idea in a visual format often lets you see it in a different light – and you don’t have to be an artist like Burton. This drawing exercise can train you to look at things from different angles: draw the same object every day for a week, but in a distinct style each time. This forces you to examine the object closely for new details, while coming up with fresh ways to illustrate it. So, it will get harder each day, but with practice, your creative muscle will also get stronger.
Still feeling uninspired? These useful strategies will help you break out of that motivational funk.