Putting It All Together
Episode #10 of the course Enhance your creativity by K.C. Finn
Today, as we wrap up the course, we’ll examine how you can incorporate all the techniques we’ve looked at into a single lifestyle that promotes everyday creativity while also keeping you happy and stress-free in your creative life!
The Creative Lifestyle
Begin your day with a Brain Dump. Empty your mind of concerns, ideas, and everyday thoughts with three full pages of rubbish, straight out of your head. If you’re traveling or too busy for the full exercise, don’t forget that you can do a little Kickstart to meditate on your project wherever you are, allowing useless thoughts to flow away and writing down important ideas to use at another time. It’s always useful to clear your head before you start working, to be sure that those interruptions won’t creep up on you later. If they do begin to get in the way of your work, add them to your worry list and address them at the end of the day with a scheduled Worry Time. When you’re working on your goals, be sure to check your SMART categories to know that you’re on track.
During your working day, make time for creative breaks to train your mind into freedom and openness. Try to do something different but equally valuable every day. Arrange 30 minutes of Playtime. Schedule a Mindful Walk. Meet with Good Company—for example, creative friends for coffee and critique. Do these things spontaneously too, if you’re feeling stuck in a rut, or try Smashing the Block to keep your work flowing. When you’re staring down the blank page or battling thoughts of self-doubt, take a moment to Enforce the project and see where it leads you. Even if it doesn’t smash the block completely, you’ll still have gone another step in the right direction.
Mantras for Future Success
Your Time Is Never Wasted When You’re Being Creative. Even if you write a story that goes nowhere or compose a piece of music that turns out to be useless, the time you spent creating that object has not been wasted. Not only have you learned from the mistakes of what went wrong during that particular experience, but you’ve exercised the creative part of your brain, thereby making it stronger and more responsive to future projects.
It’s Okay to Be Ridiculous. Coming up with ideas is as much about getting things wrong as it is about getting things right. Not every song will be a big hit, and not every painting is a masterpiece. You’re a human being, and that means that sometimes you’ll do great and other times, not so great. It’s fine to experiment, to get things wrong, and to have some silly fun during your creative process. As we learned from our childhoods, being silly is a fun, positive experience that can lead to high levels of imaginative, original thinking. So, there’s no harm in letting your inner child out once in a while!
If At First You Don’t Succeed… Opening your mind to these new creative methods is not easy, particularly if you’ve never done any kind of meditation or creative thinking before. It might be that some of the techniques don’t suit you, but don’t assume that after you’ve only tried them once. A regular daily dose of creative training can open the mind up to all the techniques I’ve discussed during this course. As with anything else in life, hard work always pays off in the end.
It’s time to say goodbye for now! If you do happen to be a writer, don’t forget to take a look at my other Highbrow course, which teaches practical techniques for writing award-winning stories and novels. Now that your creativity is at its peak, you can use it to write that book you’ve always dreamed of.
I wish you the very best in all your endeavors and would like to thank you for taking this course. Until we meet again!
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer
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