Monday, 28 November 2011

How to be a Creative Genius

"Imagination is more important than knowledge"

When Albert Einstein made this statement, he was emphasising the importance he gave to creativity. His theories and ideas were extremely creative. He was one of the greatest thinkers of all time and it could be argued that he was one of the most creative people who ever lived. In fact, you could have more knowledge and education than anybody on the planet, and if you don't have a small touch of creativity to go with it, then it isn't worth much.

So what is Creativity?

According to the man himself, Einstein said that 'creativity is seeing what others see and thinking what no one else has.' Creativity is looking at things and asking 'why'. It is also looking at something that never has been and asking 'why not'.

And how do you do it? How do you become a creative genius like Einstein?

The first step needs to be getting rid of any limiting belief that only special people are creative.

There seems to be a popular myth that we are either born with or without creativity and we have no control over it. Yet scientists can show that everyone has a creative part of our brain (it is called the right cerebral hemisphere) and everyone has creative talent. We only have to look at a group of young children to see their creativity - the hours they spend in pretend games, playing with imaginary friends and amusing themselves with everyday items. Young children are keen to explore their world and are curious about everything around them, asking question after question to learn why, why not and how. Unfortunately, we learn more left brain, logical and reasoning skills, as we get older and lose some of our inborn creativity.

Research has shown that our tendency to have original ideas drops from 90% when we are 5 years old, to 20% at age 7 and to a drastic 2% when we are grown up. Thankfully though for those of us who have not suffered damage to the right-side of our brains, still have access to our creativity. Just because they haven't been used very much does not mean they are gone. And the great news is that there are ways to get them sparked back awake.

One of the best ways of increasing your creativity is to ask more questions. Going back to Einstein, he added that "The important thing is to never stop questioning. Curiosity exists for its own reason." So while curiosity might have killed a few cats, it can also help to turn you into a genius.

Another great genius, Leonardo da Vinci possessed a large dose of creativity. Imagine nearly 600 years ago, Leonardo was writing down his thoughts and ideas in his journal. Some of these ideas and achievements that Leonardo had were:
- plans for a helicopter
- plans for a submarine
- the design for the extendable ladder that fire departments still use.
- building the world's first hydraulic jack
- building a rotating stage
- and a water powered alarm clock

His journal also contained some fascinating questions including: Why do birds fly? Why do they slow down to land? Why do they have feathers? Interestingly enough there wasn't any answers to these questions. Why do you think this was?

Da Vinci wrote down these questions as they came to him because he knew how powerful the human mind is. Especially the power of the subconscious part of our minds. And by just asking the questions, he was giving his subconscious mind the opportunity to find an answer.

Take da Vinci's lead and keep a journal of your dreams, experiences, thought, problems and any other information that comes into your mind. This gives you a record of your ideas and when answers finally come to you, allows you to recall and develop your ideas.

Another great way to improve your creativity is through the technique of brain storming. Either done in a group or individually, brain storming is a method of idea generation done within a short time period.

In a brain storm, all ideas are written down regardless of how weird or out there they may seem. In fact, the most successful brain storms have no judgement of any given idea. This is because while the majority of ideas may be unworkable and ineffective, they may lead to the one that is ideal. They also have a time limit or a goal for the number of ideas required. This gives the team something to aim for and a real chance of finding the perfect solution.

Creativity is also developed by reading. It has been proven that as you read the subconscious mind creates images or visions. It allows new worlds to be opened up for you. It gives you the power to tap into other people's thoughts and experiences and expand your own creativity.

By increasing our creativity we also increase our problem solving skills, our ability to deal with other people and unexpected events. Plus we improve our chances of success.

So be like Einstein, imagine that it is so then let your mind go and prove it. Because the process of creativity and imagination comes before the hard work of experimenting.

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