Do These 4 Things To Be More Creative

Everyone has the potential to be creative — and there are key things you can do to enhance your own creativity.

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Everyone has creative potential and can learn to tap into it, according to Robert Epstein, a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology. In an interview in Scientific American Mind magazine, Epstein describes four skill sets or “core competencies” that his research has shown support creative expression: 

CAPTURING NEW IDEAS

Epstein recommends keeping a notebook or voice recorder with you, or recording your thoughts on your laptop — without judgment: “A big mistake people make is to start visualizing the criticism or feedback while they’re still generating [ideas]. That can shut you right down.”

TACKLING TOUGH PROBLEMS

When you’re in a tough situation, Epstein said, multiple behaviors compete with one another and interact to generate new ideas. You don’t have to actually solve a problem for the experience to be valuable. In the laboratory, “failure produces a phenomenon called resurgence — the emergence of behaviors that used to be effective in that situation — that leads to a competition between behaviors and to new interconnections. In other words, failure actually stimulates creativity directly.”

BROADENING YOUR KNOWLEDGE

“The more diverse your knowledge, the more interesting the interconnections — so you can boost your creativity simply by learning interesting new things.”

MANAGING YOUR PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENTS

This is similar to the third competency: “The more interesting and diverse the people around you, the more interesting you become.” 

 

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor and director of digital content.