August 3rd 2009

Developing Your Creativity

“The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them.”
Proverbs 18:15 (LB)

Albert Einstein once said, “Significant problems that we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”

You must learn to think in a new way – you need a “paradigm shift.”

Leaders in the old Soviet Union eventually realized that simply trying harder to make the old Communist system work – didn’t work! What they needed was a whole new paradigm.

On a personal level I’ve noticed that when people are “stuck” in life it’s because they’re usually still framing their problem with a set of assumptions that no longer apply. Or they’re using the same problem solving techniques that they used in the past but ones that don’t work anymore.

You MUST develop your creativity to survive and thrive in the 21st Century.

Life continually involves problem solving. Creativity is the key to figuring out how to get from point A to point B – particularly when you’ve never done it. It’s the act of generating new ideas. Without creativity you run the risk of becoming obsolete in our rapidly changing marketplace.

Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing mysterious about being creative. The basic principle of creativity is simply combining two or more known ideas in a new way to create a new idea. This is a skill you can train yourself to do. And as people created in the likeness and image of a creative God, we all have the capacity to be creative. “The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them.” Prov. 18:15 (LB) It starts with awareness. Here are the five steps I use in the creative process:

1. State the problem clearly. What is wrong? Be as precise as you can. Vague problems are more difficult to solve. Where does the problem originate?

2. Set a specific goal. What is it that we really want to have happen?

3. Generate as many ideas as possible. The more ideas you have, the better. Force yourself to list 10 options. Brainstorm. Have fun. Be outrageous. Challenge the rules. Be off the wall. Use your intuition. Ask a lot of questions. Forget “realism” for the moment. Try crazy associations: How is this problem like an elephant?

4. Narrow your list down to the one best idea. This is difficult, but once decided, don’t keep changing your mind–move on to…

5. Take action! Do it now. Go for it.
Many of the most successful people made it with just one outstanding idea.

Father, The great Creator, you created us in your image and gave us this wonderful gift of creativity. Help us the develop and use this gift to grow and develop, to benefit mankind and prevent the harm in persisting with counterproductive activity.

Study by Fraser Murdoch

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