STEPHEN THOMPSON: Dozens of ways to boost natural creativity

STEPHEN THOMPSON

STEPHEN THOMPSON

Creativity is a skill everyone has to some degree. Interestingly, there are activities you can do to boost yours.

Act: Get outside in nature. Plant a garden. Take walks. Travel. Leave town. Go somewhere new and expand your world view. Can’t travel? Then pretend you’re hosting an out-of-town guest and go see the places you’d take them.

Do: Go dancing. Hit the gym. Have sex. Learn T’ai Chi. Take a belly dancing class. Exercise gets everything moving, including thinking and ideas.

Experiment: Do something you’ve never done before. Keep a dream diary. Wear something you wouldn’t normally wear. Take risks. Let go of fear. Challenge yourself. Cook something different, using new ingredients. Don’t always take the safest option. Make a few mistakes.

Socialize: Be open. Play. Go swing in a park. Take time to have silly fun. Hang out with 4-year-olds – they don’t have our adult hang-ups. Meet and interact with new people constantly. Brainstorm with friends. Tell your crazy ideas to people who “get you.” Get their feedback. Be open to criticism. Seek opinions from people who aren’t like you.

Learn: Keep up with trends. Check out your competition. Learn a new skill. Get a new hobby. Learn to play piano. Take guitar lessons. Practice, practice, practice. Make a commitment. Don’t give up.

Explore: Visit antique shops, exhibitions, museums and galleries. Go to the movies and theater. Read books. Read a fairy tale. Read a magazine. Read a page of the dictionary, encyclopedia or Wikipedia. Explore www.ted.com.

Question: Play “What if money were no object?” or “What could I do different with this object?” Embrace accidents. Think “What could this be?” Question the things you do routinely. Think for yourself. Stop comparing yourself to others and trying to be someone else’s idea of perfect.

Prepare: Surround yourself with books and objects you love. Doodle. Write stuff down. Journal. Take notes. Make lists. Carry a pen, notepad and sketchbook everywhere. Write every new idea down. Use sticky notes.

See: Notice small details. Sketch. Be curious. Use colored pens. Use different fonts to reflect your mood. Try free writing.

Plan: Get a calendar. Establish and keep a routine. Set goals. Finish something. Turn off distractions. Organize your desk. Declutter your workspace.

Set a timer. Take breaks. Get away from your computer. Drink coffee or tea. Do things occasionally in a different order.

Be grateful: Count your blessings. Pray. Meditate. Follow your bliss. Keep all your passions – you need not chose only one. Love what you do. Do more of what makes you happy.

Listen: Listen to music that speaks to your soul. Listen to live music. Explore www.http://8tracks.com. Sing in the shower. Watch foreign films. Listen to a storyteller. Be around creative people. Make up and share stories with others.

Know: Know the rules and know when to break them.

Be: Take naps. Let your subconscious work problems out while you sleep. Find time to enjoy solitude. Take five minutes to relax and be still to allow your thoughts to organize themselves. Creativity happens after times of preparing and incubating, and strikes when the mind is relaxed.

There you have it. Creativity is a skill you can heighten while living a beautiful life.

Live in beauty!

Stephen Thompson has been creating tasteful interiors since 1975. For questions, comments, or consultations text (662) 231-5519 or write Designer Connection, P.O. Box 361, Tupelo, MS 38802 or stephen2816@mac.com