Mental exercise is equally as important as physical exercise. Brain-ups must be added to pushups or your brain will certainly rust as fast as your muscles turn to flab. Exercise is a daily thing not an every once in awhile thing. If you play pool every day you get better at it, same with creativity. Here are a few to start the blood in your brain pumping…
1. Write every morning. I’ve been writing about an hour a day for 9 years. I have 450 articles, 3 books enough material for 4 more books and more than 500 ideas captured. I don’t know if this concept works yet. I’m going to do it another 9 years and review it. Each of us has a choice as to how we invest our time. I invest some of mine in writing. It has been the single most important factor in the foundation blocks of my success. Yes, there are other factors, attitude, the gift of intelligence, humor, drive and self discipline but I have found the more I write, the more I sharpen my creativity skills, the higher level I’m able to think clearly and (by coincidence or not) the more successful I’ve become. So it’s either dumb luck or smart luck, you decide for yourself. I’ve already made my decision. Just start a journal. It’s a great start – do it!
2. Create new ideas for old expressions. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. I would add to that, give the horse popcorn. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I would add to that, bring in an attractive member of the opposite sex as a teacher and his or her brain antennae will “perk up”.3. Set an idea quota. 3 new ideas a day will give you more than 1000 new ideas in a year. If you just give yourself a prescription that you take once a day(an apple a day), not 365 apples on December the 31st, you’ll find yourself slowly building your library of ideas and success.
4. Set a S.C.A.M.P.E.R. group. Don’t try to create in a vacuum. Use the SCAMPER chapter in Michael Michalko’s book, Thinkertoys, and form a creative idea group. Use Napoleon Hill’s Mastermind Principle. Put a bunch of smart people in a room and begin to generate thought verbalizations while the tape recorder is running. Eventually great ideas will begin to flow at waterfall volume.
5. Play charades. When you’re finished with the idea group, have some fun by creating 2 or 3 charades in teams. You probably haven’t played Charades in years. I promise you, it will stoke your creative fires and fuel your funny bone to a point where you’ll be gasping for air and crying with laughter. And you build your presentation skills at the same time!
6. Same Sex – Opposite Sex. Take the idea or concept that you are looking to enhance or develop and get both genders perspective. Men and women see things from different windows. You cheat yourself by not seeing or taking into consideration both perspectives. There’s a classic scene in Annie Hall where Woody Allen and Diane Keaton appear on a split screen and their psychiatrist is asking them the same question: How often do you have sex with your partner? Woody answers, “Hardly ever – 3 times a week.” Diane answers, “All the time – 3 times a week.” Same circumstance, different perspective. Take in as many perspectives of the same process as you can.
7. Read and implement immediately. Many books on creativity have ideas that they want you to try or exercise. You say, “Sounds good, I’ll have to try that someday.” Well the secret is: Try it now. If you wait, you forget. If you try it now, you own it.
7.5 MAJOR CLUE:
You will never get a creative idea watching reruns on TV. Your best chance for creativity is to substitute the TV remote for the keyboard or the book. Readin’ and writin’ will lead to earnin’ – and then you can use your creative juices for spendin’