5 facts about creative thinking

Creative thinking is an essential skill. Unfortunately, many people don’t fully understand what it is and how it can make their lives easier. For all those people (and those around them); here are five things you should know about creative thinking.

1. Everybody is creative

Many people believe they just aren’t creative. A sad misconception. By believing you are not capable of generating creative ideas, you limit yourself. The fact is that almost every person in the world is capable of creative thought. Creative thinking is a skill. A skill that can be trained and a skill you can improve. Like any skill, some people will have more talent for it than others, but everyone can learn to be creative.

2. Creative thinking is serious business

Unlike what some people think, creativity is not just for artists and children. Creativity is incredibly useful and important in any business. Creative thinking is a way to do things more cleverly. It can help you to do your work faster, with less effort and with more results. You’d think such a skill would be applauded in any company. Strangely enough, many people consider themselves too busy to spend any time on creative thinking. Often, being creative is seen as something you do in your free time. This means a lot of creative potential in organisations is wasted. By taking creative thinking seriously, you’ll get to reap the rewards. Not just in your personal life, but especially in your work. Practice creative thinking daily, even if it’s just a few minutes. Do a short exercise to improve your skills, or even start a club of like-minded people so you can practice with others.

3. Creative thinking requires discipline

Creative thinking requires discipline. Not just because you should train your skills by practising creative thinking often, but also because if you truly wish to generate unique ideas, you should generate LOTS of ideas. Quantity leads to quality. To get the best results you’d be wise to use a structure. A great way to bring structure to your creative process is by using thinking techniques. By following certain steps, you force yourself to generate creative ideas.

4. There is no right answer

When thinking about a challenge, people often are looking for THE solution. This is a mistake. It limits your perspective and makes you settle for subpar ideas. Keep in mind that there is always a better idea. Few, if any, problems have just one solution. Even if you find an excellent solution, keep going and see if you can find an even better one. Challenge assumptions and see if you can bend or break the rules. What everybody considers obvious might be long obsolete. A creative thinker looks for different ways to solve a problem.

5. There is no such thing as failure

If you’re looking for creative ideas, you should not be afraid to fail. In the quest for original ideas, there is no such thing as a failure. Even ideas that don’t work are valuable. If you ‘fail’ you learn something. Even if it’s just that a certain approach doesn’t work. Failure gets you a step further. Think about what Edison said to one of his associates, who was discouraged after yet another failed experiment. Edison told him that, despite having conducted thousands of experiments without solving the problem, they hadn’t failed. “For we had learned for a certainty that the thing couldn’t be done that way and that we would have to try some other way.”


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