We’re incredibly lucky. We live in an environment where man has managed to overcome the turmoil of having to be constantly fighting to satisfy our primary physiological needs, such as food and shelter. This situation has opened the gate towards the pursuit of aesthetic ideals and virtue. We can become more creative and that’s what civilization needs most right now.
What distinguishes man most from the rest of the animals is the ability to foresee the future and our consciousness to experience time. We can differentiate ourself in the present and imagine ourselves being in upcoming scenarios.
Moreover, we can even conjure up mental images in our head at this very moment. Our mind has the power to alter our perspective on things at a moment’s notice and thus change our reality. Our thoughts can create a whole nother world inside of us.
However, that is not where it ends. Once we have crafted these mental images we have the possibility to turn them into reality. Our thoughts draw the blueprint, and our actions manifest the idea into its physical form. It’s a transportation of substance to matter.
A Mythical Story
The god of Ancient Greece Zeus was able to do just that. One day he had a huge headache which gave birth to his daughter Pallas Athena.
From the man’s forehead she entered into life in full battle gear and with a war cry. It is said that when the god had in mind the making of a world through a word his first thought was Athena.
He projected the woman into reality without planning it ahead. The act was both creative in terms of Zeus being an actual creator as well as how the events turned out. Creativity is unprdictable. Sometimes we just have something inside of us that wants to see daylight, we need to let it out.
Creativity is a virtue of the gods. Now is the perfect time to become more creative. Mankind has reached a point where our physiological needs have been met and are more than abundant. Our evolution is at a tipping point, where we can turn our existence into something great.
We have the possibility to transcend the final frontier between our species becoming godlike. The purpose is to not become masters of the Universe, but to bring more beauty and amazing experiences into the world, whilst reducing suffering and turmoil.
Soon enough we’ll have the technology. What we need to do is to become more creative, which would not only help to get us there but to use our abilities appropriately.
Our limiting beliefs are what hold us down the most. If we think that something’s impossible, then it will most definitely stay that way. If, however, anything’s possible, then there will be no restrictions to what can be. We can achieve anything we set our mind to.
Become More Creative and Pursue Dreams
First of all, we should look at what we’re talking about. Creativity requires 2 characteristics to be met. The outcome has to be innovative and useful. For something to be characterized as such it needs to bring something new and beneficial to the table.
It’s not about Bohemianism but being a creator – shaping one’s own life as well as manifesting it in the world around us. Creativity can be found all around us. Nature itself is an example of creativity. Evolution is conducting change in all of the species involved and also the environment, which itself is an act of creation. The world is a canvas that gets constantly thrown paint upon.
In Everything You Do
Creativity is not restricted to any specific domain. It’s not just about great pieces of art. Our ideas can manifest themselves in any are of our life, whether that be science, literature, medicine, education, technology etc. All of those vocations need fresh ideas and people who change the status quo. It does not even have to be connected directly to physical matter but can also come in the form of poetry, dance, music etc. It’s about creating just for the sake of doing so.
There is nothing wrong with repeating the works of others like in the case of musicians. In fact, in my opinion it’s even a lot better, as it will give rise to new ideas and ways of approaching a piece.
Moreover, our individual perspective will always differ on things and, therefore, nothing can ever be repeated in its original form. It’s not only about the song that is played, but who and how they do it. The mood or frame of mind of an artist is attached to their work and will always stay there. This applies to books, dance, technology, everything.
The Talent Myth
Another important thing to realise is that creativity can be learned. It’s not talent, and something we’re born with, but is like a skill, and the result of a lot of practice. We all have the potential to create, as our individual perspective may reveal insight to something new. Mastery is achieved with time and effort not genes. (Put in 1% more effort).
Lack of creativity isn’t caused by the person’s inadequacy. Most of the time it’s the result of a lot of conditioning in the wrong direction. Towards not expressing one’s ideas and putting a collar around one’s own neck which impedes anything but what’s expected of them surfacing.
If the society tells you to stay inside the box at all times then we will inevitably stay in it forever. Poking the box or going out of it will seem not only the wrong thing to do but also dangerous. That is not the case and we need to become more creative by overcoming these limitations set there by others and enforced by our own belief systems. (Face fear).
It’s like a rebellion. Become more creative and you revolt against your own mind trying to impede your progress and expansion. Growth cannot be stopped and we can make our own terms with life. In nature one cannot choose to not grow or improve. You either move or perish. Our dreams can and will turn into reality if we allow it to happen.
That’s what every great scientist, artist or musician has done. They’ve questioned what’s possible, realised that anything’s possible, dreamt about something beautiful, envisioned it in their head and taken the necessary steps towards manifesting their ideas into reality.
Moreover, they’ve removed their limitations and allowed their most craziest and abstract of ideas to flow out of them. It’s not only about being expressive and creative. We need to be able to catch them before they float away. We all get great thoughts from time to time, but the ones who manage to grab a hold of them and work them out are the ones who will succeed and become creators of something magnificent.
That is why it’s as important to be productive as it is to become more creative. Bohemian-like artists may have art in their soul and life but if they don’t make the necessary adjustments to their being then not only will their work suffer but they won’t be able to reach their truest potential either.
Creativity as our Nature and Purpose
We’ve been creative ever since the dawn of mankind. Cave paintings, decorative accessories, symbolic stories, myths, production of tools and technological advancement are embedded in the hunter-gatherer way of living.
It hasn’t stopped there as throughout history we’ve become more creative. Our art, technology, architecture, science etc. have all increased in complexity and quality. Not that any piece of work is comparable, in terms of value, but the direction of this development indicates that if you leave man alone with his thoughts he will begin to create.
Creativity is in our nature. We’re considered to be warlike creatures trying to win the natural selection but we’re more than that. It’s more of a trap we’ve fallen into not what actually defines us. What we really want is to create.
Creativity in Society
That is what people after the dark ages realised. They understood the power of creativity and the necessity of it. Become more creative by becoming a Renaissance man, someone who innovates and is self-actualizing. Being as great as one can be.
People like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael were all more than creative. They were artists, scientists, innovators all at the same time, which was the biggest reason for their magnificent levels of expertise. This is what creativity is all about. Experiencing the world and oneself in it, going through an Odyssey of the mind and body which gives face to some sort of a narrative and meaningful expression of virtue as well as beauty.
This will transcend mankind from being stuck in the rut of thinking that the physical realm is all there is to it. Creativity is a path towards enlightenment, higher vibrations of consciousness through the manifestations of our inner creator. Man is made to become a creator as our nature indicates. Creativity is the journey towards becoming godlike which ought to be the purpose of our species.
The Gauntlet of Creativity
We’ve come to terms with the fact that we’re all creative. Ingenuity and innovation is a part of the genetic blueprint of our species. It’s in our genes, DNA as well as neurons.
Therefore, our work can never be claimed to be entirely ours. There is no individual SELF in the midst of creativity, it’s all the result of the ideas of others, our own and the contribution of our collective consciousness.
In ancient Greece artists, sculptors and writers never attributed their creation to themselves. They realised that the concepts they’ve created came to them from an external source. While they were working on something a deity of some sort would shroud their mind and guide them through the dark forest, so to say.
As any creative person can tell, it’s very difficult to describe how or when creativity happens, it just does. When in this mode our brain communicates with this higher source of existence that can be called the pool of human wisdom. It’s a connection difficult to make but once it’s done everything will begin to flow.
The concept of FLOW is incredibly vital for creativity. It’s a state of mind where we’re completely immersed by the activity we’re doing. Everything else, even the sense of time, loses its importance. By narrowing down our attention and focus we get in touch with this external deity aswell as the deepest thoughts of our own.
However, FLOW is useful only at the actual process of creating, when we’re doing the work and turning that substance into matter. To become more creative we need to be able to connect with the source in everything we do, so that a solid foundation could be laid.
This means changing our mode of being. Who we are, how we think and what we do. It’s the necessary conditioning we need to have that will improve our skill set and allow us to become more creative. There are some things that promote and impede this goal.
What Impedes Creativity
- Thinking inside the box. This means limiting your thoughts to certain parameters and boundaries. Going outside of it and crossing the line is scary as it puts our belief systems in danger. Dogs trained to get shocked when they try to jump out of their cage will stay in their given vicinities even when there is no barriers surrounding them. They’ve created an imaginary prison around them out of fear and have given up. Get out of the box as fast as possible.
- Rationality and productivity. We all want everything to be as predictable and safe as possible. To accomplish this we want to be in control of everything that happens to us. However, that can never happen and would actually be bad for creativity. Rationality and productivity are means to strap ourselves to the ground without ever taking flight. Rather than being adults, we need to get back in touch with our inner child, the one who isn’t scared of abstract ideas and doesn’t shy away from play. Creativity and productivity need to be balanced and there is a thin line between the two. Both are necessary but the harsh fist of the latter tends to discard any thought that at first doesn’t seem interesting.
- Dualistic thinking. Don’t look at things as either/or, this/that, good/bad, black/white. This is another form of putting restrictions to our mind. Despite the fact that binary oppositions exist it doesn’t mean we have to see them in everything we do. We need to look everything as intertwined and part of the bigger picture.
- Full range of the emotional spectrum. Some people are like a rollercoaster. They have constant ups and downs, mountain-like highs of joy and deep pitfalls of misery. This will cause either too much excitement or frustration and prevents the person from ever becoming focused enough on one thing that is necessary for not only flow but to become more creative in general. Instead we need to remain calm even in the eye of the storm and in control of our inner currents of energy. (Read how to take control of your thoughts and emotions).
- Passivity. Creativity is a process of exploring what could be. It’s about being in motion not standing in one place. If we won’t use our mental faculties then we will lose our abilities. In order to become more creative we need to give our mind a reason to do so. Without moving our thoughts they will stay the same and never come up with something great. Rather than waiting for ideas to come to us we need to put ourselves under proper conditioning that would promote ingenuity.
What Promotes Creativity
- Holistic thinking. The opposite to dualistic thinking. It’s about seeing things not as distinctive parts but as oneness. There are no separation but everything comes together as a whole. This means seeing the bigger picture, not fragments of it. That is the nature of life. We cannot see things from only one angle but need to realise that everything’s connected and intertwined with each other. It also means walking the middle path that allows us to get a glimpse of what surrounds us, the all.
- Different perspectives. That is why it’s also important to attain various viewpoints on a problem. We all have our own opinions and mindset. If we fail to notice the solution it doesn’t mean it’s not there, someone else might be able to see the invisible. All great ideas are not original but the collaboration and a synthesis of many thoughts. Creativity is a symbiosis of us, our surroundings and the consciousness that connects it all together. Moreover, we need to sometimes take off our individual goggles. If we’re habitually used to looking at things as a mathematician then we need to take off that hat for a while and see the world as someone else, as a humanitarian or an artist etc. Think outside of the box.
- Divergent thinking. It is a thought process that is used to generate many possible outcomes to something. If there is a problem to be solved then using this method would mean exploring as many solutions to it as one can think of. This shows an individual’s ability to come up with a lot of ideas despite the context or practical use. It’s simply being able to create as many routes to a destination as possible. It shows the diversity of thought in one’s mind.
- Filterless non-judgemental being. Creativity cannot be anticipated as it just happens. Suddenly the right things click and the imaginary light bulb above our head will light up or the apple from the tree falls down on us. It has a lot more power over us and it cannot be forced. The way to become more creative is to allow it flow. If there is a habitual cage around us we will never let our creativity out. We need to become filterless in our work and being. During the process of creation there isn’t room for judgemental behaviour or thinking. Everything goes and is actually necessary for associations.
- Speed of implementation. Like said earlier, we all have great ideas, we simply forget or fail to act upon them. That is why I always carry a notepad with me all of the time. We can’t expect creativity to hit us by command, it happens in the most unexpected of situations like in the bus or the bathroom. When it does we need to be prepared and take some sort of action immediately. A spark of idea is small at first but if we begin to work on it right away it can turn into something great. Even when it doesn’t we still train our skill set and enforce the habit of doing so.
- Questioning everything. Curiosity is probably the best trait a creative person could have. It killed the cat but probably because it came up with some sort of a crazy idea that was way too dangerous. It’s the intrinsic interest about oneself and the world that surrounds us. Everything is fascinating and amazing if we take a moment to contemplate over them. Wanting to know why and how something works or behaves opens up new avenues for our mind to explore. It will also allow to bring in innovation. The more questions you ask the more thoughts you will have.
- Creative visualization. Our mind is an incredible thing. The mental images we have in our head are independent of the material world and can thus create their own reality. By using our imagination we can make anything possible. It’s only a matter of how far we allow our fantasy to go. Moreover, by envisioning something in our head we’ve taken the first step of making the impossible possible. The next thing to do is simply begin working on it and eventually it will become real. (Read more about creative visualization).
- The environment. The scenery, situations and people we surround ourselves with play a huge role in creativity. They can either impede or promote us. If children are forced to sit still in their chairs, not speak up and stay in the box then they will eventually lose their powers. This improper conditioning has happened to all of us to a certain extent. We need to recognize whether or not we’re in an open-minded environment that doesn’t judge new ideas but encourages different perspectives and thoughts. It will promote correspondence and group together like-minded individuals who contribute to each others work.
How to Become More Creative
Now, after getting to know creativity inside and out we can take steadfast steps to become more creative. We have the information about what, why, when and how we’re going to do it.
There isn’t a way to actually reach a point where we’ve „become more creative.“ Much rather it’s about changing our mode of being that allows us to find our highest artistic expressions and manifesting them into reality. In addition to becoming a different person we can do different activities that all promote this goal.
- Be curious and childlike. – Ask countless questions all of the time, question everything, everyone and yourself. Why? How? What if? Try to answer them from different viewpoints and perspectives. If you can’t then figure out a solution. Turn into a child once again. Become more playful with your thoughts and sometimes simply doodle around with them.
- Role play with creative visualization. – Once again, the power of our mental faculties play a huge role in this. Rather than seeing ourselves as ordinary people we need to think that we’re something a lot more fascinating. Instead of being mediocre we need to become extraordinary. This is the actual truth, we simply let others condition us into thinking that we’ve got nothing special within us, just another cog in the machine. This needs to be discarded immediately. Attain a new perspective on who you are. Imagine yourself being anything you want to be. See yourself as in a James Bond or Jason Bourne’s movie, as Indiana Jones figuring out ancient mysteries, a scientists working on saving the planet, an artist being entangled with the creative process or superhero fighting the sources of evil. That doesn’t mean you have to actually go through life-threatening situations, but serves as an analogy and food for thought we feed to our mind. Become the HERO of your own story, that’s what I’ve done. It will train one’s imagination and is incredibly fun.
- Collaborate. – Surround yourself with other creative people and ideas. Be in an environment that naturally promotes ingenuity and thinking outside of the box. Don’t be afraid to co-operate as an artist. Also, there is nothing wrong with taking the ideas of someone else and making some adjustments to it. Moreover, share some of your own as it can and will make them better. We can’t expect to and shouldn’t reinvent the wheel all of the time. Creativity is also a cumulative process, meaning that we need to build upon and advance previous knowledge. Also, we should not think it has to be the result of our individual efforts. Thomas Edison was not a single genius but had an entire team behind him all contributing to his inventions, he simply received most of the credit.
- Expose yourself to creative ideas. The greatest ideas of all time are not entirely original but the synthesis and symbiosis of many. Reading about all various topics will lead to thinking about the subject from another perspective. Knowledge is a means of brainwashing ourselves. If we expose ourself to new innovative approaches that challenge the status quo then we will be influenced by it to think differently as well. In order to create something new you need to also know what has already been accomplished.
- Don’t restrict yourself. Creativity is boundless, meaning it ought to be cultivated in every area of our life. Instead of residing in only one domain, for instance painting, connect with your inner Leonardo da Vinci and become a polymath, someone who is great at a lot of things. He was the most advanced scientist, artist, mathematician, biologist of his time and even more than that. I would like to think that his genius wasn’t the result of innate talent but his natural curiosity with the world and being engaged with that wide range of activities all at once. That allowed him to see things that were invisible to others and created extraordinary results. We need to do the same and absorb general knowledge which will make our experience of the world that much more creative.
- Become more creative through practice. – Like any skill holistic and divergent thinking need to be cultivated. They are like mental muscles that need to be put under stress to make them grow. Here are a few exercises.
- Mind maps. The best tool we can use to improve our holistic approach to problems. It incorporates our visuals and allows us to see our thoughts on a piece of paper. The main topic needs to be in the centre which will eventually become surrounded by everything concerning we can think of. Use different colours to create connections and clusters of ideas. It creates a network of associations which gives rise to more and more.
- Express your ideas. With the help of mind maps we can project our thoughts and concepts out of our head. More often than not what impedes our creations from manifesting themselves into reality is our inability to express ourselves. That spark of greatness is on the tip of our tongue, in the back of our skull. We know it but we don’t know how to put it into words. To overcome this we need to learn how to express our thoughts and ideas. A perfect tool to use is journalling and practicing writing out whatever we want to find. Also, having deep inner contemplations and philosophical enquiry will help us find the source of our deities and also bring more complexity to the picture we’re trying to paint.
- Mind Odysseys. Creativity can hit us when we least expect it and it can’t be forced. However, that doesn’t mean we ought not search for it. By exploring the depths of our head and going through contemplative thinking we give our brain a reason to come up with something. Whatever we focus our mind on grows. What we think about will begin to attract new ideas and we notice things that otherwise were invisible to us. We need to sometimes let our mind wander off into another reality and return with creative ideas.
- Freewriting. To practice divergent thinking we need to be able to remove all of our restrictions and become filterless. Our thoughts will flow in of themselves unless we stand in their way. What we need to do is to simply not allow any barrier to impede us while we’re writing. Everything is relevant and important when it comes to creativity, it’s in the mesh of the useless ideas the greatest ones are found. When we practice this we need to become non-judgemental, meaning not taking second guesses and putting everything that comes to mind on paper. However, because of our thought travels faster than the pen we can also record our speech and see what comes out.
- Incorporate other domains. Creativity is boundless, there isn’t only one activity we should use. Like in the case of mind maps, the more senses we include the better for our results. It will give rise to more and more associations while training our imagination. If your main thing is writing then draw sometimes and vice versa. In fact, they can be done at the same time. Create a comic book out of your life. Most importantly, improvise.
- Take time to observe and reflect. Sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing. By seemingly procrastinating and simply being present we get hit by creativity itself. It’s important to become more mindful of life in general, but especially in order to become more creative. Instead of trying to deliberately summon great ideas we need to give our mind some time to process all of that new information and let it sink in. Once it’s done we will begin to notice things that weren’t there at first. Observation and reflection of oneself and the world around us is will allow us to do so. During my creative endeavours I always take a lot of time to distance myself from my work for a bit so that I could go harder the next time.
- Allow things to FLOW. – This state of mind is the most important thing for achieving extraordinary results in anything. The key component to entering this mode of highest existence is attention. In order to become more creative we need to be able to FOCUS. We need to concentrate on whatever we’re doing and only that. That way we become immersed by the activity and get sucked in by this wormhole, into another realm where the deities are. It connects us with the cloud of collective consciousness allowing us to drink from the pool of universal knowledge. What we focus on will grow the most. If it’s something meaningful and creative then we will eventually come up with an amazing solution. We simply need to train our cognition to behave accordingly and shape our environment free from distraction that puts us into a deeper conversation with our thoughts. (How to have a conversation with yourself). (How to enter FLOW).
- Don’t neglect productivity. – In order for us to become more creative we need to be able to actually produce something. Divergent and holistic approach to problems may give rise to ideas but the second condition of usefulness still needs to be met. We need to put it into practice and do the work. The creative process includes productivity aswell. Even though the two cannot co-exist together for long as they are binary opposites we can and have to incorporate both. How much we use one or the other depends on the individual and is the result of experimentation. We have to use our gut intuition on this one and find balance. Some activities benefit more from filterless and childish creativity, while others need more down to earth productivity and rationality. Walking the middle path is great in this one.
My Relationship With Creativity
I’ve always considered myself to be a creative person. As a child I loved to draw. It didn’t end there, however. Me and my brother also played a lot of games with our creative visualization as a lot of kids do. With the power of our imagination the two of us went on numerous adventures and events. Our games consisted of us becoming heroes of some sort who battled either each other or the mental images we conjured up in our head. It was fun, as it proved that we simply need to alter our perspective to change the reality in which we live.
The visual imagery we created allowed us to shape the world around us. Those sticks in our hand weren’t just pieces of wood but flaming swords, staffs etc. The trees transformed into sky high mountains and great citadels of stone. The ground wasn’t covered with grass but was the burning floor of a volcano. The winds of adversity were blowing against us as we walked our hero’s journey.
That child-like behaviour is what plants the seed of creativity in every person. Unfortunately, a lot of people tend to lose it. It’s not about seeing things that aren’t actually there, but seeing things that others don’t. It’s not about fighting dragons, but using one’s mental faculties to become more creative. This will promote ingenuity and artistry in everything we do. As adults we can use these abilities to change the world for the better.
I’m a Creator
At the moment I consider myself to be even more creative than I was before. I don’t imagine dragons or mythical heroes per se. Instead, I’m a writer, who has written a book, a blogger, running this website, I draw, can sing quite well, love to dance, figure out new ways to move my body, working on initial poetry and being the hero of my own story.
Not only do I do all of those things but am constantly contemplating in my head what could be. Different scenarios, situations, events me as well as mankind will be in the future, people I’m going to meet, things I’m going to do and achieve etc. All of those things fuel my growth and allow me to become more creative by making me think of new concepts, perspectives, ideas, thoughts, actions etc.
Life is great, life is art. It’s a piece of sculpture we’re chiseling or the book we’re writing. It’s not physical matter but substance, something beyond this realm.
Creativity is the highest expression of our mind which can and will allow us to become godlike beings. That is the hero’s journey mankind is on. The journey of accepting the calling towards the ideal, departing on an odyssey of not only the mind but everything that is real and not, crossing the chasm between the planes of existence, facing the adversity that accompanies every such endeavour, grabbing a hold of what could be, transcending the boundary between it and the present, manifesting it into reality and thus arriving at the next level. There isn’t an end to it, as the process will be repeated once finalized. It’s a never-ending cycle of birth, death and rebirth, of creation.
Also, check out this amazing video I made about becoming more creative. And join the Body Mind Agoge.