By: Kathy Shalhoub for blog

There’s no arguing about it, whether it’s in arts or sciences some people are exceptionally creative and shine above the rest of us. But does that mean we aren’t or can’t be creative?

While it’s still not clear in what proportions of genetic, social, economic and luck ingredients the creative soup is made of, scientists have picked out some key elements that have been proven to boost creativity.

  1. Keep an open mind:

    When I say an open mind, I mean one that is guided by the least amount of rules, inhibited by the least amount of restrictions, and confined by the least mental constraints. If you’re looking for a creative solution to a problem, try to suspend your knowledge and experience momentarily and look at your problem from the perspective of a novice, you just might surprise yourself.

  2. Thought Control:

    This is the second critical stage of creative thought when you have all your new and interesting and crazy ideas on the table and you’re not sure which ones will work. This is the phase where you want all systems on and ready to go. Now you need to put what you know in practice for the evaluation process.

  3. Mental push-ups:

    We’ve all heard it, creativity is like a muscle, and the more it works the stronger it gets. Before you need to get creative, try some of these useful mental pushups:

    • Think of 6 alternative ways to use common objects in a few minutes.
    • Describe objects in unusual ways that are not relating to their function.
    • Perform common tasks in the wrong order.
    • Deliberately let your mind wander to completely unrelated things.
  4. Keep your distance:

    Funnily enough, thinking about the physical place of a problem can help or stop you from solving it! Imagining a problem or a challenge far away from you in space (put your problems in Australia!) or in time (send them to the year 2098) can actually promote innovation and problem solving.

Being creative is great, but psychologist Evangelia Chrysikou of the University of Kansas affirms that no matter how creative and innovative your thoughts are, the most important factor inhibiting success, the one that stops you the most from capitalizing on your creative potential is the fear of risk, “People tend toward safe routes, yet safety is not conducive to radical new solutions.”

It’s been said: The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail. –Edwin Land, co-founder of the Polaroid Corporation

These tips have been inspired by Evangelia Chrysikou’s ‘Your Creative Brain at work” article in the July/August edition of Scientific American Brain. Love that magazine!; Empowering people to do what they love, from anywhere.

Blogger’s Bio: Kathy studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Paris. She is also a writer and published her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover, in 2010. Kathy is fascinated by matters of the mind, self discovery, self acceptance and personal development and is currently researching these topics. Check out her blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Lebneh_Lover.

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