Today we are always connected in the virtual world. The world is literally at our fingertips. Information is ubiquitous and even working alone from home, we are really never ever alone. I have forgotten how to sit still and do nothing. I remember as a child spending hours lying on my back, staring at the sky and just day dreaming. But I cannot remember the last time when I wasn’t making a list, crossing off things from my list, or just moving from one task to another with my brain running at million miles. I feel like there is no space in my heart or my mind to just drift with my thoughts, doodle my ideas dreamily, let my mind wander or even reflect calmly on my feelings and emotions. We cannot create when we are doing something all the time.
Here are six ways to find that creative spark, when our lives and the world around us is so busy:
- Do Nothing: Try doing nothing. Just sit still. Watch and listen. Do whatever comes naturally to you, but don’t force it. Listen to your breathing and watch the world around you. Don’t force the ideas to happen. Don’t worry if you do not come up with a ground-breaking concept in the next few minutes. It will happen slowly but surely.
- Doodle: Doodling without intention helps. Applied visual thinking helps imagination to soar by firing up neurons. However, it has to be done without thinking and spontaneously. Only then we can see what we have not been able to see before. Doodling can also help us reach a state of calm, by using drawing to process emotions, and form connections between disparate concepts. Doodling is indeed mindful rather than mindless (see here).
- Be positive: When we are happy, content, and engaged then the imagination network that involves areas deep inside the prefrontal cortex and temporal lobe (medial regions) is fired. It is this positive state of mind that is the trigger for creative flow.
- Daydream: Allow yourselves the freedom to daydream. We have been so conditioned to believe that we are wasting time or not being productive when we sit idle but it is exactly the opposite. The incubation of ideas can happen in this instance and it is this that is the impetus for creative thought.
- Participate:The idea of solitary creativity is completely in dissonance with the idea of participation. However, participation can provide the inspiration and motivation to germinate the seed of an idea, and brainstorming with others can help us find links that we might not have made in our solitary state. The notion of participation is not only of working directly with others, but also that of participating in the world around us.
- Collaborate: While some writers have stressed on the need to only find collaborators who are like-minded, and partnerships where there is no conflict whatsoever, I would disagree. It is as important sometimes to work with people who are not completely in agreement with you. It is the discussion, the strife, the opposing voice that can also help refine our own beliefs, and values. An effective partnership, whether in real-life or whether in spirit, is one which stimulates the creative juices, fosters the creative spirit, and inspires a stronger belief in our own ideas.
January is International Creativity Month. #accessoca. @PragyaAgarwal2019.
Listen to this Article