Albert Einstein said — “Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.” Creativity is one of the most intrinsically rewarding endeavors we engage in. Creativity requires a combination of innovation, inspiration, and a tremendous amount of hard work. It allows us to explore both the wondrous potential and the incredible detail of things. And let’s not forget that those little shots of dopamine that creativity releases in the rewards center of our brain…how could you not love that?!
Every single one of us has the ability to be creative. In the words of Steve Jobs, “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”
Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts of Creativity:
- Do be curious on a constant basis. Constantly ask “Why?” and “Is this the best way to do it?” Recognize that others may do it a certain way simply because that is the way it has always been done, not because it’s the optimal way.
- Do believe you can do it. In order to accomplish anything great you are going to have to believe that you can. In believing that you can, you open yourself up to the infinite source of inspiration that exists within each of us.
- Do your research. Coming up with creative ideas stems from understanding the problems or area of focus in depth. Gather data, ask questions, look at what has been done before and look for ways to improve upon it.
- Do get started! The number one most important element in creating anything is to start!
- Do stay humble and teachable. Ask others for their advice, opinions, and experience. Be willing to listen and learn from the input of others. Then consider all you learn and make the decisions that you personally feel best about.
- Do know that the best ideas don’t have to be your own. It’s your implementation of the idea that will lead to success, not the idea itself. Ideas are a dime a dozen, but those who implement them are priceless.
- Do course correct when necessary. The more you learn in the process of moving forward the more you understand how to adjust your course to take you where you ultimately want to go. See course corrections as a positive element in your progress.
- Do persevere. It’s never been a matter of being the smartest or the most talented, rather, it’s always been a matter of moving forward, falling down, getting back up, and continuing to move forward a little wiser each time. Always keep moving forward. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is perseverance.” – Steve Jobs
- Don’t be afraid to start. It is called the start for a reason…it is the beginning, not the end.
- Don’t over criticize your early ideas, doing so stops your creative juices from flowing. “To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong.” –Joseph Pearce
- Don’t wait until you find the perfect idea to start. Whatever idea you start with will morph over time anyway as you continue to learn so don’t get hung up, just get going.
- Don’t wait to figure out every little detail before you start. It would be impossible to think through every scenario and every possibility.
- Don’t get discouraged when things don’t go as you’d hoped. There are going to be a million failures before you achieve ultimate success, accept that it’s all just part of the process.
- Don’t ever do anything that would compromise your integrity. Success will come and go, but integrity is forever. Enough said.
- Creativity is one of the most exciting and enjoyable parts of life. It motivates me better than anything else can. As Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Not only is it fun, it’s also highly contagious, so the more of us that will get creative, the faster we can spread more fun!
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