Where Does Your Creativity Come From? - May 16, 2017

It's not as introspective as "Where do we come from?" or "What is our purpose in life?", but it is important to be able to answer, "Where does your creativity come from?" In other words, how are you inspired? What drives innovation in your world?

No matter your industry, creativity and innovation play a key role. We wouldn't have the advances in healthcare today without creative, out-of-the-box thinking from scientists. Our financial markets might look completely different without a creative approach to mergers and acquisitions. Even commoditized industries, like utilities, had to be creative in moving toward a privatized approach.

Have you hit a bit of dry spell? Do you not consider yourself to be creative? In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share these ideas from life coach and motivational speaker Marthe to help you get out of the office and draw inspiration.

1. Conferences. These are great places to take a break, network with colleagues and get ideas based on others' experiences.

2. One-On-One Discussions. Make a point to have lunch with one new person at least once a week. Get out there. Connect. And it doesn't have to be with a work colleague. Maybe it's your child's soccer coach or your neighbor down the street whom you only wave to when you're outside. Make a point to have personal conversations with others of varied backgrounds.

3. Read. Books and articles, both old and new, are a great source of inspiration. Take time to read as much as possible and open your mind to new concepts. It's worth the investment in your time.

4. Write a love list. Sit down with pen and paper and make a list of everything that you love. Include all the things, people and concepts you are attracted to, passionate about and interested in. Don't limit yourself.

5. Take opposite action. Very often, what we most feel like doing is not what would help us the most. So, if you're having low energy and feel like hanging out at home, get out and do something. It will be more helpful. So, whatever it is you want to be doing right now, try experimenting with doing the opposite. Sometimes doing something you've never done before will excite and ignite you like nothing else.

6. Loosen up. A good way to guide yourself to a better mental state is to do something physical, like dance, running, hiking or yoga. Anything that will move and stretch your body will help your thinking become more flexible too. So get out from behind the desk or laptop.

7. Do something fun and unusual. Try something you have never tried before, like a photo class or a trip to place you've never been. Expose your mind to new experiences.

8. Smile and laugh more. This may sound basic, but how often do you smile and laugh at work? Our business settings tend to be serious because we're in the business to make money, right? Smiling and laughing at work will make you feel happier, and it will be contagious. Try it!

9. Pay attention to your black and white thinking. When we are not in our element, it is very easy to slip into absolute thinking, as in "I am never inspired. Or, I am not interested in anything. Or, I always feel stuck." Watch out for words like 'never,' 'always,' 'nothing,' 'everything,' 'everybody,' 'nobody,' 'everywhere,' 'anywhere,' etc. A good way to check your thinking is to ask yourself "Is this true?" whenever you catch yourself thinking in absolute terms.

Practice these simple steps over the next two weeks and feel the effects on your drive for inspiration, creativity and innovation.

Source: Marthe is a life coach, motivational writer, yoga teacher, speaker and mentor. She also runs the website The Freedom Experiment and is the author of Feeling Good When Life is Hard.

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