A great source of inspiration is other people. Unfortunately is is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our way of doing things is the best, that our ideas are superior (See last weeks challenge for more on this). It is also easy to get in the routine of doing things the way they've always been done.
This week we're going to break this habit and learn to learn from others.
Our minds are mind bogglingly powerful devices. We can perform complex tasks with ease. Yet despite all this power we still trip on some very basic tricks. Cognitive biases are errors in judgment that we can fall into given certain situations. Some of them are trivial yet others can have a profound impact on our lives. They also can have a large influence on our ability to think creatively.
This week you're going to try using the Six Thinking Hats method for some focused thinking.
You may have used this method before for discussions but have you tried it by yourself over a full week? If you have not heard of or used the Six Thinking Hats method before you may want to check out the links at the bottom to find out more.
Here is the proposed schedule but feel free to modify it as you see fit. Aim to spend about half an hour each day thinking about this and make sure you record your thoughts as you go.
Hypothetical questions are great for being creative. Anything is possible and you don't actually have to carry out any of it so there are no resources required, no risk etc. Hypothetical questions can be fun and a good way to stumble across new possibilities and opportunities.
There are seven hypothetical questions below. Each day move on to the next one and think about how you would react in that situation.
Select words from our random word generator to help you come up with ideas.
You're probably in full swing in the festive season right now so this weeks challenge is a nice and simple one.
Your challenge is for the next seven days you are to select 4 words from our random word generator in the morning and then keep an eye out and identify them or something relating to them during the day. Select a different set of four words each day.
If you want you can make it a competition with your friends and see who is first to tick them all off each day.
When it comes to drawing, some of us are blessed while others are reduced to simple stick figures. Either way, there's no denying that there's a certain joy to be found in expressing your thoughts with pencil and paper.
Your challenge this week is to create a drawing every day. Draw inspiration for your drawings from our random word generator. We'd recommend generating two random words but it's your preference. Each day, generate a new set of random words to inspire your drawing.
Wouldn't it be great to be an entrepreneur? Creating innovative new products and services to change the world, leave your mark and make millions in the process. Entrepreneurs have to be very creative. Creative in what they're going to do. Creative in how they are going to do it. Creative in how they are going to fund their activities. etc.
What better way to give your creativity a boost than with some inspired inspiration.
Open your mind to an array of new ideas and see where it takes you.
Every day next week you are to watch a TED video from a different theme. There's lots to choose from so pick things that really interest you.
Of course if you find more than one a day that takes your interest then don't feel you have to stop at one.
There is so much detail in the world around us. Most of it goes un-noticed however. We learn to block most of it out so we can focus on what we perceive to be the most important. There can be so much beauty and potential in what we miss.
For this weeks challenge we are going to practice opening ourselves up to all that is there.
This challenge comes in two parts.
Sometimes when wanting to be creative we need to let our subconscious loose. It can achieve awesome feats when we let it. For instance. How many times have you had an idea just come to you, when you weren't even thinking about the topic?
Try this for an exercise. if you can touch type, I want you to think about the individual keys you need to type. Does your speed, and possibly accuracy drop like a rock?
Creativity is important, however like most thing in life it forms part of a cocktail of elements that really shine when they are in balance. One of creative thinkings close relatives is logical thinking and it is this that we are going to exercise today.
Creative thinking will allow you to come up with brilliant ideas. It is logical thinking however that will work out how they will come together, that will work out what parts are missing, that will work out why certain aspects don't work. Etc. Logical thinking can act as a guiding force for creative thinking, allowing it to be put to it's best use.
This weeks challenge is simple and relaxing. Challenge yourself to see what isn't there.
We're off to do some cloud gazing. Grab yourself a nice patch of grass, maybe some friends, and lie down. Spend an hour or two analysing the clouds that drift by and see what you can find. Can you see any animals? How about everyday objects? Can you invent new items? It's relaxing and relaxation helps to open up the mind.
Is your life hectic? Let's solve that then.
A key part of being creative is allowing time to just sit and think. To let ideas flow and allow your mind to play with them. Yet our lives are becoming increasingly hectic which is keeping us from this.
If you want more time in which to be creative then creativity is the answer.
Maths may not by your thing but there is actually a huge amount of creativity in maths. Discovering it can be a good way to inspire different ways of thinking. Below are some examples of some interesting things you can do with numbers. Your challenge this week is to check them out and then go on a quest to discover 10 more interesting things you can do with numbers.
What is a power word?
A power word is a word that has great effect to the person hearing or reading it. There are many general power words such as:
The problem is that these are general power words. They are strong but they probably don't move you when you come across them.
This week we're going to make a mind map. This mind map is going to be different to any you've used previously however.
First off we need a topic.
What makes you happy and what is happiness to you? It could be a goal, it could be your favorite sport or past time, it could be a memory, or anything else that moves you.
The aim here is to create a powerful reminder and motivator for what makes you happy. The happier you are the more creative you are.
You're about to go on a journey through the blogosphere.
This weeks challenge is to comment on 50 random blogs.
Step 1. Grab a random word from our Random Word Generator. (will open in new window)
Step 2. Find 10 different blog entries relating to that word. Read them and leave a constructive comment.
Step 3. Repeat steps 1 and 2, 5 times. All up you will have commented on 50 different blogs.
Here's a challenge that will take a few weeks but will benefit you in many ways.
Learn to juggle 4 balls (if you can do four then make it 5).
You may be able to juggle 3 balls already but that is too easy, you need to go to at least 4 to get the benefits.
This is a great challenge because it is physical and complex. Your mind is focusing intently on a physical activity and that's what millions of years of evolution have designed it to do. These are the types of activities that it likes and will thrive on. You are focusing simultaneously on several different items and managing various different factors and quite quickly too.
Today we're going to prove just how powerful your mind is when you focus.
Most people underestimate just what they are capable of. Certain events can bring out your true potential however. It could be that you get superhuman strength and prevent someone being mugged. Or it could be the ability to move a ring with nothing but thought.
For this activity we'll need some string and a ring. If you don't have these you can substitute other items in their place such as cotton or a washer.