How to develop a creative mind

Having a creative mind is an absolute must for thriving in today’s society. Hanging all your hopes to one great idea will probably crush your spirits quite fast along the line. There is this constant pressure of producing ever newest and freshest ideas and tweaking the existing ones to their realization.

After you succeed in finishing your project, getting your idea accepted and are left with the feeling of this being your big jump.

You have to come up with the new one.

And then repeat it all over again.

If you are not well equipped for this tiring repetition, you might get burned out, left with the feeling of not having any new ideas left or just hating everything all together.

Here is the trick, though. If you manage to open your mind and think out of the box, the idea blockage will never happen again. Because you won’t be bounded by the limitations of what you know.

Clear your mind

Most of the suggestions on getting a fresh idea are to clear your mind. This advice relays on the well known Eureka effect. Archimedes, the ancient Greek polymath, is one of the most famous examples of that.

Around 250 BC, he was trying to figure out a research question didn’t know how to go about it. It took him forever to figure it out, but he was only able to do it when he cleared his mind and forget about the puzzle. The solution came to him when he was having a nice warm bath.

Most of the advice recommends some similar relaxing activity when you try to do something new, or you face a blockage in your creative process.

This works because when you are trying to think about your problem or a project, you stay limited by what you already know about it. You are stuck with bumping into the borders of your mind. Thinking about something else helps dissolve these boundaries and opens a window of opportunity for new ideas to come flying in.

Thoroughly rethink what you already know

Although soaking in a nice bath is an enjoyable activity. You don’t have the time to undress and jump into one whenever you feel stuck.

To master your creativity, you need to achieve a sort of permanent mind openness regardless of the relaxation state your body is in.

How does one achieve that?

Let me return to the ancient Greeks. They can serve as great examples for a lot of things.

Socrates was well respected for his philosophical inquiries and was considered one of the smartest man alive. What was odd about him was that he was claiming he doesn’t know anything.

That was his starting position when debating with someone. He positioned himself at a point of not knowing anything about the subject. He was only asking people about things and posing logical questions to steer the conversation.

His method of dialoguing helped people to become aware of the knowledge they already have. They just didn’t know it was there and had no idea how to use it. After the conversation, they were able to change their perspective just as much as needed to gain a new way of understanding the issue. Socrates was, in that way, helping people open their minds and approaching puzzles in a new and creative way.

Intentional naivety

Socrates’ questions may sometimes sound naive or even childlike. But to break the box open, you have to rethink the very roots of your beliefs connected to the topic you are considering.

It might be hard to start thinking that way yourself. You will need some help. If there are no adults around you that would be capable of restraining from pushing their agenda on you while attempting to help you see something new in your issue, try talking to children.

Children are great for this sort of thing because they force you to explain the situation straightforwardly. And you can be sure they will point out any tiny, tiny inconsistency in your argumentation.

They will do a version of a Socrates dialogue with you. Just think of a five-year-old who will not stop with questioning you: But why is this so and so? As frustrating as these questions may appear, keep in mind that this is precisely what you need to restructure your mind frame.

It may sound nuts or redundant or just time consuming to reevaluate everything you already know on the topic at hand. But remember, the problem is not what you already know. The problem is getting to know something you don’t know already. Relying on existing knowledge when trying to produce new ideas or incorporating creativity in your work won’t get you far.

To open your mind, you need to deconstruct your thoughts. And to do that, you need to reevaluate them by thoroughly question their logic, association, and the way they follow each other.

The help of another person is a necessity. You cannot get out of your head alone. You will only end up talking to yourself. You need a gentle, constructive confrontation.