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Motivation

6 Simple Techniques That Will Make You More Creative

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6 Simple Techniques That Will Make You More Creative

Creativity is the driver of human progress. Without creative individuals thinking of innovative technologies and solutions, we would have been stuck in a cave rather than enjoying the comforts of an air-conditioned room. Think about it for a minute. 

The first person who invented the wheel changed the whole world. And he or she invented it because they looked at a piece of log and decided that it should be cut into round shapes for better mobility when attached to a platform. If they continued to look at the wood just as wood alone, then maybe the thought of using it to create a wheel might never have entered their mind.

Even though we have progressed very far, creative thinking is still an important ingredient of success, whether it was the thought process that led to the creation of the atom bomb which gifted America victory in WWII or the Windows operating system created by Bill Gates that revolutionized computing prowess in the world, creativity is the key. 

And if you are someone who is struggling to think creatively and come up with new, radical ideas to improve your life or the situation you’re surrounded with, then the following six techniques can help you open up your mind.

1. Accumulate more knowledge

6 Simple Techniques That Will Make You More Creative

Being creative requires that you have good enough knowledge about a wide range of topics. Someone who is only focused on computer engineering has a far lower chance of coming up with new, creative ideas when compared to someone who knows computer engineering, web server management, and online marketing. 

While the first person will remain limited to being a chemical engineer, the latter might think of combining some computer engineering concepts with online server management to create an entirely new product or service, which they can market on a social media platform. These niches might sound random, but you never know what comes from the most bizarre of combinations.

So, do yourself a favor and start learning and understanding new things rather than only being limited to your working knowledge. As you explore hitherto unknown areas, you will start connecting the various information, helping you come up with new ideas or radical solutions to existing problems. Did I mention it is also fun to learn about new topics? When you learn new topics for just the sake of it, it takes the pressure of application away, making it more fun.

2. Answer essential questions of a topic

6 Simple Techniques That Will Make You More Creative

An easy way to make yourself think creatively is first to analyze a topic based on a few essential questions. These essential questions include – how, what, why, when, where, and who. So, if you are tasked with understanding a market for a new product to be launched by your company, look at the market and ask yourself the following type of questions: 

  • Why should there be a demand for your product in the market?
  • Who will want to buy your product? Who will not buy your product?
  • How will your product be sold to the people? How will it be marketed?
  • Where will your product be sold, in all shops or at franchise stores alone?
  • When will the product be launched?
  • What will be the price of your product? What will be the benefits of using your product?

The checklist will allow you to start thinking about a topic. The more you think about it, the more you will question it until you understand the situation completely. And in the process, you might come up with creative ways to launch and market your product.

3. Get back to nature

6 Simple Techniques That Will Make You More Creative

Try taking a break and spending some time in nature. It can be a hike for just a few hours. Or even a long walk. But as long as it involves you walking in the forest and breathing in the fresh air, the trip should do you good. 

Make it a regular activity, and your creative thinking abilities are very likely to get a boost. In fact, some neuroscience studies suggest that spending time in natural surroundings can boost problem solving and creativity of a person by up to 50%. That is definitely a good improvement considering that the only thing you have to do is to spend some time among the trees.

And many scientists have a good explanation for it. Apparently, being stuck in the concrete jungle of the cities, surrounded by numerous Wi-Fi devices and electronic equipment, dampens a section of the brain that deals with high-level creative thinking. 

Hence, taking some time off from the city, and heading over to the forest is seen as a good way to get the front part of the brain to utilize itself to the fullest potential. So, the next time you feel like you are unable to think anything new – just hit the road.  

4. Join a creative community

6 Simple Techniques That Will Make You More Creative

One of the best ways to start thinking creatively is to join a creative community. You should preferably look for a group which has no qualms with being supportive of any idea. For example, someone might come up with an idea to use ants as an investigative tool by hooking it up with a tiny camera and sending it into sensitive locations to gather information. 

Someone else might voice an idea which requires people to beg on the streets for a day to understand the mind of a beggar. Whatever ideas they may be, as long as the community is tolerant of hearing out wildly varying opinions and offering beneficial feedback and suggestions, it is definitely a group you should join.

Having like-minded creative people around you has many benefits. For one, you won’t restrict your thinking. Instead, you will learn to embrace and express it fully. Second, the people who hear out your ideas and concepts will offer their viewpoints too. And this can lead to brainstorming sessions that can lead you forward into newer concepts.

5. Keep an ‘idea-book’ handy

6 Simple Techniques That Will Make You More Creative

Always keep an ‘idea-book’ handy. An ‘idea-book’ is essentially a small, easy to carry notepad that you can write down your ideas. No matter where you are, whether at home, office, traveling on the train, or anywhere else, jot down ideas as soon as they pop up in your mind. It need not be anything revolutionary. 

The ideas can be as ludicrous and out of the world as they possibly can, but you must make it a point to record it in your book. The purpose of this exercise is not to find a solution to any problem you are currently having but to simply unlock your limitless thinking potential.

For example, when traveling by bus, you might notice that people in the bus are often hooked onto their smartphones, having minimal interest in interacting with others. And suddenly you might come up with an idea for an app that makes it easier and safer for people to connect with strangers on a bus. 

Note the idea in your pad. It does not matter whether you will follow it up and actually create an app. By simply writing down ideas, you are reassuring the mind that thinking creatively or differently is okay.

After a few weeks or months, when you take out your book and read all the things you have written, you will definitely be amazed at the ideas and thoughts that came up in your mind in your observations of the world. And by that time, coming up with new ideas and concepts will be natural to you.

6. Look at things differently

6 Simple Techniques That Will Make You More Creative

The simplest way to become more creative is to train yourself to look at things differently. A mind that does not question anything, and simply accepts whatever is fed into it is a mind of a person who has no potential to be creative. Having a different viewpoint about a thing can truly help you understand it more, while also helping you expand your creative thinking process.

For example, imagine that you are a peace officer tasked with ending the conflict between two warring clans in an African jungle. The normal course of action will be to first determine what the source of the conflict is, then to contact each group and try to resolve the differences between them by bringing them to a middle ground. 

Now, if the conflict has been brewing for decades, then it will be a long time before both clans even agree to sit together.

So, abandon such linear, straightforward thoughts, and start looking at the conflict from a different perspective. The people in your peacekeeping mission might be asking themselves, “why are these two clans fighting.” Instead of focusing on that, you should ask yourself, “why haven’t these two clans killed off each other even though they have been fighting for decades?”

By asking this, you focus on finding out what is common between the clans rather than the differences between them, like other people have been doing till now. And eventually, you might find some common ground that brings both the clans together. 

For example, you might discover that both clans share a common myth of their ancestors having come from afar off, dreamy place. You can then use the myth to bring the clans together by reminding them that they are brothers and sisters of the same ancestor.

So, no matter what you are tasked with, train yourself to look at the subject matter from different perspectives, and you will come up with newer ways to deal with them in whatever way you wish. And in the process, you will become more creative in your thinking.  

Takeaway

Tapping into your creativity boils down to letting your brain think without any restrictions and giving yourself time to actually stop and think. Jotting down everything is the best way to get everything out there and free your mind up for new ideas. You can develop something great from your most outrageous thought.

Motivation

7 Reasons to Leave Your Comfort Zone

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7 Reasons to Leave Your Comfort Zone

Everyone is afraid of leaving their comfort zone because your comfort zone is more comfortable, right? What we don’t realize is that we learn things when we find courage enough to step out of our comfort zones.

“The hardest thing to do is leaving your comfort zone. But you have to let go of the life you’re familiar with and take the risk to live the life you dream about.”

-T. Arigo

When you dream of something big, you will often have to do things that make you uncomfortable, that scare you. It doesn’t mean that those things are bad, chances are that they won’t be as difficult as you think. Some level of fear and anxiety is important for us to keep moving forward, to make progress, doing things that take us out of our comfort zone is a way to have those feelings propelling us forwards.

If things haven’t been working for you up until now, then you have nothing to lose by trying something new because to achieve something new, you have to do something that you have never done before. Take the first step, dabble your toe into the sea, if you still feel scared out of your minds then you can always return to your safe space.

As long as you keep trying to get out there, you are good to go. Here are some reasons to take the plunge.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

-Neale Donald Walsch

1. You Won’t Regret Missing Out on a Potential Opportunity

When you refuse to level your comfort zone, there will be a lot of things you can miss. You cannot keep doing the same things you do right now and expect to achieve bigger dreams. If you have a big vision, then you will have to constantly be stepping out of your comfort zone.

Being a little uncomfortable means you are going to be learning a few new things. For example, if you have always been scared of public speaking then putting your ideas out there in meetings and presentations will be difficult. You will have to step out of your comfort zone, be a little uncomfortable, deal with a bit of anxiety, but eventually, you will be comfortable enough to speak up among people who hold power.

2. It Will Help Boost Your Confidence

7 Reasons to Leave Your Comfort Zone

When you get out of your comfort zone, you will learn new things, you will get new experiences, and eventually, you will put a new skill to your name. Having a new skill will boost your confidence because now you aren’t scared of doing something like you earlier were.

For the same example as above, now that you have learned to step out there and speak up, it will give you the confidence to put out your ideas and views in front of people and you will eventually get to take on bigger projects.

3. You Will Feel Self-Fulfilled

People who are stuck in their comfort zones often have a weight of the feeling of underachievement over whatever work they do. The regret that they couldn’t do something because it made them uncomfortable makes them feel that they are not quite living their life to the fullest.

When you step out of your comfort zone, you grow, find the momentum to move forward, find a better level of productivity – all of these things lead you to a sense of self-fulfillment, this gives you a feeling of satisfaction.

4. You Will Become More Productive

7 Reasons to Leave Your Comfort Zone

When you learn to be okay with the discomfort that comes in the beginning – when you do something that makes you step out of your comfort zone – you will eventually become more productive.

Getting out there requires you to be more focused, to develop self-confidence, and to believe in yourself – these things push you to do things you never thought were possible. When you learn to make yourself be heard even with the nagging discomfort of speaking in the public, you will eventually increase your productivity because you can get started on whatever it is that you wanted to discuss instead of waiting for someone else to come up with it or you to find someone alone or you to wait to develop enough confidence to broach the subject.

5. You Will Learn People Don’t Care a Lot

One of the reasons that people are scared of doing something is the thought of people judging them. Everyone has a lot on their plates, yes, they might look your way but nobody has the time to keep thinking about you. If they do, then you anyway shouldn’t be caring about their opinion.

You have to convince yourself to not let other people’s opinions sway your decisions. When you start doing things because they are going to help you grow, you will learn that what others say doesn’t hold much weight. You will learn to eliminate fear.

6. You Will Find New Things That You Love

7 Reasons to Leave Your Comfort Zone

You found your current passion by doing something you didn’t always do. Unless you try new things, you will never find things you enjoy that get your mind whirring. To learn more about ourselves, we need to keep testing our limits.

By stepping out, we are really connecting with our inner selves more. Because the more we go exploring, the more we are going to find out.

7. You Will Start Finding it Easier

As you start putting yourself out there more and more, it will start getting easier. You gain self-confidence and eliminate fear by venturing out of your comfort zone and these things that help you grow as a person will make the process easier.

The next time you have to do something uncomfortable to achieve something, it won’t be as difficult as the first time because now you know that the sense of achievement that follows the fear is totally worth doing it.

Final Thoughts

“The biggest rewards in life are found outside your comfort zone. Live with it. Fear and risk are prerequisites if you want to enjoy a life of success and adventure.”

-Jack Canfield

The best things in life often happen just out of your comfort zone. It’s ok to be scared of new things. Being scared means you’re about to do something really brave and new, which will give you a new experience and will teach you a thing or two.

If you want to change, your life to change, then you have to be willing to be uncomfortable because by leaving your comfort zone behind, by taking a leap of faith, by risking something – you will find out who you are truly capable of. Unless you face something difficult, you will never know your truest potential.

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Habits

Why Chasing Perfection is a Futile Activity

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Why Chasing Perfection is a Futile Activity

“Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.”

-Voltaire

Perfection takes time. Time is something that most of us scared to invest. You either invest your time or you elude it trying to save it. From the time we start understanding words and achievements, we are inspired to chase perfection. By the time you realize that there is no such thing as ‘perfection’ in this world, you have already wasted a lot of your learning years chasing it.

While looking for a perfect job, a perfect career, a perfect relationship, a perfect moment – we often forget to cherish the things we have or be thankful the opportunities we have been given – we end up losing what we have.

“When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target.”

-George Fisher

We keep on running after an adjective that is very hard to put onto things. Perfection is going to have a different meaning for different people. Something that isn’t perfect for you is going to be perfect for someone else.

The pursuit of perfection in every aspect of your life can be very exhausting, you will be going through every stage with a looming dread of not being perfect. Even when you have done a great job, you won’t be satisfied because it does not meet your idea of perfection. 

In an attempt to achieve perfection, we have laden ourselves with copious amounts of pressure for every big or little thing we do. It sort of takes out the fun from things when you are constantly striving to make it exceptionally perfect.

“Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.”

-Antoine De Saint-Exupry

We often chase perfection so that we can stand tall in front of society. The opinions of other people affect a lot of people and that is usually the driving force. We want to prove ourselves to others – it can be someone who said we can’t do this or it can be someone we want to be proud of ourselves. What we don’t realize is that everyone is struggling to do their bit. Everyone is under the pressure of being perfect, the irony being, none of us are.
Low self-esteem and self-doubt is usually the cause of us trying to be ‘perfect’ at everything, we do this to improve our self-esteem. Self-doubt also stems from constantly comparing ourselves with others. Many people suffer from imposter syndrome. We don’t understand how that can be detrimental to the work we do. Not feeling good enough, feeling like a fraud, feeling like you don’t deserve anything can really suck the life out of you. These are the mental roadblocks that stop you from doing your best while keeping you constantly worried about chasing a state that is not that tangible – ‘perfection.’

Why Chasing Perfection is a Futile Activity

In the years you spend chasing it, there will come a moment of clarity that will help you realize that the pursuit is futile. When you realize that you no longer have to run after being perfect – when you understand that being good enough is actually enough – that is when you feel contentment in life.

Being content is the first step of feeling satisfied with your life and with your efforts. It is a liberating feeling to finally be happy with yourself after years of beating yourself up.

“To accomplish the perfect perfection, a little imperfection helps.”

-Dejan Stojanovic

There are a lot of advantages to not chasing perfection. You start feeling more happiness and gratitude in the light of appreciating the things around you and yourself. This results in you developing an optimistic approach toward life. When you are chasing perfection, it is somehow lost. You start finding faults in all your achievements, stopping yourself from being happy about them. This leads to negativity clouding your thoughts and as a result, you start pouring the same negativity in your life.

When you let go of the notion of perfection, you allow yourself to relax and be proud of your achievements. This action triggers positive emotions within you, helping you become optimistic toward the next stage of your life. This then leads to you feeling more confident. Being confident about your abilities also stops you from running after perfection and makes you realize the worth in what you do.

Why Chasing Perfection is a Futile Activity

Striving for perfection is a good thing because then it will make you work harder to get better day by day. With time, every skill gets better. Chasing perfection, on the other hand, is dangerous to the learning process. You need to learn the difference so that you don’t end up harming yourself in the long run.

Instead of chasing perfection, remember to strive for improvement and excellence. When you focus on becoming better than you were yesterday, you automatically open doors for yourself. You surround yourself with positivity – inside and out – making it a much-needed fuel to keep working toward your goal.

Always believe in what you can achieve no matter how imperfect you feel. There are going to be days when you don’t feel good enough. Everyone feels like that once in a while – trust me we all feel the same as humans. 

Final Thoughts

When you let go of that perfection ideology, you free yourself from your own expectations tying you down. You start feeling content with your life and with the pace you are going. That is what will help you sail by, that is what will hold you aboard.

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Habits

Why You Should Take Control of Your Life

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Why You Should Take Control of Your Life

“The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand.”

-Irene C. Kassorla

What we often forget is that we are the author of our lives. Not only that, but we are also the main character of our story. So we might as well write the chapters ahead instead of waiting for someone else to write an epic turn of events. 

If you aren’t happy with your life, it might be a sign that it is time to take the pen from whoever is holding it and start writing the next chapters in the book called life.

Incredible changes will come about your life when you decide that you have had enough of being a passive rider and would rather take control of what you have power over. There’s no point in dwelling over things you don’t have control over when you can put the things you can control to work.

If you don’t like the situation you are in, then the most logical thing to do is to work toward changing it rather than complaining. Once you realize that you are in control of your own life, it becomes easier to bring change to your life. The first step in taking any kind of control, over anything, is to realize that you can actually take control.

“You only have control over three things in your life – the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take.”

-Jack Canfield

Why You Should Take Control of Your Life

There’s this saying that all of us have heard – “Grass is greener on the other side.” Why do you think the majority of us are familiar with this saying? It is because we have been conditioned to constantly compare ourselves with everyone around us. It is supposed to motivate us in trying to improve ourselves.

What usually ends up happening is that we become demotivated. When we observe things from afar, it is easy to be blinded by the shine and not see all the polishing that was needed to bring about the shine. We compare it to the polishing we can see on our side and no shine whatsoever. 

The reality is that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, it’s just us who keep comparing ourselves to others and what we have to what others have. This makes us feel sorry for ourselves and pity our situation. Most of us are insecure and unsatisfied with our current conditions and that tends to demotivate us from working toward change. We start to slip instead of trying to better our situation.

When we want what others have or what others think we should have, we give them the power to control our lives. We lose our individuality – trying to fit in – trying to shape ourselves to suit others idea of what we are supposed to be. We start wanting what we don’t have instead of appreciating what we do have.

At times like this, we should remind ourselves that there will always be something better that we’re missing. We will always think other people have it better. The irony here is that the people on the other side are most probably thinking that your grass is greener! 

What this shows us is that instead of worrying about other people’s grass, we need to spend time tending to our own and trying to keep it as green as possible. Watering it, fertilizing it, and weeding the useless dead grass out.

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

-Buddha

We are so used to someone else holding our hand while we learn to navigate through life, that we often forget that eventually, we will need to learn to walk on our own. Unless we do that, we will never be able to decide the direction we want to take. We will always have to follow the person holding our hand. 

Why You Should Take Control of Your Life

The first step you take toward independent decision making will make you realize that no one has power over you unless you give it to them. As you start deciding the course of your journey, you will see that you are in control of your life and your choices decide your own fate. Blaming others was never an answer and now you know why.

You will learn that no one is in control of your happiness but you. No one owes you a thing and you don’t owe anything to anyone. Therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change – it is your life, you don’t have to let others tell you how to live it.

“Don’t let someone else control what you do in life. It’s your decisions, your outcomes, your life.”

-Anonymous

We are so conditioned to follow societal norms that we don’t even question it even though it isn’t making us happy. It is totally okay to choose a path that isn’t conventional. Sometimes you need to do what is best for you because YOU are the one who knows what is best for your life better than anyone else. You are not obliged to do what is best for everyone else, your biggest obligation is to yourself.

Do not mould yourself to what the world dictates, instead make your own unique mould that fits you. Breathe, meditate, and connect with yourself – it will help you be true to yourself. Because it isn’t always you against the world, most of the times it is YOU against YOURSELF. Do not compare your journey with others but only yourself.

Why You Should Take Control of Your Life

Learn to recognize your talent and your capability – hone them and use them. Don’t chase perfection because nobody is perfect and chasing perfection is a futile activity. Every person who walks this planet has flaws. The best you can do is be true to your imperfections.

“You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”

-Napoleon Hill

You have to understand that if you don’t take control over your life,  your life will take control over you. You have to decide to be in control because as Willie Nelson said – “Freedom is control in your own life.”

Although it isn’t possible to have complete control over life, you certainly can shape and influence it. One of the ways is to take control of your habits. Your habits help you shape your future. You become what you are because of all the choices you have made till date and the choices you will continue to make – both conscious and subconscious. 

While you do not have complete control over your life, you do have complete control over your attitude and your effort – these two things hold a lot of power when it comes to taking lead and paving the path.

“Control your thoughts. Decide about that which you will think and concentrate upon. You are in charge of your life to the degree you take charge of your thoughts.”

-Earl Nightingale

To make any kind of change in your life, to make any significant decision, you need to be in tune with your mind. Whatever consumes your mind and your thoughts will control your life. Don’t let negativity make a home in your mind – take control of your consistent emotions, your emotional wellbeing, and your dominating emotional state. Because the emotion that dominates your mind – whether positive or negative – will consciously and deliberately reshape your life, both in the long term and in terms of your daily experiences.

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