What are creative thinking exercises anyway? It has been said that all we are ever really doing is pulling things apart or putting things back together. You could say, ‘there are no new ideas under the sun.’ However there are an infinite number of ways we can combine ideas together into interesting new combinations or ‘recipes.’
When you are ‘stuck in a rut’ or creatively blocked your mind is locked into just one limited perspective. Some people want to know about critical thinking exercises but if you’re anything like me you’re probably more into creative thinking techniques. Discovering new angles on the project you are working on enables you to gain creative insight.
We all have internal mental strategies such as Decision, Motivation and of course Creative strategies. This usually functions outside of our awareness, but we can identify the step by step unconscious process and then trigger it when ever we want!
One day I was sat in a coffee shop, with pen & pad and laptop, hoping to write an article. I struggled for a while and nothing was really transpiring. So I thought, “Hmmmm, what is it like when I feel really inspired?”
I then remembered a time I was crossing a desert, right out in the middle of nowhere. There was nothing apart from a road, sand and a few shrubs for hundreds of miles. In the evening I stopped the Jeep, turned the lights off and stepped out…
Have you ever been to a Planetarium? Well this was like the best Planetarium in the world! There was no light pollution whatsoever. You could see stars right to the very horizon in every direction. The more you looked up at the stars, the more appeared. The Milky Way was crystal clear. It was truly wondrous! It felt like being connected into the vast, vast Universe.
So what I did next was I took inventory of how I created that state of awe and wonder in my mind. I noticed the image in my mind was true to life size, 360 degrees around me and clear. I also noticed my internal dialogue saying, “Wow, this is amazing!” and then noticed the feelings in my body.
What I did next was think about my writing project; Noticed the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic aspects to it and then mapped then across into the ‘Wow’ experience. I actually saw sheets of paper 360 degrees around me and in the milky way with writing appearing on them while my self talk was saying, “Wow, that’s amazing!”
As soon as I did this shift in perspective my feelings shifted into feeling good and inspired. Literally within moments of doing that creative thinking exercise I was able to write in a way that was flowing and inspired.
So what I did was become aware of one of my ‘creative thinking recipes.’ Why not do some creative thinking activities and discover one of your recipes or give mine a go and see what results you get?