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Yuriy Markov
Yuriy Markov

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at scipios.netlify.com

Can you improve your creativity?

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Definition

People are different - that's the fact.

Some of us are super creative since birth.

Others (falsely) believe that they are not able to be creative.

But first things first.

Let's have a look at the definition:

Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scientific theory, a musical composition, or a joke) or a physical object (such as an invention, a literary work, or a painting).

Experiment

Now ask yourself - are you able to create something new?

The answer is obvious - yes!

If you don't agree with me, then take a pen and paper (or something similar, even sand and a stick is a good option). Now draw a line.

Voila! You have created something new! And it was simple.

But you can contr argue: wasn't that too simple? what about something sophisticated? something beautiful? something highly technological?

Let's have a look at the line we have drawn recently.

Now imagine any painted masterpiece you like.

Initially, it was the line just like yours! So, anything that looks impossible for you is starting like this - from something incredibly simple!

Big things have small beginnings

Recipe

Now I hope that you agreed with me, and let's understand how creativity can be trained.

Here is my recipe:

  • be persistent
  • don't set goals, create habits
  • always learn
  • don't be afraid of failures

As a side note, I want to mention that all of these points are connected. And even are parts of each other.

Be persistent

To be persistent means for me to keep doing some activity. So, if you've tried something once and failed, it doesn't mean that you should stop.

In my case, it took about 7 years before I've created my first solo project. It was an interface for the Set-top box. It was interesting: the user had nothing but the remote control. But the users were able to see tv guides, horoscopes, weather forecasts, play games, record shows, schedule time to turn on or off the TV, check their balance, etc.

Don't set goals, create habits

Pretty early in my life, I've discovered that it is hard to follow multiple goals. But it is very easy to create habits which will lead you to your goals.

There were times when I wanted:

  • a car
  • an apartment
  • travel the world
  • become a developer
  • lead a healthy way of life
  • learn to speak English
  • a countryside house
  • get married
  • etc.

And that's only the top of the list!

By looking at that list, you can easily separate it in two categories:

  • exact result (e.g., an apartment)
  • vague result (e.g., become a developer)

In the case of exact results, you can say when the goal is achieved: I have documents that tell that I'm the owner now.

But what about my dream about becoming a developer?

Ok. I wrote 10 lines of code, and they are even working! Am I a developer already?

So, it is much easier to create habits:
Want to buy something expensive? Set aside 10% of your income.
Want to be a developer? Find a junior position.
Want to learn English? Practice every day for one hour.

This way, you'll keep on going to your dreams with ease.

Always learn

You will never know what knowledge may become handy in the future. The answer is simple - always learn.

The real-life example. Steve Jobs followed a class in calligraphy. It inspired him to add beautiful typography to the first Mac.

But remember - be persistent. Dive deeper than: "I read about this topic a few years ago". To solidify your knowledge, start to use it.

Don't be afraid of failures

The failure is your friend. And it is so: you should use your failures as a source of knowledge.

Another personal example: I've passed the exam and obtained a driver's license only from the third attempt!

Yes, I've failed two times in a row. But every time I've failed, I've returned to the driver's school and trained again. Today I am a driver with more than ten years of experience.

Outcomes

At this point in my story, my oldest son asked: "That's cool! But how will this help me improve my creativity?".

Well, creativity is a skill as any other skill that you have.

So, to improve creativity - start to create things!

Yes, it's all that simple. And all of the above will help you in your efforts:

  • be persistent in your efforts
  • create habits that will lead you to your goals
  • always learn new stuff: the more you know, the more freedom you have
  • don't be afraid to fail, be afraid to not to try

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