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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Meleg

How to be More Creative (Point by Point)

Updated: Feb 7

Develop a Passion.

Find what makes you excited and interested!

Let that guide your creative endeavors.

Here are some activities and exercises that might help:

  • Self-Reflection: Spend some quiet time alone to think about times when you've felt truly happy, energized, and fulfilled.

  • What were you doing during these times?

  • What would you do if you had all the money in the world and didn't have to work?

  • Journaling: Writing down your thoughts and feelings on a regular basis can help you understand yourself better.

  • Look for patterns and themes in what you write.

  • What topics make you feel most excited?

  • What activities or ideas do you keep returning to?

  • Try New Things: Step out of your comfort zone and explore new activities, ideas, or fields of knowledge. This could involve:

  • taking a class

  • traveling to a new place

  • volunteering for a new cause

  • reading a type of book you've never read before, etc.

Travel and culture is very inspirational!

Travelling will literally change your outlook on life!

The World is incredibly beautiful, explore it!

Here are some more ideas

  • Look to Your Past: Think about the activities, hobbies, and interests that you loved as a child or teenager. Often, our early passions can offer insight into what might excite us as adults.

  • Visualize Your Ideal Day: Imagine a day where you had complete freedom to do anything you wanted. What would you do? Who would you be with? How would you feel? This exercise can give you clues about what activities or pursuits you might be most passionate about.

  • Consult Others: Ask friends, family members, or colleagues for their perspective. They might have insights about what makes you come alive that you've overlooked.

  • Create a Vision Board: This is a collage of images and words that represent your dreams and goals. It can help you visualize and connect with what truly inspires and motivates you.

  • Meditation and Mindfulness: These practices can help you become more attuned to your inner thoughts and feelings, which in turn can help you identify your passions.

  • Career and Personality Tests: Tools like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Holland Codes (RIASEC), and StrengthsFinder can provide insights into your personality and potential areas of interest.

It turns out that I have an "ENTJ" personality type, which means I am creative and enjoy putting together projects. Go figure!

  • Mind Mapping: Start with a general topic that you're interested in and expand it into subtopics, exploring all the different paths and ideas related to that topic. This can help you discover new areas of interest within broader categories.

Finding your passion can take time, and it's okay to explore different paths. What's most important is that you're taking steps to discover what truly excites and inspires you.

ADVICE # 2 - Learn from the Best.

Seek inspiration and learn from successful individuals and environments.

This can involve studying successful creative individuals, companies, or projects and understanding how they foster creativity.

  • Read Biographies and Autobiographies: These can give you insight into the lives of successful creative individuals, including their habits, inspirations, and the challenges they've overcome. Examples include "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson, "The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait," or "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin."

  • Watch Documentaries and Interviews: These can offer behind-the-scenes looks at creative projects and individuals. You can find many of these on platforms like Netflix, YouTube, or TED Talks. Examples include the documentary "Abstract: The Art of Design" on Netflix or "Inside the Actors Studio" interviews.

  • Attend Workshops, Webinars, and Talks: Many successful creatives share their wisdom and experience through these formats. Look for events (online or offline) hosted by creatives in the field you're interested in.

  • Study Successful Companies: Research companies known for their creative output and innovation, like Pixar, Google, or IDEO. Read books like "Creativity, Inc." by Ed Catmull or "The Innovator's Dilemma" by Clayton M. Christensen. You can also look at case studies available online.

  • Join Creative Communities: Whether online or in person, surrounding yourself with other creative individuals can provide inspiration and opportunities to learn. This could be a local art collective, an online writing forum, or a global community like Behance.

  • Visit Museums and Galleries: These spaces often house the culmination of successful creative projects. Spend time in these environments, and take inspiration from the works on display.

  • Take Courses and Tutorials: Websites like Coursera, MasterClass, or Skillshare offer courses taught by successful creatives who share their methods and techniques.

  • Study Successful Projects: Look at successful creative works in your field of interest. If you're a writer, study books that have won awards or received critical acclaim. If you're a designer, look at design that has been featured or recognized in significant ways.

  • Follow Creatives on Social Media: Many successful creatives share their process and works-in-progress on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.

  • Work or Intern in a Creative Environment: If possible, try to gain firsthand experience in a creative workspace. The learnings from this kind of immersive experience can be incredibly valuable.

Remember, the goal is not to copy what these successful creatives have done, but to learn from their process, mindset, and techniques to foster your own creativity.

ADVICE # 2 Embrace Risk and Uncertainty.

Don't be afraid of making mistakes (they are inevitable) or of things not turning out as you planned. Sometimes, the greatest creative breakthroughs happen when we embrace the unknown.

  • Reframe Failure: Rather than seeing failure as a negative outcome, try to view it as a learning opportunity. Each failure brings you one step closer to success and provides valuable insights you can apply in future endeavors.

  • Start Small: If the idea of taking a big risk feels overwhelming, start with small risks. This could be sharing your work with a close friend, trying a new technique in your art, or writing in a genre that you're not comfortable with.

Gradually, as you become more comfortable with taking small risks, you can start taking bigger ones.

"Atomic Habits" the best book ever! On making small, constant improvements to ones life.

  • Practice Mindfulness and Meditation: These practices can help you manage anxiety and fear associated with uncertainty. They allow you to stay present and focus on the task at hand rather than worrying about the outcome.

  • Set Goals Outside Your Comfort Zone: Make a list of goals that scare you a little. The act of writing them down can make them feel more achievable, and systematically working towards them can help you become more comfortable with taking risks.

  • Embrace Imperfection: Allow yourself to create bad or imperfect work. This can help free you from the fear of making mistakes. The mantra of "done is better than perfect" can be liberating and open up new avenues for creativity.

  • Cultivate a Growth Mindset: Believe that your abilities can improve over time with effort. If you have a growth mindset, you'll be more willing to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, and see effort as the path to mastery.

  • Practice Improvisation: Activities such as improv theater can be a great way to embrace spontaneity and become comfortable with uncertainty. They teach you to think on your feet and adapt to unexpected situations.

  • Seek Feedback and Critique: Sharing your work and receiving constructive criticism can be a form of taking risk. It exposes you to different perspectives and can help you improve.

  • Visualize Success: Spend some time visualizing a positive outcome. What would it look like if you succeeded? Visualization can help to reduce fear and make the unknown feel a little less scary.

  • Develop a Support Network: Surround yourself with people who encourage and support your risk-taking. This could be a mentor, friends, family, or a creative community. Knowing that you have people who support you can make taking risks feel less daunting.

Remember, embracing risk and uncertainty is a journey. Be patient with yourself, celebrate your courage when you do take risks, and remember that every failure is a step towards growth.

ADVICE # 4 Cultivate Flow.

Try to find that state of 'flow' where you are fully immersed in the creative process.

This often happens when we're working on something that we're passionate about and that strikes the right balance between being challenging and achievable.

  1. Cultivate a Creative Habit (The Creative Habit): Creativity is like a muscle that needs to be exercised. Try to set aside regular time for creative activities. This could be writing, drawing, brainstorming, or any other creative practice.

  1. Embrace All Influences (Steal Like an Artist): Recognize that creativity doesn't occur in a vacuum. We are all influenced by what we see, read, and experience. Use these influences to inspire your own original creations

I hope this blog post helps you in your creative endeavors. Never stop seeking Meaningful Work!



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