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Two Principles of Creative Thinking

Creativity is a potential power you are born with. If you don't use that power fully, it is probably because you don't know or apply the simple principles for developing it. You can remedy that situation right now, if you like.

1. There are methods and techniques for thinking creatively.

2. When you make these methods and techniques a part of your mental habits, creative thinking is easy and automatic.

Entrepreneurs see the potential profit in a situation, because their minds are trained for that. Lawyers see the potential problems, because that is how their minds are trained. The ways in which you repeatedly think become habit, and that's how you train your mind. If you learn the techniques of creative thinking, use them until they are a habit, then creative thinking will be as natural for you as lying is for a politician.

Techniques for Creative Thinking

You can learn dozens of creative problem solving techniques. "Concept-combination," might have you mixing roses and clocks to create the first alarm clock that wakes you up with a gentle release of fragrance. The technique of "random-presentation" and a cell phone can give the idea to do your dictation with a pocket tape recorder while walking, so you'll have time for exercise and get your work done.

Creative thinking goes beyond solving specific problems or inventing things. Truly creative minds are always coming up with the questions too, not just the solutions. If you want to be more creative all the time, focus on three things:

1. Challenge assumptions. What if restaurants didn't have employees? Visitors pay a machine as they enter, feed themselves at a buffet, and everything is as automated as possible, so one owner-operator could run a large restaurant alone. Challenge all you assumptions for practice. Do you really have to go to work? Do swimming pools need water? Can education be a bad thing?

2. Change perspective. A dog's thoughts about your busyness could clue you in to the unnecessary things you do. Considering dollars-per-day instead of per-hour could give you a plan to let employees go home when they finish a quota. Increased efficiency is likely, and you could adjust daily pay and quotas so both you and employees made more money. See everything from several perspectives.

3. Let ideas run wild. Does flying furniture seem silly? It could lead to the concept of a hover-lifter. Just slide the device under furniture and it lifts it with a cushion of air, making for easy moving. Try not to stifle your creativity. Just relax, let ideas come, and know that you can always discard them later.

Creative Habits

For the above techniques to be an automatic part of your thinking, use them regularly. It takes several weeks to develop a habit, so you need a way to remind yourself each day. Write a few of your favorite techniques on a card and carry it with you. Look it over throughout the day and apply the techniques to anything. Before long, you'll have more creative ideas.

Related page: Problem Solving Techniques.

And don't forget my New Ideas Blog.


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