Startup Dox

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How to:Remain creative (16 ideas)

  1. Why this matters: Retaining your creativity will allow new ideas for products and services throughout your company journey
  2. What you need: Your open mind
  3. Who you need: You, maybe a group of people with diverse viewpoints
  4. What to explore next: CEO Master Audio Course: Pick your Profitable Idea

Inspiration strikes at any time. At any place. With anyone.

It can come through an interesting conversation or simply walking down the street.

Or it can come lying immobile, alone in a sensory deprivation tank.

It can also come when you learn something new (like a language, route, or are facing extreme emotional or physical contrast).

It can also come when you learn something new (like a language, route, or are facing extreme emotional or physical contrast).

Integrative thinking is the ability to knit and relate different disciplines together.

Some of the best founders are ordinary people who were able to connect 2 or more very different concepts to create one product or service.

And the reason is…Because they remained open and flexible to new ideas and new methods of thinking.

Interestingly enough, finding new ideas is the same advice given to budding writers, and to prevent cognitive decline!

Yes, cultivating creativity will actually help your brain in the long run!

And not just with your profits.

But to actually execute on the inspiration, you have to keep receiving ideas – you and your brain need to be receptive to the idea.

Let’s explore:

  1. At all times, keep the notebook nearby. Or use your Notes app on your phone (Evernote; Google Keep). Keep dry erase markers around your house. Write on every mirrored surface.
  2. Seek new and interesting experiences. Whether in-person or online. Try ax-throwing or crocheting. Learn a new card game. Get your hands dirty.
  3. Shift from ‘what if?’ to ‘why not?’. This simple mindset tweak will have you expanding in all ways without any limiting judgments.
  4. Go to every event you’re invited to. Your ability to learn and create is directly proportional to how open and engaged you can be with your environment.
  5. Talk to strangers. Meet new people. Ask all the questions.
  6. Intentionally meet people who you know have contradictory points of view than you. Yes, go out and actually talk to the Republican (or Democrat, or nature-lover). A good friend was having a hard time because her newly divorced 55 year-old mother was dating again. So, this friend gate-crashed an over 50s singles mixer, because she wanted to understand this new world.
  7. Read widely on different topics and contradictory points of view. Try FOX (or CNN or Al-Jeezera) news for a day. Read international newspapers in different countries, especially ones with economic upheaval. Read critically and try to remain calm. How can you correlate this view with YOUR current experience?
  8. Listen to different podcasts. You might hate bird-watching, but there’s a science to it. Much like fly-fishing. The enthusiasm you hear from people can be infectious.
  9. Take another route home. Get lost somewhere (of course, be safe!) and explore your new surroundings. Learn about your new area. Now, retrace your way home.
  10. Sensory deprivation tanks. This is hard core. You’re literally in a tank (or capsule) floating in a foot of epsom salts for 30-90 minutes. You lose your awareness of time, space (and your senses). Bring a notebook. When you’re done with your time, write down everything that came up.
  11. Learn a new language. And don’t revisit your high school Spanish or French. Learn Tagalog or consider ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. (Duo, Babbel etc.)
  12. Meditate. Your brain needs the mental real estate to sort and connect the information it gained. Start with 5 minutes. Build yourself up to 15 mins 2x a day. Sleeping is to rest. (Insight Timer, Headspace, Calm).
  13. Take a walk. Or wash dishes. Or clean your mirrors. Or take a shower. Something that allows you to have a repetitive motion (“Wax on, wax off”) that allows your brain to rest into the familiarity and engage your brain for cognitive thinking.* Repetitive motions, such as playing an instrument or typing, can help to strengthen neural connections between different regions of the brain. This can improve overall brain function and make it easier to perform complex tasks. Enhancing cognitive function: Repetitive motions can also improve cognitive function by promoting focus, attention, and memory. This is because they require sustained attention and can help to improve working memory.
  14. Take a break and exercise. This just makes sense. Find something you like and do it. 3x a week for 30 minutes each. Endorphins released during exercise reduce stress, anxiety and depression – which also releases any creative resistance**. (Fun fact! Meditation, laughing and eating spicy food also releases endorphins).
  15. Mess around and play. Shoot some hoops or pool. Something that requires your brain to rest and enjoy itself. Find a kid and play with their toys or better yet have them explain it to you. Redesign the toy for them. Or for an adult. (In your head of course). Kids are savagely against change at times. (Find a talkative kid who wants to share his or her active imagination with you)
  16. Break things. On purpose. Pick up the broken pieces and find new uses for the broken parts. Or put the pieces back together to create a new “thing”, holder or product. Name it.

Action Step: Try 2 new ways above to get your creativity flowing this week​​.

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