Question: I’d like to become more imaginative and creative. What suggestions do you have?
Answer: I’ve heard theories that imagination and creativity are innate – you either have it or you don’t. I’ve also heard some people state, “I’m just not a creative person.” In my opinion, everyone is born with imagination and creativity. With some people it’s “closer to the surface” than with others, but it’s still present within every one of us. The key is what we do to bring it into reality.
As entrepreneurs, we tend to spend a lot of time in a left brain mode. We’re analyzing, planning, verbalizing, logical and detail-oriented. But imagination and creativity emanate from the right brain. And if we don’t spend much (if any) time in a right brain mode, how then can we develop our ability to imagine and create the good that we seek? There certainly are things we can do that are outside our comfort zone. What might they be?
I used to read business books and magazines all the time. Nothing else was in my library. Growing up I loved to read, but as I began my career it was all about learning everything I could about business methods, theories and case studies. I participated in education sessions and seminars to obtain a professional designation – all related to my industry. I wrote articles for trade publications. Again, they were all focused on the business of my business. After a few years it became clear to me that my one-dimensional approach to reading, learning and writing wasn’t doing anything to make me more creative or innovative. There is no doubt that I was becoming an expert in my field, but so what? Who wants to be a boring expert? And I noticed that solving problems wasn’t as easy or as fun as it was when I first started my journey.
A course correction was in order for me. I began reading a wide variety of publications. I actually began reading fiction books! Rather than allowing my whole life to revolve around business and more particularly, my business, I decided it was time to be much more curious about a whole lot of things. As a kid, I remember rainy Saturday mornings spent with World Book encyclopedias. I would pore through them in fascination. Somehow I had moved away from exercising my right brain. Living a more varied life was a gradual thing. But I found that the more I got out of my comfort zone and did things unrelated to my business, the more creative and imaginative I became. Today I believe that my levels of creativity and imagination are at an all-time high because I touch everything that I can – music, literature, spirituality, philanthropy, social studies, psychology, sports and the list goes on.
In order for our imaginations to soar we must step out of the forest and into the sunlight. Then we can look around and see beyond our limits. When we become curious about and interested in an infinite number of things, our creativity and intuition will become stronger and new ideas will flow effortlessly.
This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.