This article is about a quick little idea designed to develop your creativity.
The last article I posted provoked some great responses. Including one that was about how much you can learn from what happens around us. You can read the article and the comments here:
The comment put me in mind of a mindset I developed when I was still a fresh faced young man going through my engineering degree.
Developing a Curiosity Based Mindset
At the time I was lucky enough to spend a couple of summers working with a startlingly brilliant Research and Development Director. Typical for the gormless teenager that I was I didn’t realise how much I gained from the man until years later.
In my first year at university I managed to get a work experience placement with one of the world’s leading manufacturers of agricultural sprayers. The level of science and technology that goes into agricultural spraying is huge and I caught a job working in their Research and Development Department for the Director. He taught me skills that shaped a lot of who I am today.
I’m going to call him Mike, mainly because that was his name. Mike was huge into personal development and really took me under his wing. One of Mike’s biggest attributes was creativity. He had the ability to make wild and often unimaginable connections and leaps between things. And he spent a lot of time getting me to practice the same. He used to say things like this to me all the time.
The Quality of Your Life is Based on the Quality of Questions that You Ask Yourself
Amongst all the drills and exercises he got me to do the one thing that seemed to take on a life of its own was the idea of certain questions. Whenever I finished, learnt or built something Mike would stop me and say something like, “That’s great now what else can you use that for?” or “What can you connect to that to create something new?” or “What other situation could you use that in?”
Questions are the Answer
It all sounds a bit lame but trust me. Set yourself the idea of doing this regularly for a few minutes a day and you will suddenly find yourself going down a few rabbit holes. Here are a few ways I use this idea and mind set.
Whenever anyone says anything where there is a strong reaction. I will analyse what was said and why it created the reaction. And then I would start to look at where else could I use that same phrase to; get the same reaction, get a different reaction, tweak it to do something different.
When I used to do a lot of training I used to get invited to sit in on lots of training sessions. Sadly there are a lot of poor quality trainers out there. At first I used to amuse myself by analysing what made them bad and how I would do it differently. As useful as that is there is only so much of it that you can do. I used to have lots of fun imagining how I could use exactly the thing that made them bad as a useful tool. Some of my best trance inductions have come from watching some incredibly bad trainers.
When anyone gives me a good language pattern the first thing I want to do with it is play with it in lots of different context. If for example someone gives me a sales closing technique I want to see how I can use it in some other context like flirting or poker or getting a random stranger to buy me a coffee.
Have a Go and See What Happens
Have a go. Just spend a little time every day for the next week playing inside your head. Whenever you come across something interesting just ask yourself, “How could I use that in different ways?” Trust me once you have your brain starting to get comfortable with the idea you will suddenly find yourself thinking many things differently.
There were many things that I took away from being a student but if I was forced to point to one thing that had the biggest significance in my life it would have been this creativity drill Mike gave me.
I still have a few USB data cards left but I also need to move on. I am closing the sale of these at midnight GMT on Monday. So if you want one or both then now is the time to get them. Click through the images for more information.