Creativity is the lifeblood of innovation!  It’s the sparkle that drives the definition of who you are, what you can do, and what doors you are going to unlock for the world.  It embraces the abundance of uniqueness while providing an introduction into an individual or organization’s passion.  My wife is a third grade teacher and I can tell you without a doubt that her students force her to unlock her creative side every minute of the school day.  That is met with a strong dose of patience as well, but we’ll save that for another blog post.  But what happens when you lose your creative touch – when we find ourselves stuck in the same routine, following the same schedule, thinking about the same mundane tasks that lie before us at the office before we travel back in the same traffic and finish off our day in the same manner that we finished the day before.  Our lives become saturated with repetitiveness and we don’t recognize it until it’s too late.  Where did our fun go?  Once we finally figure out that our imagination has been stifled, we struggle desperately to find it again.

How do we get color back into our monochromatic existence?  I like to go back to where imagination  was built as the foundation of my personality – my childhood.  What comes to your mind when you think about being a young boy or girl?  Hopefully, your days were filled with playtime and laughter, pretending to be a cowboy riding on a stick horse or a divine member of her majesty’s exclusive tea party.  Remembering those days, don’t you smile at how innocent you were when all of life’s possibilities were before you?  I’ve got good news.  If you’re reading this, that means you are alive.  Okay, maybe that’s not good news is as much as it is great news…which means that it’s not over yet.  Don’t fall for the philosophy that says your best days are behind you.  Why do you think your car’s windshield is much larger than your rear view mirror?  Where you are going is so much better than where you’ve been.

Here are some quick ideas and tips to unlock your creativity:

  1. Draw.  It doesn’t matter that you might not be the next Van Gogh.  Who cares what you draw, just draw something.  And for us adults, I’m not talking about drawing a graphic of your next supply chain management structure.  Draw a bird or a cat, a sunset or a pirate ship, a rugged football player or a beautiful ballerina.
  2. Break the Routine.  Instead of shaving and then showering, take your shower first.  Listen to a different station on the radio. Take a new path to work.  Do something that is different than the day before.
  3. Exercise.  It’s proven that regular exercise is a natural endorphin release.  Kicking some of those old sluggish neurons out of the way will make paths for more productive thoughts.
  4. Dance.  Dance like nobody’s watching.  And while you’re at it, sing.  Go ahead and use some of these moves:
  5. Laugh.  Laughter is by far the best medicine.  Have a little fun.  My boys are teenagers and I enjoy getting in silly face wars with them over text messaging.  Sure it’s goofy and I’m sure they roll their eyes at it, but it helps me connect with them and to know that we don’t have to take life so seriously.

Breaking out of the “funk” will help you think more openly, live life more passionately, and break through the walls of your own limitations.  In the great words of Dr. Seuss, “If you never did you should.  These things are fun, and fun is good.”

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