When you’re full of confidence it’s easy to overlook certain pursuits and activities as being a waste of time when weighed against current creative endeavors.
This self-assurance, although comforting, can actually be detrimental to coming up with genuinely good solutions to a task.
Sometimes we need a complete perspective shift to make real progress on something and that can only be found through deliberate efforts, most of which we’ll go through below to give you a head start.
Embrace These Habits: 14 Activities That Promote and Inspire Creative Thought
1. Try new hobbies
Taking up new hobbies is one of the easiest and best ways to inspire creativity within yourself.
It’s not hard to understand why either: learning new things forces the brain to make new mental connections which can have an impact on the way we think.
Taking up new activities and pastimes also broadens our perspective of the world meaning we can draw on more situational references for when we’re tasked to come up with inventive solutions.
The key to being creative then it seems is to always be trying to grow your expertise in a wide range of fields so you can start to build a bigger mental picture of the world in your mind.
If you need some suggestions then make sure to check out our comprehensive list of hobbies for tons of ideas.
You can also browse our top lists section for more targeted or niche-specific hobby ideas.
2. Brainstorming Sessions
Brainstorming is probably the most on-the-nose way of inspiring creativity and genius.
It involves trying to gather as much perspective on a certain topic as possible from many different sources whereby you’ll be able to come up with novel solutions to overcome them.
This can often be rewarding in a group setting with other people, especially since you’ll be able to draw on different experiences in real-time.
However, using the power of the internet to find different perspectives, solutions, and opinions can also be an invaluable way of promoting creative thinking.
The most common type of brainstorming often involves drawing out ideas from one main category into smaller subsections that can then be branched off of themselves into even smaller topics.
Chunking information like this into smaller categories can make things easier to assimilate but can also be a great way to find novel solutions without losing track of everything.
3. Embrace challenging situations
Embracing hardship is the core ethos of stoicism and for good reason; it forces us into uncomfortable situations that compel us to do better and so that we can keep growing as people without letting emotions overwhelm us.
When you force yourself to dig deep and to confront difficultly, it’s likely you’ll become more untethered by the restraints of negative thinking patterns.
Once you remove the emotional burdens from your day-to-day life, you’ll have more mental resources to draw on that can be used toward creative thinking.
One of the best living embodiments of stoicism is a famous ultra-marathon runner and retired Navy Seal, David Goggins, who swears by forcing yourself into uncomfortable situations every day to live freer than you ever thought possible.
Creativity can sometimes be right in front of us, but we have to break down the walls that hold us back from being able to tap into it.
4. Seek external opinions
It might seem obvious to ask others for help or opinions when you’re stuck in a creative rut but sometimes people double down on trying to come up with everything on their own, especially when it comes to creative control over a project or task.
However, we believe that a collaborative effort can often be the one that ends up being the most ingenious – in a way, being able to gather different perspectives can help us to reframe the way we look at a problem.
The way someone else’s brain will fire and develop ideas will be completely different from the way yours will.
We all come from different backgrounds, gene pools, and lifelong experiences that all shape who we are and the way we think; basically, don’t underestimate the power of consulting others even if you have a strong vision.
Meditation and/or mindfulness are the pursuits of silencing the mind and undoing negative thought patterns.
Sometimes we get trapped in feedback loops that are detrimental to our creative endeavors which can be hard to overcome without deliberate effort.
For the most part, meditation can help free up some mental resources that are usually wasted on stressing about factors that are usually out of our control.
Once your mind is clear, you’re more able to allocate that mental energy into more creative pursuits and are able to come up with better solutions.
6. Hanging out with friends and family
Non-deliberate efforts/activities such as seeing friends and family can actually be a great way to inspire moments of genius and shifts in your perspective.
Just the process of talking about different things can get you thinking in different ways that may lend some advantage to your creative pursuits.
Plus, it’s an opportunity to switch off from the usual craziness and stress of life — taking a break to make time for others can actually be beneficial in the long run, both mentally, and to help unclog your thought processes.
The great thing about reading books is that they’re able to deliver decades’ worth of knowledge in relatively little time — basically, you’re getting the condensed version of someone’s knowledge accumulation and experiences.
For any creative type of person or someone seeking to provoke a shift in their thinking, reading books is a great way to do this.
Even fictional books can provide great material to expand your imagination which can then affect how you see the world and thus, allowing for a more creative outlook on your endeavors.
Exercise is one of the best hobbies to add to your repertoire of pastimes, not just because it provides a wealth of health benefits (which is advantageous enough), but it can also allow for shifts in our way of thinking.
That’s because by exercising, we’re stimulating the body into producing a hormonal response in the way of endorphins, AKA, the happy hormone.
This is particularly good if you’ve been sitting for hours on end trying to think your way to some sort of creative solution – eventually, we’ll hit a plateau or a point of diminishing returns whereby it’s hard to do much without taking a break.
There’s nothing better than the feeling of a tough, sweaty workout followed by a relaxing bath to get us back to a state of fresh thinking.
9. Sleep it off
Sleep is the body’s way of defragmenting our brain from the daily stresses of life whereby we can shift our focus back to things that matter.
Stress and frustration can easily build throughout the working day, evolving into a sort of paralytic agent for our mental processes – sometimes there is no better way to get past these struggles other than to sleep it off.
In fact, if you work in a particularly creative industry, or need to maintain fresh thinking, we recommend getting at least eight hours of sleep every night as has been advised by numerous studies.
10. Declutter your living space
Having lots of things scattered around within your visual field can actually be a source of stress and impaired thinking.
For any type of creative endeavor, we highly recommend organizing your space into a more efficient setup as it’ll allow you to channel more of your focus on the task at hand.
Basically, if you’re wanting to maximize your creativity, you’d actually do better in a more minimalistic type of environment i.e. a clean desk, neutral lighting, and natural elements around you such as plants.
Conversely, chaotic environments such as those including RGB lighting, loud music, and rubbish all over won’t do much for helping inspire your next genius moment.
11. Journal your days
If you want to implement structure and efficiency in your week then we highly recommend starting to journal your days.
This includes what you do from the moment you wake up all the way through to when you sleep.
The reason for doing this is mainly because it’ll allow you to identify any inefficiencies within your day where you could be doing more, or at least doing things to help benefit your creative tasks such as exercising or meditating.
Once you have a better structure in place, you may or may not want to maintain the process of journaling, though, we actually find it beneficial to keep up with it as it’ll allow you to solidify healthier habits in your day.
12. Mood Management
Managing your mood is a multifold task as it usually includes being mindful of your state of mind throughout the day, record taking, and trying to spot patterns of when you’re feeling your best.
In terms of creativity, managing your moods, and working within optimal timeframes can be the difference you need to make significant progress within your creative endeavors.
It’ll also highlight any opportune moments for you to destress and unwind whereby you can leave the work to one side whilst working on your emotional and spiritual health instead.
Keeping balance within your life will help you achieve more in the long run than excessively dedicating time toward one certain pursuit — people often forget that life is an emotional journey as much as it is a practical one.
13. Study Philosophy
Philosophy is another essential topic worthy of study, especially if you’re pursuing or working on some sort of creative task.
That’s because philosophy will help broaden your mind to how you perceive the world and thus, can open you up to more ways of thinking.
Basically, it’s akin to being stuck in a box since birth never being told anything different, and then suddenly someone comes and plucks you out and you see there was a whole other world outside of what you’d imagined.
Philosophy is the key to opening the door to a more expansive and vast plane of thought which is essential if you want to improve your creativity.
14. Listen to music
Music is an underrated conduit for creative thinking, but sometimes the right song or piece of music can completely shift our plane of thinking to one which is more aligned toward creative thought.
In fact, music can be used to inspire you in many situations — one of the best examples is probably before or during a workout; the right song gets you wanting to pump more weight and run faster.
That’s because different types of music can be used to evoke particular types of thinking within you — only you will know how you respond to them but it’s definitely worth giving it a try if you’re stuck in a creative rut.
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