Can You Learn Creativity Later in Life?

Creativity can be seen as an attribute a person has or doesn’t have. This idea implies that there’s a divide: some are being able to think in an innovative way, while others are more technical-minded.

For Ray Bradbury, creativity was the art of silencing rationality:

 The intellect is a great danger to creativity … because you begin to rationalise and make up reasons for things, instead of staying with your own basic truth — who you are, what you are, what you want to be. I’ve had a sign over my typewriter for over 25 years now, which reads “Don’t think!” You must never think at the typewriter — you must feel. Your intellect is always buried in that feeling anyway … The worst thing you do when you think is lie — you can make up reasons that are not true for the things that you did, and what you’re trying to do as a creative person is surprise yourself — find out who you really are, and try not to lie, try to tell the truth all the time. And the only way to do this is by being very active and very emotional, and get it out of yourself — making things that you hate and things that you love, you write about these then, intensely. 

-Ray Bradbury

In recent years, there has been a growing call in learning facilities to nurture and teach creativity from an early age. Research indicates that for creative ideas to develop, it is necessary to train the mind. This idea of developing creativity is even taught as an area of study. Which might lead us to the question: What are the ways that educators evoke the creative spark? And should these techniques be taught?

How Can Creativity Be Developed?

Everybody seeks to develop and hone a creative spirit. Since the beginning of recorded artistry, the idea has been revered as the muses for writers and artists. Now, it’s not just the individualists and philosophers who are looking for an imaginative hit, but business people and students looking for a spark of creative magic.

Thinking outside the box has been regarded as such a clichéd precept that we have taken for granted the importance of being able to come up with far-reaching ideas in order to solve problems. Techniques to teach creativity are as vast and varied as the creative act itself.

So, if you are someone who is looking to develop their creativity, we recommend that you try the following:

Capture new ideas

Come up with an effective way to maintain innovative ideas as they occur, without criticism or modification first. This could mean keeping a notebook or using a voice recorder to record your thoughts before they vanish.

Seek out challenges

Don’t be afraid of challenging tasks or issues. Even if there is no evident solution to the problem, just motivating yourself to think about the possibilities will help you generate new ideas. Searching for opportunities also ensures that at times you will struggle, but recognising failure as a possibility is also a necessary part of being innovative.

Broaden your knowledge and skills

Acquiring knowledge and skills outside of your current field of expertise will provide interconnection with more diverse skills, which is the framework for creativity. You can do this by taking a short online course, attending seminars or reading journals in different fields.

Manage your surroundings

Your environment can have a big impact on how you think. Surrounding yourself with different physical and social stimuli can stimulate better approach for intuition and ideas. This may be anything from expanding your social circle to visiting art galleries to decorating your work or study space with unusual objects.

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