Is it possible to become MORE creative?

I recently read an article, 5 Boring Ways to Become More Creative, and it sparked a question: Is it possible to continue to grow creatively or are we born with a creative gene?

Yesterday, a friend asked me what I do to continue to be creative everyday. My knee-jerk response was, “I get my best ideas when I drink red wine.” We laughed about that and part of it was true but can I really lead a marketing company fueled on red wine with dinner? I think not.

When tasked with really deepening my thoughts, I realized when I get get my best creative breakthroughs and why….

Physical exercise seems to be my ignition for ideas. Not the kind of exercise that is fun like kickboxing or zumba but the kind that takes every cell in my body focused on continuing, like running or cycling. A physical attention that clears everything out of my brain and focuses on only getting one foot in front of the other. Pavement-pounding, breath-drawing, sweat-dripping exercise that brings me to my knees in surrender. Then and only then is my mind cleared and cleaned out for new ideas.

In the hustle and bustle of life, we are all visually overloaded with marketing- signs, billboards, posters, social media, online articles, commercials etc.. I view these items with intent. When looking for creative inspiration, be inspired by others. I view the world around me looking for creative ads, designs and concepts. When someone asks to go to lunch at a new sushi restaurant, the reply is usually something like, “Oh you mean the one with the beautiful fish logo?” or, “The one with the trendy font on their sign?” or “The one with the bad kerning?” Inspiration is everywhere if you are looking around.

When equipped with the tools, “Clear your Head and Look Around” the next step is a little more cerebral. Most potential customers have one thing on their mind, even if they are not aware of it. It is a little voice inside all of our heads (If you are asking, “What little voice inside my head?” THAT is the voice).

This voice is always asking, “What’s in it for me?”

Creativity is answering that question in a way that is palatable and even enjoyable for the viewer. Answer the question. Answer it with your raw sense of humor or answer it as clean and straight as you can. Answer it with your little voice.

Clear your mind, look around, answer the question….everyday. Some are born with creativity but most can take a couple extra steps to grow it.

Inspired by the article: