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5 amazing tricks to be creative and stay creative

Everything we do is difficult at first, before it eventually will get easy.

Double Edge Theatre in Halden

It becomes easy when we practice a lot, and when we are persistent, and just keep going (no matter what).

That’s how I write, and it’s how I focus on creativity.

My kids are the most creative people I know. I think I understand what’s happening, and then I turn around… Every time there’s silence, I understand that there’s a creative process going on.

My youngest son told me about his latest idea. I smiled and said that it was interesting, and that he could probably do it. But, I really didn’t want him to climb the tree and jump from it to the trampoline.

He is two years old.

It’s not that I didn’t want to say that it was a bad idea, it was more that I didn’t want him to do anything about it. I didn’t want him to keep thinking about it. I wanted to distract him.

I usually don’t say no. I want to encourage creativity.

This is why I’m saying yes. I am saying yes every time I see an opportunity to do something completely different in business. Like I said, I’m doing it because I believe that by practicing it a lot eventually will turn me into a creative machine.

Today I’ve been with Double Edge Theatre from Boston (US). They’re currently living and performing in Halden, the town where I live.

Taking some time off, being with professional creative people, made me realize some important things about creativity.

5 amazing tricks to be creative and stay creative

There are many ways to be creative, and there are probably many methods you can use to stay creative. But, being with Double Edge Theatre today made me realize that there are five amazing tricks that we all could start doing today.

double edge theatre

#1 – practice every day

I started writing that everything we do is difficult at first, before it eventually will get easy. This is true with creativity as well.

You might believe that you’re not creative and that you’ll never come up with new and impressive ideas. But, what do you think will happen if you decide to practice to think differently every day.

For instance, don’t go to bed until you’ve written down 10 new ideas every day. If you keep doing something like this, you’ll be training your mind (like a muscle) and eventually being creative won’t be difficult anymore.

#2 – be outside

We started out walking, then some slow running, but mostly walking. We were outside; it was fairly windy, not much rain, but some.

When you walk (or run), I’m not sure why or what’s happening to the body and the mind, but it feels less stressful and less tension; less pressure than when I’m inside.

#3 – focus on the process

You should always have a goal in mind, and it’s great if you have a plan on how to measure success. But, instead of just focusing on your goal and the methods you’re using; look at the details of what you’re doing now.

Don’t time travel. Stop thinking about the past. Stop thinking about the future. Live and breath now. When you look at what you’re doing right now, and what’s happening around you (right now), you’ll have a better understanding of how you can provide something new and different that’s worth doing.

#4 – see and listen

I don’t talk much. I mostly write. But, being creative is often about seeing and listening to the details. As we were walking outside at the fortress, the same place as the Vegetarian festival, I discovered a seagul.

It was nothing specific about the seagul, other than that it was there, in the sky, just above me while we where walking. I looked at it, and I’m sure it was looking back at me. That’s it. It felt good.

I believe that in order to think differently, we need to consume something different and we need to be in a different environment without trying to control it (by speaking and writing).

#5 – people inspire people

I love animals, and that’s why I’m a vegetarian. I really enjoy walking and being alone in nature, but I understand the power of people.

I feel creative when I’m with creative people and I feel creative when I’m with people who are positive and people who are inspiring me. That’s exactly what happened when I was with Double Edge Theatre.

They are different, and being around people who are different makes me different. It makes me think differently.

Everything is connected

Everything we do is difficult at first, before it eventually will get easy. It’s the same with creativity. It’s a muscle that needs practice. The more you train it, the stronger it’ll be.

I believe that there’s not just one approach to anything and that most of the time, we need to find what works for us as individuals. What works for other people might not be right for you.

But, there’s one thing about creativity that trumps everything. Yes, it trumps everything.

If you’re living a happy life with not worries, you’re better set for creativity.



22 responses to “5 amazing tricks to be creative and stay creative”

  1. Hi Jens,

    Practicing daily is a fool proof way to get more creative.

    I am publishing 1 eBook weekly by simply practicing writing, every day. Hands down, it will skyrocket your productivity and creativity, just getting down to building new habits with persistent, consistent practice.

    Well said!

    Ryan

    • Hi Ryan

      It’s amazing that you’re publishing 1 ebook weekly. I can’t even imagine doing something similar, but I’m thinking of writing one fairly soon. I keep writing every single day, but most of what I write is not used for anything other than an archive on my computer and in dropbox.

      The habits I’m building is why I keep doing it. The more we work the better we become at what we’re working at.

      Thanks for your comment Ryan.

  2. Hi Jens,

    When my children were young, silence always meant check on them – just to be sure. I love that you describe it as a creative process going on. That really is what’s happening.

    Now, I’m watching that same creative process with my 3-year old granddaughter. You’re right that we should encourage them – just keep them safe at the same time.

    Your second trick, to be outside is the one that calls me. The dreadful winter that we went through (here in New England) is behind us. I need to get outside! Thanks for the reminder.

    • Hi Sherryl,

      I can relate to the dreadful winter Sherryl. It’s been cold and wet here in Norway, and finally we’re seeing some sun even though the weather is still not that great. The wind is heavy and still cold, but I’m outside every single day and enjoying every minute of it.

  3. Hey Jens,

    I have to say #2 and #3 are my favorites. It’s amazing how many ideas I come up with just from walking. I was reading that it has something to do with an internal chemical called Dopamine within our bodies that helps us to think of new ideas and be creative.

    With number #3, it helps me to become balance. With that said, I can focus on the current problems that I need to solve in order for me to keep progressing. Thinking for the past won’t get you no where, and thinking of the future is a dream yet to be fulfilled. But concentrating on the now will lay the foundation to materialize those dreams that we have!

    Thanks for sharing! Have a good one!

    • Hey Sherman,

      That’s one of the reason why I love walking and why I do it every single day for at least 30 minutes. It’s great to be outside in nature, but at the same time I get a lot of new ideas as well. If I have a problem to solve, the first thing I do it to go for a walk.

      Do you have a schedule or routine for walking?

  4. Hi Jens,

    Absolutely! Everything IS connected 🙂

    I think we all have hidden creativity within us, waiting to be tapped. Most of us don’t know we are creative. Yes, practicing daily does help, whether it’s writing or doing anything else – nothing could be better, especially if you are a blogger or a writer.

    Oh yes…walking inspires me, and most of my post ideas come to mind when I walk! One just keeps dwelling on them further till one reaches home to jot it all down. For that matter, nature inspires me, and I wish I could spend more time with it.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

  5. Hi Jens, Yes, being creative is so important, in our work, our parenting and our lives. Great ideas are born of creativity, coming from people who believe the status quo just isn’t good enough.

    I have borrowed #2 from you often, Jens. When I am at an impasse creatively I go for a walk. You have inspired me to do that and, sure enough, I find inspiration in nature. Yes, tech inspiration is in nature. Who knew?

    Love the story of your son, the tree and the trampoline. (I can’t believe he’s 2 already!). Even creativity has its limits!

    • Hi Carolyn,

      I should be out walking a lot more. I do my best thinking while walking and listening to podcasts while walking is awesome as well. I probably should test more tech to see if I can get more work done while walking, for instance I could try the speak write app; dictate and get everything on email. I’m not sure how that works, but it sounds like a great tool for me 🙂

  6. Josh says:

    I am a fan of practicing daily. It really helps us develop a mindset and skills that work to help make it a more natural process.

  7. Elise says:

    Hi Jens,

    These are great reminders. Sometimes I find it really difficult to get down to work (writing) and find myself thinking too much or distracting myself with the internet, cleaning, etc. as a way to procrastinate.

    My favourite points of yours are focusing on the process and getting outside. I’m trying to be more present and mindful these days rather than letting my mind go crazy trying to think about everything I did and everything I need to do. And going for a walk too — it’s so beneficial for our brains! One of the best stress relievers in my opinion and also a strangely good source for creativity to sort of pop out of nowhere.

  8. Hi Jens,

    I love “don’t time travel” Not focusing on yesterday or tomorrow, but being in the moment. I like the example you have given of the seagull. That single moment made you shift and feel good. I live for those experiences!

    I have so many creative thoughts that I could be at a stand still, unless I write them down, keep them on my Everote, and continue the process of what I set out to do.

    As a goal is set up, I like to celebrate each baby step along the way. I sometimes like to give myself a “reward” for doing the most minute thing toward a goal. It just keeps me happy.

    I sue do resonate with you being a vegetarian. I love animals, especially walking through a forest trail. If I walk slowly and quietly, or just sit for a moment, I can hear and even see the wonder of nature. And that takes me into a whole new world. It is so invigorating.

    Thanks for an uplifting post.

    -Donna

    • Hi Donna, I do my best to add everything to Evernote as well. My problem is to actually go back inside Evernote and look at everything I’ve written. I just add more stuff without doing anything about them. I’m not giving myself those small rewards for moving forward. What type of rewards are you giving yourself?

      • Hi Jens,

        I know what you mean about Evernote. I do keep it open all the time so I won’t forget to look at it lol.

        As for rewards? I give myself just about anything. It can be an afternoon off to enjoy the beach. Going off my healthy routine of eating and having a slice of pizza. Or if I complete a large task such as finishing a product which involves so much time and energy, a day at the spa or a weekend get-away is much needed.

        This keeps me going. Positive reinforcement works for me!

        • Hi Donna, I should learn from you. I’m not good at giving myself rewards after finishing big tasks. My problem is that I’m giving myself too many rewards without actually doing anything 🙂

  9. Hi Jens,

    Yes, I agree that creativity can be practiced (just like muscle). Also, I strongly agree that the outside is a good place to train our creativity. 🙂

    As you said, outside giving a lot of stimulation to the brain to think of something that has never been thought of before. There are so many ideas that you can get from the outside.

    Oh yes, we have to focus on the current process. There’s no point thinking about the past that have been passed and blame ourselves for it.

    Thanks for sharing this inspiring post, Jens.
    Have a great week ahead!

    ~Nanda

  10. Rahul Yadav says:

    This post was filled with so many good ideas that I saved the entire thing to my harddrive. Thank you so much. I have a bit of work to do.

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