What makes creative output creative? How do you recognize creativity when you see it or hear it? Imagination, originality and inspiration all come into the mix, for sure, but does creativity have to be an example of something utterly new? I don’t believe that it does… some of the most strikingly creative works generate their impact by offering a new perspective. They illuminate the previously invisible in a thought-provoking new way.
It’s all too easy to get stuck in a same-old same-old pattern of thinking about life and how you live it. Restrictive habits have a habit of sneaking up on you quieter than a mouse in silk slippers. But if you truly want to live your life creatively, to revel in the joys of eccentricity and to produce creative output in a sustainable way, you need to keep your eyes, ears and brain actively on the alert for new viewpoints.
Granting yourself the opportunity of a fresh perspective on a regular basis is fundamental to your creative health. In experimenting with a fresh angle, you’re far more likely to come up with some novel questions for yourself, along with some engagingly creative answers too.
The most straightforward way to get a different perspective is to go somewhere that’s not part of your normal, everyday routine. By positioning yourself physically and geographically in a different place, you can access different mental and emotional perspectives too.
This is often what happens when you go on holiday – after a day or two you begin to see the challenges you had when you left home as somehow separate from your holiday self. The physical distance enables you to gain an emotional distance too. And with the emotional distance comes the opportunity to see the whole situation from a new mental perspective, offering the opportunity to come up with innovatively different possibilities. Einstein famously stated that you can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created. Similarly you often can’t solve problems in the place in which they were created.
New surroundings provide fertile ground for creative ideas too, of course. Anywhere that opens you to a sense of new experience will get your creativity sparking. And it doesn’t only happen in those beautiful, relaxing places where you can enjoy reflective time, although the opportunity is distinctly pleasant! More often still, the creative sparks come thick and fast when you’re outside of your comfort zone. So don’t shrink from the scarily unknown… try embracing it as a raw creativity opportunity instead!
Here’s a surprisingly effective and very simple exercise you can experiment with… Sometime in the next few days when you’re in your car on an everyday journey that you know well, stop the car in the middle of the route. Stop somewhere you wouldn’t normally stop, making sure it’s a safe place to park the car, of course! Then get out of your car and look. Really look. What do you notice from your new, stationary perspective? And what happens when you bring more than just your sense of sight into play? Use all your senses. Now what do you notice?
So… granting yourself a fresh perspective can be engineered very simply in an environmental context. All that’s required is that you either position yourself somewhere entirely new, somewhere you’ve never set foot before. Or that you take the time to be consciously alive in a place you know so well that you’ve stopped being truly aware of it.
Go and breathe in a new environment – feel your creative heartbeat quicken.
Mary McNeil is an experienced, ICF-certified life coach, natural born planner and declutterer extraordinaire! She works with her clients on a variety of decluttering, success and creativity projects.
Her 30-day home learning e-course is jam-packed full with the knowledge and experience she’s gained over years of one-to-one coaching with her clients.
Check out => Declutter Your Way To Creativity