I couldn’t believe it. Here I was, just two hours into a week-long road trip and my laptop’s keyboard started acting up. All of a sudden the numbers wouldn’t work. This ordinarily wouldn’t have been a major inconvenience, because I was primarily going to catch up on some writing. However, since my laptop password contained numbers, I was locked out. Talk about bad timing. If this problem had cropped up a day earlier I could have had it fixed before the trip. Now, I was riding down the Interstate wondering what I was going to do. Creativity is an essential component of problem solving. Let’s look at how to increase your creative ability.
Associate with creative people
There is great power that comes from associating with people who are where you want to be. We tend to absorb, on a subconscious level, some of the habits and approaches of the people who we choose to spend time with. One of the fastest ways to really increase your own creativity and resourcefulness is to spend time with people who are creative thinkers. Look for people who are great at out-of-the-box thinking.
Another perk that comes from spending time with creative thinkers is that the next time you’re facing a situation that you’d like help with, you’ll have some great people to call upon for ideas that you may not have thought of. This is one reason why it’s so helpful to be a part of a mastermind group.
While you’re at it, don’t limit yourself to only spending time with people who you know personally or who are even still alive. Don’t worry, I’m not getting “out there” on you – I’m referring to spending time with famous creative thinkers through books that they’ve written or books that were written about them. You can’t spend time with Einstein in person, but you can spend time with him in books and absorb some of his creative thinking by reading about him.
Think Multiple Solutions
I can’t count the number of times I heard my Grandmother tell me “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” when I was talking about how to do something or a find solution to a problem. (Don’t worry – she loved her cat and would have skinned somebody if they tried to harm him.) Essentially there is almost always more than one way to do something. One of the keys to creative thinking is to come up with multiple possible solutions to a problem. Then, when you’ve come up with multiple solutions, you’re in a position to pick a great solution from among several alternatives.
Creativity is a wonderful ally when it comes to problem solving. Where there is a will, there is a way – you just have to find it, and in some situations that requires a great deal of creativity. You can boost your own creative powers by hanging out with, and reading about, creative thinkers. Thinking through multiple solutions will enable you to think of better solutions than you would have if you stopped at the first one that occurred to you.
When my laptop keyboard started acting up, I called a friend to brainstorm with him on possible solutions. After a few minutes of trying this and then that, he confirmed what I suspected. The keyboard would likely need to be replaced. Then I remembered the on-screen keyboard feature. This allowed me to log-in to my laptop and use the real keyboard to get my work done, using the on-screen keyboard feature to compensate for the suddenly non-working keys on the main keyboard. As it turns out, where there was a will to get work done, there was a way to do it, in spite of the challenges that arose.