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Inspiring Creativity in Yourself

In this topic we explore how you can actively develop your creativity.

Big Ideas Summary

In our last feature article we talked about the powerful applications of mindfulness, and its role in developing good leadership traits among entrepreneurs. Similarly, mindfulness can be used to inspire and develop your own brand of creativity through self-awareness, understanding, and self-acceptance.

This month we are pleased to present our featured topic on how to inspire creativity in yourself. Here you can find new avenues to invigorate and develop your creative drive through tips and activities found in the following articles, websites, apps, and twitter feeds to use in your everyday life. After all, a healthy state of creativity is the key towards affecting positive social change in an innovative and engaging way!

At some point in everyone’s life they will have to become re-inspired, and reconnect with what truly drives and motivates them. People grow, interests change, and if you are a social innovator, maintaining your creative edge will help to keep your social venture thriving. The ability to be mindful can come in handy when you find yourself lacking inspiration and motivation. Think about these three suggestions the next time you find yourself in need of some creative inspiration:

1. Discover YOU. As your interests and ideas change over time, it is important to always be in a constant state of learning and discovery about who you are and what you want in life. Discover and question your own brand of creativity by trying new activities, contemplating divergent ideas, meeting new people, and making time for yourself every day. When you find yourself in a comfortable rut, sometimes experiencing a little discomfort helps to invigorate and motivate you to take action towards a new and exciting path. Check out the following infographics for some great tips on how to inspire creativity:

Check out this piece fromLifehack to discover 40 different ways to stay creative.

Buzzfeed Life features a series of life-changing diagrams that cover a wide array of interests.

An Ethical Island features this infographic on how to inspire innovation in your life.

2. Take action NOW. As the famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung once said, "You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do". Those who truly seek change, will do whatever it takes. Find out what it takes, and go do it! You don’t have to get it right the first time, or second. You don’t even have to finish right away. What’s important is that you start. Feeling insecure? Talk to like-minded people to gain support or enlist a trusted mentor to help your confidence and get advice. Feeling overwhelmed? Carry a pen and notebook with you to record thoughts anywhere and anytime you feel inspired. Above all, don’t be afraid of where this may take you, as there is always the opportunity to learn something new.

3. Make sure it’s FUN! If you are going to set out to become inspired, it’s definitely going to be more challenging if you don’t plan to have fun along the way. Part of re-discovering what motivates you, is doing the things that you are passionate about. Spending time doing the things you enjoy doesn’t have to be frivolous- hobbies can strengthen skills and create new opportunities for learning and adventure. It’s up to you to take the plunge!

Books on Creativity

Robinson, Ken. Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative. (2011). John Wiley & Sons Publishing.

Robinson, Ken. Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life. (2013). Viking Adult publishing.

Robinson, Ken; Aronica, Lou. The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. (2009). Penguin Books the reprint edition.

Quirk Packaging Inc. Creativity Workbook: 100 Exercises to Stimulate Creative Thinking. (2011). Sterling Publishing.

Pasricha, Neil. The Book of Awesome. (2011). Berkley Trade Publishing (The Reprint Edition).

Articles on Creativity

In this article by Tiny Buddha, fifty different tips and ideas are explored to inspire creativity in terms of mindfulness.

Fast Company provides a great article that outlines five of the most common ways we can neglect our creativity, and how to bring it back.

The Freedom Experiment features 17 great tips to get you back on your feet, and motivated, after you’ve faced some life challenges.

Idea Champions features this interesting article about some of the greatest creative moments in the history of mankind.

Scott Berkun provides an essay that helps identify when you are in a state of creative burnout, and how you can turn that around.

Jeffrey Paul Baumgartner shares an essay arguing that in order to be fully effective, creativity needs to be framed as a solution to a challenge.

Websites That Can Help Spark Creativity

At Creativity Post, you can find loads of useful articles and insights on creativity, innovation, and imagination.

StumbleUpon is a website generator that filters content according to your interests.

Pinterest is a pin board of images with links that include DIY websites, idea pages, toolkits, journaling exercises, and much more.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers free online courses in almost any topic you can think of.

Kickstarter is a great place to view other people’s innovation ideas and get inspired.

At 16 Personalities you can take this free psychology personality test based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to discover your personality type and activities that may be best suited for you.

Twitter Accounts to Follow

Creative Inspiration @galvaniseyc

Tiny Buddha @tinybuddha


Kickstarter @kickstarter

Mike Brown @Brainzooming

Maria Popova @brainpicker

Videos to Watch

In this TEDx talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, she challenges the expectations that come with the concept of being a genius, and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius.

The New School presents this video asking how, and if creativity can be taught in the classroom.

In this TEDx talk by Susan Conley, she discusses the power of telling your story in the quest towards positive self-expression.

Apps About Creative Inspiration

Oflow sparks your imagination with more than 150 proven creative prompts for having ideas and using your imagination whenever you feel stuck.

The Mind Tools app allows you to Learn more than 100 management, business and personal productivity skills from the toolkit. Build useful skills whenever you have a spare moment.

The Creative Whack Pack features 84 creativity strategies that will “whack” you out of your habitual thought patterns and allow you to look at what you're doing in a fresh way. Use the workshops to stimulate your thinking.

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