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Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo da Vinci
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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Maximize your creativity

Steps to maximize your Creativity easily

Of course, keeping the title of this blog as "Creativity Maximized" and not talking about maximizing your creativity seems a bit offbeat. So in this article I have shared my views on how to maximize your creativity; what I say here are purely out of my experience and does not go beyond that. Usually when we talk about "creativity", we refer to doing something "different" or "out of the box". When do we say something is "out of the box?" Have you ever thought about it? When we feel something seems different, we call it creative.

Creativity is, like I described above, creating stuff that weren't there before or seems new to people who witness its discovery. Who do you certify as a creative person? Someone creates stuff (could be a drawing, a music, a computer program or a solution to a mathematical problem) that either lets you believe it’s beautiful, or makes you wonder how the solver had found that particular way to proceed to arrive at the logical answer. People who wittiness a problem being solved wouldn't be initially aware of the solution themselves. They wouldn't have known the answer because they wouldn't have thought about solving the problem in the way the person who solved the problem had thought about while solving. Generally, a person finds something excitingly new or extraordinary if he hadn't witnessed it before and if he can't have done it himself.

 So this leads us to conclude that any new solution given by a person is enough to get people witnessing it to believe his work to be extraordinary. In this article, I am going to show you the way to maximize your creativity; remember that I am not a physiologist and I talk from my personal experience and this does not go beyond that.
Steps to maximize your creativity

 Certain habits you have inherited prevent you from becoming more creative. Change them to become more creative.
I am a college student, doing my computer science engineering. At times I have met people who find it hard to program to solve a problem rather than score in exams. I haven’t had any problem programming to solve problems. Once one of my friends who faced this problem asked my help. While teaching him, I realised one vital thing that make me understand what is really different in them that prevents them from learning. Most people study their academic study material for the sake of scoring marks; so the regular habits they learn makes them learn the academic material in a way to let them answer questions related to that topic in exams. So the habits they would have cultivated this way would be in favour of only scoring marks. The information they actually perceive, omit and categorize will need to be changed slightly, because by default, the information they perceive, omit and categorize would only help them do better in exams. On the other hand the contrary is also true; if they view the subject they learn in the way that helps them in applying the concepts, then the information they categorize and perceive will not aide them in their exams. One easy way to start 'learning to apply' is to start taking challenges. Once you are able to solve a problem, the pleasure you get solving that problem makes you solve even more problems. 

When you give an average student a book on programming in a language, he would learn it in a categorized way that helps him score more than to apply it to solve problems. It’s not that people who are less creative (know that there is no definite measure for creativity) know less, but they know something that prevents them from being creative. So if you are creative, you would not know the “definite way” to do your task before proceeding with it and would be daring to try all possibilities in approaching the solution to a problem no matter how obscure it seems. So as you try the wrong possibilities and start failing each time you choose the wrong solution, you tend to realise that that problem cannot be solved that way and tend to think about other possible different ways.
So always trust your own instincts and don’t let yourself down if you fail in that attempt. Because for each wrong attempt you learn that that method you proceeded with is wrong.

Try the untried
Another important pattern that is recognizable with people who don’t tend to be creative is that they fear to try the untried. Or they do only what is told or done by others. If you are familiar with computer science, you would know that the most obvious way to solve a problem for which you cannot define the steps at each instance is to try all possible combinations. Of course, in many cases, people go after simpler methods that makes solving such problems lot easier. But we are not same as computers; we observe the pattern in everything. This helps us to form a pattern from all our failure trials or partially success trials to make our overall problem solving easy.

A good artist or a good musician looks for new patterns; but to do this they need to have a collection of all their old patterns, and think about a combination they haven’t tried until then. No thought will pop up in your head if you don’t recollect similar thoughts. Let’s say you want to design a plan for your new house. Don’t think about money bounds or any other such bounds, now try to draw a plan and picture it in your mind. Let me now describe a short plan I came up with. This plan might not impress you in any ways (especially if you are an architect), but holds as a good example for me to explain about what I mean by tying all possible combinations.
 In my plan, I had drawn a small room right after the entrance with 2 chairs and 1 table and a lamp right beside the table. Towards the entrance door’s left and right are windows with screens half covering the light entering it. Now, the next room attached to this front-room is a hall room big enough, with a coach on the side end and a television on the other end of the couch. One tube light and several attached lamps on the top corner of the room’s walls. Right behind the television is a wall paper that has a picture of a village and a mountain on the far end, with farmers working in the field at a distance. The sky is blue and bright; the television set covered a part of the image. The walls were painted light blue on all the corners except for the corner where the couch was placed. That end of the room was painted light brown (to match with the couch’s colour which was dark brown). The roof was left grey. This hall room had two bedrooms attached to it, with attached toilets.

You may not like parts of my plan; but my motive here was not to elaborate you of a good design for your house. Now that we have a plan, let’s think of small combinations. To make it simple, there is no wall paper in the hall room and its painted green throughout instead of blue. Of course, if you can picture it in your mind, you won’t find it looking good enough. Now again, let there be a wall paper at the couch’s end rather than at the television’s end. We have now tried few set of combinations of what we already have described about to try and choose the most optimal one. We can use every stuff we know of in our design: the bed, cot, couch, colour paint for painting the walls, table, chair, etc., and put them in a combination and check if it works. When we put them together in a combination, we get something out of it. Then we decide if its good are bad. So a creative person tries many variations, usually unexplored variations; my example is not an unexplored variation, besides the design seems very normal to me.
So if I want to try new stuff that seem different, I must first write down the list of combinations that I feel are not unique. Once we human start trying out something, our brain automatically tries to find patterns in it; but our brain does this only if we pay attention to what we do rather than doing what we do habitually. So to conclude, try various combinations and rule out the ones you are not comfortable with are which you think is not right.      

Solve it differently
 In mathematics, a problem could be approached and solved in numerous ways. Approaching a problem the same way it had been approached before does not give you a chance to express your creativity. Once you have learnt to try new combinations, you need to learn to solve a problem differently. Never go by the way laid by others, because they were built of their creativity and not yours. It’s not that you can totally avoid using available works of others to prove yours, but once you formulate something, there should be at least something new in your work. It should not be something someone else makes out to be new, but you should be able to feel that whole or a part of your work is new. It’s not wrong to reinvent what is already discovered, because that trains you to think in the right way and equips  you in facing real challenges.

Though there are numerous ways to solve a problem, a mathematic problem’s solution will be of the same fundamental reason regardless the approach you opt for. But opting for a different approach causes you to explore something that can’t be explored if you were to be satisfied with someone else’s proof. So to conclude, never be satisfied with the solution you have at hand, but create your own solution. You should always be in search of new challenges. Failing to solve a problem is not at all wrong. The more challenges you face, in diverse fields, the more creative you become. Never judge your creativity by observing your ability in doing tasks that involves intellectual knowledge and requires you to repeat the same set of rules over and over again.           
Disclaimer: this article was not written by a psychologist, or a person related to this subject in any ways. So all that is written down here are author’s own perception to how to maximize creativity. This must also not be treated as an educative article that tries to educate one on the subject it falls under without cross verification for the correctness of the text in this article.

Copyright © 2015 K Sreram, all rights reserved.

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