Do you struggle with finding new ways to come up with ideas at work? Maybe you grew up too fast and it is getting the best of you. Let’s talk about how letting your child-like spirit take control can help you be more creative at work.
Worry less and do more.
Kids forge their own paths, not caring about consequences. If we’re more comfortable with being wrong and take more chances, creativity has room to blossom. – Elle Kaplan
There’s nothing wrong with failing when you are trying to make something new or different. Do you know what’s worse than failing? Doing nothing at all. You never know until you actually pursue something. All children learn how to do things by attempting them and learning from pain or failure. That doesn’t change. Even when you grow up.
You will be making mistakes for the rest of your life, so just do stuff. Make things. Learn from every creative attempt.
Think about the impossible and daydream.
According to a recent study, a wandering mind correlates with higher degrees of what is referred to as working memory. Cognitive scientists define this type of memory as the brain’s ability to retain and recall information in the face of distractions.
Kids day dream all the time. They create stories and play within those stories. Through these stories happiness and experimentation is discovered. Thinking about the impossible doesn’t mean that impossible things will become real, but it helps you think outside the box. Maybe a fictional story you create will be a great ad campaign or develop a new concept. Let the impossible allow you to be more optimistic with your ideas.
Curiosity. Children always ask why.
Do you ever get annoyed when a kid comes up to you and constantly asks you “why?” It’s not entirely their fault that they make you upset by never being satisfied with answers. Kids are just trying to understand simply because they don’t know what you know. They haven’t lived in your shoes and need to know all the details.
When it comes to problem solving, especially one you don’t know much about, you have to keep asking questions. Questions allow you to understand parts you may know nothing about or never even considered. What kind of questions should you be asking? If you’re trying to come up with ideas here is a good start.
Who – Who is the audience? That is pretty basic. But let’s go further. Who is the character within a story that this audience could identify with? Is the audience dads? Maybe the character is a single dad that is in his late thirties and has two kids.
What – What is the problem is that character facing within the story? Maybe the dad is too busy to make a healthy dinner every night? He doesn’t want to keep buying fast food, but doesn’t have much experience grocery shopping or cooking.
Where – Where is this story? Well it sounds like it takes place either in the car with the kids in the evening as well as at home in the evening.
How – How is the character going to solve this problem? Is there a service or product that can help him? Maybe there is a delivery service that drops off easy to cook healthy meals for small families.
These are some easy ways to get curiosity rolling and open up your mind. Never assume you know everything and always wonder if there is another way to approach a problem by simply asking a few questions.
Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last. Samuel Johnson (1750)
Kids try to break the rules to see what happens.
Maybe you are just being too cautious. Kids are always testing their limits to see how far they can go before getting in trouble. You don’t have to get in trouble, but you can bend the rules to see what kind of results you can achieve. Not all great things were achieved by being perfect and following the rules. People had to be different and daring.
“We all got educated into a fixed way of looking at the world, which is really very good if you are a banker an accountant or someone who drives a car. But it’s definitely very unhelpful if you are faced with a problem where you need to be more imaginative.” – Psychologist Mark Millard
Just because everyone else is doing something a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the only way. Sometimes going against the grain is the best way to go. Or the only way out.