A Guide to Elevate Creativity and Intelligence: After extensive research, interviewing several experts, and conducting various Creativity Labs over the course of a year in 2005, we have compiled this list to help enhance creativity…
Although this list is not exhaustive, it is likely that there are other methods to foster creativity & intelligence which we have yet to discover.
My research explored whether creativity and intelligence can be acquired or developed, instead of being simply inherited. I hypothesised that the environment and a person’s behaviour had a much bigger impact on their capability, rather than something predetermined genetically.
So, do you want to supercharge your creativity and boost your intelligence? If so, it’s time to start making some changes in the way you think and approach problems.
Exercises to Supercharge Your Creativity and Boost Your Intelligence
1. Embrace the Unfamiliar:
Step outside your comfort zone and seek new experiences. Engage with unfamiliar cultures, explore diverse art forms, or immerse yourself in nature. Embracing the unknown stimulates your mind, fostering fresh perspectives and expanding your creative horizons.
2. Question Assumptions:
Challenge the status quo by questioning commonly held beliefs and assumptions. Engage in critical thinking exercises that prompt you to explore alternative viewpoints. By questioning the norm, you open up pathways to innovative ideas and breakthrough solutions.
3. Mind Mapping Madness:
Harness the power of mind mapping to unleash your creativity. Start with a central idea and branch out, connecting related concepts and ideas. Use colours, images, and keywords to create a visual representation of your thoughts. This exercise stimulates your brain’s associative thinking, fostering a web of interconnected ideas.
4. Free-Writing Frenzy:
Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and let your thoughts flow freely. Write without judgment or editing, allowing your ideas to pour onto the page. This exercise enhances your creative thinking by bypassing self-censorship and tapping into the depths of your subconscious mind.
5. Connect the Unrelated:
Challenge your brain to find connections between seemingly unrelated objects, concepts, or ideas. Take two random items and brainstorm possible associations or combinations. This exercise trains your mind to think beyond conventional boundaries, fostering innovation and originality.
6. Reverse Thinking:
Flip your perspective and approach a problem from a completely opposite angle. Imagine the opposite outcome or solution and work backward to find alternative routes. This exercise enhances your ability to think flexibly and encourages you to explore unconventional approaches.
7. Riddles and Brain Teasers:
Engage in puzzles, riddles, and brain teasers to sharpen your problem-solving skills and boost your cognitive abilities. These exercises challenge your brain to think creatively, fostering mental agility and improving your intelligence.
8. Visualise Success:
Harness the power of visualisation to stimulate your creative thinking. Close your eyes and vividly imagine achieving your goals. Engage all your senses and visualise the journey and the emotions associated with success. This exercise enhances your focus, motivation, and ability to manifest your creative aspirations.
9. Collaborative Creation:
Join forces with like-minded individuals and engage in collaborative creative projects. Explore shared interests, exchange ideas, and build upon each other’s contributions. Collaborative exercises nurture teamwork, foster diverse perspectives, and stimulate innovative thinking.
10. Learn a New Skill:
Challenge yourself to learn a new skill or hobby outside your comfort zone. Engaging in new activities stimulates your brain’s neuroplasticity, fostering creativity and intelligence. Whether it’s playing a musical instrument, painting, coding, photography or dancing, embrace the joy of learning and watch your creative capacities flourish.
11. Reflect and Refine:
Set aside dedicated time for reflection and introspection. Journal about your creative process, thoughts, and insights. Regularly revisit and refine your ideas, allowing them to evolve and grow. This exercise cultivates self-awareness, deepens your creative journey, and leads to continuous improvement.
12. Embrace Curiosity:
Nurture your sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around you. Ask questions, explore different perspectives, and seek knowledge in various domains. This exercise fuels your thirst for learning, broadens your intellectual horizons, and enhances your creative problem-solving skills.
13. Improve the condition of your physical support system:
Taking care of your physical support system is essential for a healthy and balanced life and creates an environment for your brain to be more creative. By making simple changes such as getting more exercise, eating healthier, and improving the environment around you, you can improve your physical condition and maintain an optimal level of fitness which push more oxygen to drain. By doing so, you can feel better both mentally and physically while also increasing your overall well-being.
14. Remove or reduce the environmental factors which inhabit your intelligence:
In this modern era, it is important to recognize and remove or reduce the environmental factors which inhibit our intellectual growth and expression. Religion, family values, social mores, and other behavioural beliefs can all be restrictive when it comes to creative expression. It is essential that we discard these limitations in order to maximize our potential for creativity. By letting go of these influences, we can open ourselves up to a world of possibilities that will fuel our intelligence and allow us to express ourselves in meaningful ways.
15. Aim for Quantity:
Generate loads of ideas for you to go through later. It’s normal that your first few ideas won’t really be fresh. The gems will come out later so it’s important to keep going. With a large list of ideas, you’ll have more to choose from, adapt or combine. Creativity is not coming up with something new from nothing; creativity is the ability to create something novel from ideas/things that already exist by combining, improving or refining them.
16. Believe that everything has a Solution:
An optimistic outlook always leads to solutions, no matter how impossible a problem or task may be. Often when a solution can’t be found, all that’s needed is for the problem to be redefined. Or when you think you’re stumped, surprise your mind with silly solutions then work backwards, leading to the original problem. Cultivate an attitude of continuing search for solutions.
17. Let Go of Your Fear of Failure:
Don’t expect to do something perfectly for the first time. Thomas Edison tried about 1800 things for the perfect filament for the incandescent lamp. Fear of failure is one of the major factors that can hinder your creativity. Instead of looking at failed attempts negatively, look at your failures as learning opportunities. Failing isn’t fun, but neither is doing nothing.
18. Use of SCAMPER technique:
The SCAMPER technique is a creative thinking tool that can be used to generate new ideas and solutions by prompting different ways to modify and improve existing ideas. SCAMPER stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse. Each element of SCAMPER encourages a different type of thinking and helps to stimulate creativity and innovation. By systematically applying these prompts to a problem or idea, individuals or teams can explore various possibilities, challenge assumptions, and uncover new perspectives to come up with unique and inventive solutions. SCAMPER is a versatile and effective technique that can be applied across different domains and industries to enhance problem-solving and generate fresh ideas.
19. Surprise Your Mind:
Don’t limit yourself to ideas that other people consider “sane,” “reasonable” or “logical.” The best and most creative ideas stem from silly ones. When you’re in a creative mode, you’re suspending judgement on ideas you generate. You simply list them all down and never worry whether they make sense or not. Allow yourself the freedom to think outside the box.
20. Record your ideas:
Recording your ideas is a valuable practice that enhances creativity and improves skills. By capturing inspiration, clarifying thoughts, fostering accountability, and generating new connections, documenting ideas becomes a catalyst for personal growth. It preserves fleeting moments of inspiration and builds an inventory for future exploration. Moreover, externalising ideas deepens understanding and promotes critical thinking. The process encourages self-reflection, identifies patterns, and tracks progress, leading to skill refinement. By documenting ideas, you unlock the power of creativity and maximize your potential.
In summary, recording ideas benefits creativity and skill development by capturing inspiration, fostering clarity, promoting accountability, and facilitating self-reflection. It unlocks the potential for innovation and growth, allowing you to unleash your creativity to its fullest extent.
Remember, creativity and intelligence are skills that can be honed and developed. By incorporating these exercises into your routine, you embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and growth. Embrace the challenges, embrace the unknown, and unlock the limitless potential of your mind. Let your creativity soar, and your intelligence thrive!
We ran the exercise on a group of creative studies students for a year. The finding was surprising as almost all students improve their creative portfolio and they feel all more creative at the end of the program, but the most vital part was many of them even improve their intelligent test score by the end of the year.
Anyway, I hope this list can help you with your personal development. However, if there are things that you think can be added to the list, please send me an email, I am always happy to hear from you.