Tag Archives: creativity

Life Lessons We Should Learn From Kids

When was the last time you had a heart to heart conversation with somebody? As adults, we suppress our feelings and allow them to boil up inside us. Do not suppress your feelings. Who cares what others think?

life lessons we should learn from kids

Being an adult is not as thrilling as we thought it would be when we were kids. Children are more confident and courageous as compared to adults. Sometimes it seems we are growing up only to relearn the lessons we once lived by when we were kids. Here are some life lessons we can learn from children:

To Find the Joy in Little Things

Remember when we were kids and a large shiny balloon was enough to have us grinning for half an hour? Or remember how going to the park on the weekends seemed like the greatest adventure of our lives? As adults, we have lost out ability to find the joy in simple things. The truth is we all want to be happy but perhaps we are looking for happiness in the wrong places. Happiness and positivity radiates from inside you. If you fail to see the beauty in little things, it becomes quite difficult to stay happy.

To Express Our Feelings More Freely

When it comes to expressing our true feelings, many of us choose not to do so. Children, on the other hand, scream and cry their eyes out until they are heard and comforted by their loved ones. When was the last time you had a heart to heart conversation with somebody? As adults, we suppress our feelings and allow them to boil up inside us. Do not suppress your feelings. Who cares what others think? Expressing yourself more freely will allow you to feel better about yourself and that is what matters at the end of the day.

To Forgive

One moment a child is upset and in the next moment, they have already forgotten about it. Children can forgive and forget so easily. As adults, we hold grudges and hold our egos more important than the people we love. Cherishing a relationship is more important than arguing about who is right and who is wrong. Forgive the people who have wronged you as it will allow you to heal and grow.

To Believe In Yourself

Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.” —Mary Kay Ash

If you do not believe in yourself, how do you expect others to do so? Everything starts with you. As we grow up, we slowly start to lose belief in ourselves. Start believing in yourself and you will notice how easily things fall into place. You need to stop looking for the approval of others. Your dreams are your own to pursue and you will have to work for it yourself.

To Ask For Help

As we grow older, we find it more difficult to ask for help. Our thirst for knowledge diminishes and we start to become ignorant. Never be afraid to ask for help when you truly need it. As human beings we are by nature, dependent on others and our surroundings, though most of us will never admit that we cannot get by on our own.

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5 Ways To Boost Your Creativity

In this fast changing world, you need to stay ahead of your peers.

5 Ways To Boost Your Creativity

Innovative thinking and broadening your horizons is a must if you want to work your way up to the road of success. Creative thinking is not something that is just restricted to good genes. There are many ways you can boost your creativity. Sometimes, all you need is a fresh perspective and the will to get inspired. In this fast changing world, you need to stay ahead of your peers. Hence, do not be afraid of stepping outside your comfort zone and thinking outside the box. Here are some tips to boost your creativity:

1. Restrict Yourself

It is easy to overwhelm yourself when you have a supernova of ideas inside your head. Sometimes, when you are focusing too much on thinking outside the box, you can get carried away. This hinders your performance and keeps you from having a proper sense of direction. Dr. Seuss would often put word restrictions on himself while writing books. Restricting yourself prevents you from falling back on past success. The next time you are writing a short story, aim for 500 words instead of a 1000. This method will challenge your mind to brainstorm for the best ideas.

2. Partner Up With Somebody

Creative solutions are a result of a string of ideas. Team up with a person that not only inspires you and has great ideas but is easy to work with. Understand that one thought leads to another until you finally find your way to a solution. Talk to somebody and brainstorm ideas with them. On the plus side, you are less likely to get distracted when you are working with somebody as you will be held accountable for your setbacks and shortcomings. However, be sure to pick somebody that is easy and flexible to work with.

3. Daydream but Only After Getting Started

Daydreaming can actually result in improving productivity and stimulating creativity. However it only works when you have already committed effort towards the project. Formulate a plan and get your foundation ready before you start daydreaming. Daydreaming allows you to incubate new ideas but this is only useful when you already have a plan in action.

4. Stay Positive

While negative mood can sometimes spur creativity, recent research has shown adopting a positive attitude invites more ideas. Influence your mood by thinking happy thoughts. Recall good memories that you have with your family and friends. A positive atmosphere will help boost your creative skills.

5. Stop Making Excuses

If you want to achieve something, you need to get off the couch and stop making excuses. The primary thing holding you back from your creativity is procrastination. It does not matter how much potential you have if you are not willing to unleash it. If you want to get somewhere in life or want something dearly, you need to make a serious effort towards reaching your goals. Creativity will come if you give it a chance. You just need to get up and get going, else all you will have is disappointment and regret.

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How to Focus On Your Niche

Finding your niche helps you hone in on your target audience instead of shooting blind and hoping that you hit the target.

How to Focus On Your Niche

Finding your niche and carving a niche for yourself within the niche is an important part of growing and building your business. Your niche can be defined as the subset of the market which your product is specifically focusing on. For example, if you want to be a writer and can write web content, the description is unfocused. You have to find your niche and focus on it, i.e. do you prefer writing blogs, eBooks or articles, and which topics appeal most to you.

Finding your niche helps you hone in on your target audience instead of shooting blind and hoping that you hit the target. You need to find the segment of consumers which specifically wants products or services similar to what you offer. Here’s how you can focus on your niche:

Get To Know Your Target Market Inside Out

It does not matter if your target market is small. Even if your product appeals to a narrow segment of consumers, don’t be lax and try to learn as much as you can about your target audience. The better you know them, the more effectively you will be able to sell to them.

Marketing For Your Niche

Once you are sure on a niche, it is time you start focusing on marketing so you can lure in customers. How else can you appeal to your audience if you do not inform them about who you are and what you offer? Come up with some neat social media marketing strategies to inform your potential customers about you. Use social media as an interactive tool to learn more about your customers. Your aim should be to attract customers and build your network.

Emphasize on High-Quality Customer Support

For any successful brand, it is necessary they offer excellent customer service. Let your customers know you are accessible and easily reachable and that you are here to solve their problems. Foster a connection with your existing or potential clients as it will compel them to keep coming back.

Don’t Be Afraid To Take Chances

There is no such thing as the perfect time, so do not spend your entire time waiting. If you have a great idea you feel needs to get out into the world, don’t waste any time and work towards turning your dreams into reality. Be innovative. Taking risks and coming up with new ideas will make your products and services appealing to customers. Let them know you are offering an experience they would be unlikely to find elsewhere.

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Explore New Topics

When beginning a blog or writing a post, take the time to think about all the endless possibilities you have and be willing to explore new topics during your journey.

Explore New Topics

Being a writer is difficult. You are always on the hunt for engaging topics to write about.Sometimes the topics you come up with are dull and it can be insufferable to write. At other times, you may find a topic to write about that truly captivates your passion. When beginning a blog or writing a post, take the time to think about all the endless possibilities you have and be willing to explore new topics during your journey.

Set Up An Idea Bank

Set aside time to form a folder on your computer and label it your idea bank. Anytime you have an idea or a new topic to write about, take the time to jot it down and translate it to a word document. Put that document in that folder and refer to it for any time you need fresh ideas. I use a program called Scrivener for my idea bank. It acts as a file management system for all the ideas I have and is how I continue to write blogs posts. I set aside time to brainstorm ideas for my bank and it is a fundamental part of my writing process.

Brainstorming Session

You need to set aside one day out of the month to brainstorm for an hour or two. Use this time to come up with as many ideas as you can. Don’t judge yourself for the ideas you come up with. You are not obligated to use every idea so there should not be any pressure. But what this brainstorming session does is that it allows you to have a list full of ideas that you can weed through and schedule your blog posts for the month. During my brainstorming session, I get about 15­20 ideas and that’s already a month and a half worth of blog posts. It saves you time when you sit down to write because you don’t have to think about what it is your writing about. You already have a general direction!

Branch Away From Your Comfort Zone

The concept of exploring new topics is trying to get you, as a writer, out of your comfort zone. We tend to be monotonous in our writing because we tend to write about the same things repeatedly. Make a conscious choice of writing about topics that you normally don’t feel comfortable about. Try to commit yourself to doing research on things that you would never have learned in your free time. Not only will you educate yourself on a new topic but you will be offering a new perspective on things.

Don’t Be Hard On Yourself

I found that when I write about new topics, my writing is weaker. This is because I am exploring a new topic and new territory that I would not have normally done. That said, try not to be hard on yourself for the writing that you do. It is impressive that you are willing to write first and foremost but second, you do not have to feel like you are an expert on things. Your job is to provide a perspective and by choosing to write about topics that you are not used to, you are proving to others that you are not afraid to speak your mind on something fresh.

I find that exploring new topics to write about can always be a fun and exciting time. You have to be willing to learn something different every day. During your brainstorming session, don’t limit your imagination. Go all out on your ideas and write down the most outrageous things you can think of. These ideas will create unique blog posts because it’s different. Commit to new topics and watch your blog expand.

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Write Outside The Box

As you continue to write outside your comfort zone, you will find that by challenging yourself to write, you will notice your writing style will improve.

Write Outside The Box

Everyone talks about thinking outside the box but what if you write outside the box instead? People tend to stick to subjects they know about and are interested in and feel more comfortable writing about. But if you step outside of your comfort zone and write outside of your box, you will gain new perspectives in life.

Writing outside the box requires you to choose a topic you have no interest in or do not think about on a regular basis and to write about it. You may feel underqualified to write about such topic and feel underwhelmed about your piece. As you continue to write outside your comfort zone, you will find that by challenging yourself to write, you will notice your writing style will improve.

I think it is fun to write about things you do not know about. You get to research and learn about all these topics you normally would not have invested time into. As you continue to write more and more, you may stumble upon topics that may ignite passion back into your life.

To write outside the box means you will ultimately be forced to rely on your creativity much more. We are creative creatures and there is so much more depth in us than we realize. We need to access the creativity in our mind and to do that, you need to be challenged. Writing outside the box hits us at all different angles and makes us think from as many perspectives as possible. Recognizing all aspects of life is important being a balanced person.

The more you research about things and the more you write outside the box, the more you will learn about various things in life. Opening yourself to a vast world of information and investing yourself into it will teach you how things work. People should innately love to learn about all walks of life, but they fail to invest time into their education. By choosing to write about stuff you normally would not want to learn about, you are ultimately making yourself more well rounded.

For many of these blog posts, there are times where I am writing outside the box. I second guess my ability to express myself coherently. I debate whether it is worth it to even post about such a topic. But you need to be willing to take the risk and go for it. Take the chance to write about things you have no knowledge about and find yourself grow more in this process. Writing helps us grow and learn. Embrace it and be willing to open yourself to endless possibilities.

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Draw, Create And Express Yourself

By not feeling inhibited by your thoughts, I guarantee that you’ll feel wild and independent and will have a surge of ideas.

Draw, Create And Express Yourself

We are innately creative creatures at heart. Humans tend to have huge imaginations and there are no limits to what we can think about. Sometimes we don’t utilize this part of our mind as often as we should. I encourage you to draw, create and express yourself whenever you have the time.

Drawing and creating may seem like it is meant for children than for adults. But that is the mindset that can lead us off track. Being able to use your imagination is not limited by your age. We as adults fear being perceived as irresponsible when we want to create and draw things. Don’t let this perception hurt your imagination.

Being able to create something, whether it is a painting or a different kind of art form, is an exhilarating experience. Not only do you have the freedom to think about whatever and however you like, but in the end, you have something to show. The feeling of not being suppressed by your thoughts and being able to let loose and be free in being able to create is what I aspire all of my readers to try to achieve.

When you are procrastinating or do not know what to do next, take the time in your schedule to doodle and let your imagination roam. Don’t hold back. Think about the wildest and crazy thing you can image. By not feeling inhibited by your thoughts, I guarantee that you’ll feel wild and independent and will have a surge of ideas.

Through my drawings and creations, I find I can show people a part of myself. I don’t think people tend to see me for who I am through conversations at times but when they see the things I’ve been working on, such as this blog, they see where my passion lies. Invest your time into creating things that make you proud. Don’t limit yourself. Be free. Draw, create and express yourself.

Photo Credit: OR Studio

Using Corkboards

corkboardOne of the best visual aids that you can use in your professional and creative career is a corkboard. If you have not been utilizing this amazing invention then it is highly encouraged you start. Corkboards can be used in a variety of settings: outlining a script; creating a list of To-Dos; setting up a calendar for you or the office. It has helped me get my thoughts together and I have been more productive ever since incorporating it into my life.

Corkboards allow you to determine the order of sequence of things in a visual format. For example, if you were writing a script, you can place a series of plot points on each of the index cards and you  can arrange the cards so that it is placed in the chronological order you like. You can then step back and see how your whole story makes sense from start to finish. With To Do Lists, each task can have a higher level of priority based on where you place your card. Using visuals is key when it comes to productivity because everything you need to do is right in front of you and you’re able to see the big picture.

Using corkboards stimulates your mind and is a professional and creative way to learn how to be more productive. When your peers walk into your office or room and notice your neatly ordained corkboard hanging on your wall, it’s hard not to admire you for taking the time to set it up. You create this impression that you have a well thought out plan and you are working hard to implement it into your life. You are perceived as creative, prepared and professional. Not only will you get these impressions but you are working your mind anytime you use a corkboard. The mind is getting stimulated and you’re ultimately training yourself to be more visually aware.

The main thing I love about corkboards is the flexibility that comes with using it. I addressed the fact that corkboards allow you to structure your life in a visual format but what makes it so great is that the ease in switching things around. Because you are using index cards to arrange the sequence of things, you can move the index cards to a higher priority if something in your life changes. For example, if I was writing a book and I find that the plot points do not make sense in the order I initially had them, then I would just move the cards around until I felt comfortable with the new layout. It’s easy to add and remove cards and all while doing this, your mind is in full creative mode.

Corkboards seem to be a tool that is forgotten. People see it mainly used in college settings or for a younger generation, but it can be appealing to everyone, in both a professional and personal setting. It can allow you to get things done more efficiently and is an effective way of improving your visualization. Take the time to go out and buy a corkboard for yourself. You’ll find that the investment will be worthwhile.

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Writer’s Block – What a Travesty

Writer`s struggleWriter’s block is a demon to my soul. Seriously. Writing every day for this blog is draining. Most of it is not because of a lack of passion but because writer’s block often creeps in from time to time. Today, for example, I sit in my chair and I ponder for a bit and procrastinate before I am able to start writing. I know what I have to do but I put it off and this infuriates me.  All writers struggle with this block and in order to overcome it, you must be willing to challenge your way of thinking and learn to just do it.

The life of a writer is not as peachy as people can make it out to be. The biggest obstacle comes from sitting down and not knowing what to write. You struggle internally and a sense of frustration grows within you. There is a feeling of inadequacy and not feeling competent to complete the task. Writer’s block frustrates me because it makes me feel like I can never be a writer. It makes me second guess my abilities and whether I am good enough. You mustn’t let these thoughts get to you because overcoming writer’s block can produce a great sense of achievement.

Too often, people give up at the drop of a coin when they encounter writer’s block. Don’t. Keep going. As I type on my laptop, releasing words at a rapid pace, I find myself relaxed and free and not focusing too hard. I find myself feeling creative and having fun regardless of what is being written. This is the feeling when you are free from writer’s block. You feel content just putting things down without a second thought. If you have writer’s block, let go and type away, even if it does not make sense and soon you’ll feel that the writer’s block is no longer there.

Besides being willing to let go, every writer should understand that what they are writing will always need editing. This means that the initial draft should not be a place where you backtrack and edit everything you say. Write the first thoughts that come into your mind and savor your accomplishment of putting words down on paper. We are often too focused on being a perfectionist and making sure everything looks right and that is the wrong approach to have when it comes to writing.

Writer’s block can be the downfall of many writers. People will often give up on their work and lose their passion because of it. However, by acknowledging that every writer goes through this process and that you are not alone can help with your mentality and well-being. Learn to overcome this block by simply forcing yourself to do it and don’t think twice after you put something down. This is how masterpieces are achieved.

Photo Credit: Day 220: What the heck am I writing

Writing Helps

Writing with styleMy morning begins when my alarm blares loudly at about 5 AM and when I turn to look at the clock, I groan that the day has to begin. I force myself out of bed, with the allure of the snooze button before me, and head to the bathroom to release myself from my full bladder. After the feeling of satisfaction subside, I drag my feet to the kitchen, make myself a cup of warm water and plop myself in front of my laptop to start my daily writing ritual. As part of my ritual, I write for this blog as well as review its content. I take time to write in a daily journal. I also free write creatively and set 500 words as my goal. Yes. I have a lot of writing on my plate and it has never been easy, but I know it is something I am required to do. Writing can be a useful habit and help in different ways. If you feel you are suffering, then writing can help you cope.

Writing gives me a chance to escape from reality. Because writing is a private affair, I find myself divulging all of my emotions into the piece. If I am angry, then I channel it into my work. The same goes with when I am sad, jealous, and frustrated. It is a way to release the tension in your body and rid yourself of any negative energy you may have pent up.

Putting stuff down on paper organizes my random thoughts into coherency. Our mind is like an inbox filled with all our mail and once in a while we need to go through it and sort out the pile. Writing can help with the process. It filters all of the ideas in your head and creates something tangible for you to see.

A big advantage to writing is that it allows the writer to think out of the box. We use our imagination and not hold back. When we have conversations or speak in public, we censor ourselves. While writing, there is no censorship needed. We can write freely and openly. We don’t have to set limits on what we want to write. We can ramble on or write nonsensically and not be fearful of the repercussion (unless you’re writing offensive material, then you should be more cautious). Writing gives power to creative individuals who want to feel free and invent new ideas.

I find I am honest when I write. Any writing I do privately is exclusively for me. Because of this, nothing is off-limits. When I am angry, my writing will reflect it. This allows me to avoid doing it verbally. It’s less damaging and more emotionally beneficial. Writing gives you the chance to say what is truly on your mind without offending another person. You become more aware of how you are feeling when you finish writing honestly and can find your flaws.

Finally, writing expands my capacity to learn. It improves my diction and grammar. I learn new ways to write more creatively and to be more structured in my work. Without writing every day, I wouldn’t be able to improve myself. Like anything else in life, practice makes perfect and the more you write, the stronger you will notice your writing will be.

Writing can be a meticulous thing to do every day, but the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Set aside time for you to write and force yourself to create something, regardless of how bad it is. Over time, you will see your writing improve and can find solace in it during emotionally draining moments. It can be an outlet for you when you have nothing to do or when you want to be creative. Writing helps and I hope you get to feel its benefits over time.

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How To Salvage Your Imagination

Big picture of the imagination. When I was younger, I remember having an active imagination. I dreamt of being on pirate ships and transforming into magical beings with powers. I envisioned crossing a hot desert with a band of superheroes ready to face any and all dangers that came our way. I had stories of adventures to tell my parents and they would listen contently. Yet this imagination I once had seems to have died once I began my adulthood and I’m sad to see it go in this manner.

Imagination keeps us alive and provides us with creative ideas. It seems like we lost this sense of what it means to have an imagination when we become older because of how much burden there is in our day-to-day life. I find the responsibilities and duties of our jobs prevent us from having fun. We get chastised for daydreaming and imagining fun scenarios to be in. It is as if reality is constantly forced upon us and there is no escape.

But we do need to escape! Imagination is key to having a wonderful life because it provides time for us to forget about the things we need to do. Our lives are constantly based on getting things done and making money and tending to our responsibilities that we forget what it’s like to be a kid again. We get burnt out from life and grow increasingly bored from our routines. This is not a way to live!

I encourage you to seek different ways of salvaging your imagination. Realize your imagination is a prized possession and if you lose it, it can be difficult to get it back. There are several things you can do to keep your imagination going:

Daydream – It’s often looked down in the work environment but from time to time, take a moment for yourself and have fun thinking about all the things you would like to have in your life and how it can come true one day. Enjoy the “what ifs” in life and imagine different adventures you like to be a part of. Think about how much you fun you want to have and the way you could be able to achieve that fun. The more you daydream, the more likely you will work towards that dream of yours.

Write – Everyday take the time to write something down! Come up with of a creative idea and take about half an hour to expand upon it. Don’t edit or limit yourself. Learn to embrace the wild and vivid things that flow into your mind. It’s tough to write if you don’t do it habitually and so instilling a daily practice of writing will help your imagination flow. You never know where your project will eventually go.

Watch Movies/Theater/Play Video Games – These are all hobbies that you should do once in a while. Take the storyline of a movie you watched or a play you saw and see if can adjust it and make it your own. You find a video game you like? Then imagine how you would make the game better and imagine yourself as being physically in the games. By putting yourself directly into a project, you feel more involved and it can help create a new world for you.

Imagination is often an overlooked component during one’s development. By not keeping the youthful ways you had as a child, you run the risk of becoming a disgruntled adult with a negative view on life. Keep your imagination intact so that it can blossom your creativity and continue to make you see the world in a different light.

 

Photo Credit: Cyril-Rana!!

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