Creative thinking is not the common cold that you can catch without putting in any effort. It’s a skill that needs to be developed through consistent practice and conscious effort. Here are some exercises that you can try out regularly to hone your knack for it. Analogies: The word ‘analogy’ comes from ‘analogia’ which means ‘proportion’ in Greek. It is a process of understanding the relationship between or among seemingly disparate elements. For example, let’s look at the following words: cross, baby, blood.
At first glance these words don’t seem to have any connection. However, there is one word that can be applied to all three words to create independent meanings. Guessed the answer yet? Yes, the word is ‘blue’! Blue cross, blue baby, and blue blood. Understanding analogies needn’t be limited to linguistic expressions.
The more you practise, the more you will be able to understand links and relations between concepts.
Optical Illusions: One of the most important things to work at when practising creative thinking is visualisation. Your way of seeing the problem will either aid or mar your ability to solve it. Creative thinkers are people who see more than the obvious and go beyond it too.
Environment: Learning should happen everywhere and anywhere. Many of us have mental blocks when it comes to thinking outside the box because we are restrained by many assumptions. We believe learning and thinking should happen only in certain contexts (like in a classroom) and from certain sources (like a textbook). But simple observation of the environment around us can throw up surprisingly awesome solutions! Several brilliant scientific inventions were made based on models that were readily available around the scientists. Confusing? Think of inventions like the helicopter, radar, and army camouflage. Know how these were inspired? From the hummingbird, bat, and chameleon respectively! Make it a point to look for simple solutions around you before thinking deeply about any problem that you face!
These three are just ways of practising creative thinking. Needless to say, there are several more methods to do it. Do some research online and find a method that works for you. Enjoy practising it and you’ll soon be able to put your good mind to good use!