One cannot teach you creative thinking skills but you can improve them by following the ideas on this page.  This process does not require intelligence or even experience, although these qualities help put creative ideas into practice.

Your Brain:

Creativity is the result of right-brain activity - intuition, insight, inspiration, which is not readily encouraged in the education system. Indeed, such thought processes are often suppressed in favor of left-brain activities - logic, analysis and judgment.

Blocks to Creativity :

Would-be creative thinkers mistakenly blame road blocks to their thought processes. Road blocks include...

  • Only clever, successful or artistic people can be creative.
  • You need to suffer hardship and pain to be truly creative (artist starving in the garret).
  • I'm too old, only young people have creative ideas.
  • I need time, money and effort. Creative thinking is a luxury most of us can't afford.
  • It's only for men/women/the birds.

Your imagination fuels the creative thought process. But negative thinking stops this process.

Triggering Creative Thoughts:

  • Be hungry for information; read, read and read more.
  • Take up crafts and hobbies (you don’t have to be good at them).
  • Write, scribble, draw, design whatever comes into your head (often one idea leads to other better ideas).
  • Brainstorm ideas with others.
  • Put yourself under reasonable pressure by setting goals and targets (caution: undue pressure leads to panic and stops the creative flow).
  • Talk to children: often they make unusual associations between ideas (peanut butter and carrots, choc-ice and chips...).

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An Exercise :

You’ve been offered a unique chance to take a six-month sabbatical. You want to spend the time creatively but don’t quite know how. Try this exercise:

1. Take yourself to somewhere peaceful with some blank sheets of paper and coloured pens.

2. Jot down or draw different ideas as they come to you.

3. Do this over a few days until you run out of ideas.

4. Look for links between the ideas.

5. Take the most promising idea and develop it further.

6. Now select one of these newly developed ideas and expand on it.

7. Repeat this exercise until your creative juices dry up. Stimulating creative thought processes needs effort:. 95% perspiration, 5% inspiration.

Final Thought

For those of you who believe that creative thought is a luxury you can’t afford... remember this above Albert Einstein quote:

Creative thinking is an important Total Quality Management tool.

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