I was with a friend the other day who said to me, "You are very creative... I wish I could be creative, too." I appreciated their vote of creative confidence in me... so I decided to creatively consider what helps me be creative. Here's the short-list I came up with. I'm sharing it because I'm confident we all have creative capability if we'll open ourselves up to it.
I look closely. Creativity is born out of curiosity.
I observe what's going on around me. Driving a car is a great place to observe. Magazine ads, commercials, television shows and movies... what colors, fonts and music are they using, what's in the background, etc.
I listen. Did you know that you can spell "silent" with the letters in "listen"? When you quiet yourself (traffic, silence, others talking) and just listen... creativity happens.
I ask questions. Good questions get good answers.
I brainstorm. Brainstorming is especially useful in the context of a team.
I read. I read books on esoteric subjects. I read books that stretch me. I read books on history, memoirs, poetry, business, leadership. I have a stack of great children's books I enjoy reading and re-reading. I read the Bible in different translations. (Check out The Voice- New Testament.)
I avoid routine. I take different routes to the places I travel to frequently. I park in different spots, I listen to different radio stations, and sometimes I'll spend days with the radio turned off.
Okay... that's my short-list of creativity kindling. What stokes your creative juices?