It's a myth that only knowledgeable people are creative and can learn new things. Research shows that once you get beyond average IQ, intelligence and creativity are not at all related. That means that even if you're no more intelligent than most people, you still have the potential to wield extraordinary creative powers. So why are so few people highly creative?
There are bad habits people learn as they grow up, which crush the creative pathways in the brain. And like all bad habits, they can be broken if you are willing to work at them.
Thinking to much
Creativity is about making unusual connections between seemingly unrelated bits of information. But when you overthink, you tend to over-analyze everything in sight and not give yourself enough time and mental space to be genuinely creative. To unleash your creative power, try spending as much time as possible with friends or colleagues who are less intelligent than you are. People who don't think quite so much allow you to relax into a more playful state where you can make those unusual connections that lead to creativity.
Insisting on the way it's always been done before.
If you want to give people an original gift, take them somewhere they've never been before – even if they live in Shanghai, Beijing, Paris, or London. Even the most experienced person can benefit from going someplace new. So if you want to make a mark on the world, go somewhere exciting and see what happens!
Being an expert in one field.
Being good at one thing is fine; you'll get job security and a little glory (unless your area of expertise becomes obsolete). But deep thinking requires considerable skills rather than single-mindedness. Multitalented people tend to think more laterally and come up with novel connections between different spheres of knowledge. If you want to have original thoughts, try learning something that seems irrelevant to what you do now - like mastering classical piano even though you work as a computer programmer. The way to wade into the mainstream of creativity is to become a generalist rather than a specialist.
Refusing to improvise.
Creativity involves unexpected improvisations – saying things off-the-cuff, or writing impromptu verse, or making an ad hoc repair that turns out to be better than what you originally planned. Without improvisation, brilliant ideas go nowhere because they never become real outside your head. So try spontaneously talking about a favorite subject with friends in the pub, and see if anything comes of it!
Having too many pre-conceived notions about how people will react.
Many creative people have had the experience of presenting their ideas only to be criticized by superiors who have fixed ideas on how things should be done. In many cases, the criticism was entirely valid. Still, at other times it inhibited true creativity because there was no opportunity to explore new ideas or find combinations of old ones that were truly original. If you want your mind to start thinking creatively, try suspending all expectations about how people will react and see what happens.
Being obsessively competitive
Creativity needs sharing; you have to tell people about your ideas, get feedback on them, refine them and show them off before going anywhere in the world. So if you're overly competitive and constantly worry that someone else might get more credit than you for an idea, forget about creativity – it isn't going to happen!
Being too opinionated
Creativity is about openness to new things, not being set in your ways, and refusing to contemplate anything else. So if you're always expressing strong opinions on everything that crosses your path, creativity may seem like an excellent idea, but it isn't likely to happen in the real world!
Focussing on one area of life.
Creativity is about making connections between bits of information from different areas of life, so unless you reflect on ideas outside your usual sphere of interest, you won't have much chance at genius-level originality! Try keeping an open mind - even towards subjects that bore or irritate you to rekindle the creative flame within yourself.
Being too willing to conform.
Creative insights require a willingness to think the unthinkable, try out ideas from left-field, and generally have faith in what your subconscious mind can tell you about life that isn't apparent on the surface. If being original is more important than fitting into social norms, the creative potential will flow freely like mountain streams; but if conformity matters more than self-discovery, then don't expect genius – it just won't happen!
Having low expectations of yourself or others.
Creativity requires faith in unique possibilities and unbounded imagination. So if you have low expectations of yourself or others, those magic sparks of creativity are likely to be smothered in the crib. Without originality, genius will never be yours!
Creativity requires knowledge and a general understanding of many things. Creativity is the ability to connect information from different spheres in your life. For example, creativity would be able to connect legal ideas with artistic concepts. Creativity is not something that you can have without learning new information or trying new things. To keep learning has to become a lifelong study. Learning happens everywhere and at any time. It is about opening yourself up to new experiences, people, and places, reflecting on what you already know or have done in the past. Sometimes this reflection does not turn into positive memories, but more often than not, these reflections lead us to make changes for the better. It is important to remember that just because we learn from mistakes, that doesn't mean we are doomed to repeat them - we can always find ways to change behaviors and hopefully improve our lives.