3 Paths Toward A More Creative Life

WANT TO BE MORE CREATIVE? SOMETIMES IT’S JUST A MATTER OF GIVING YOURSELF THE SPACE TO THINK, WRITES BRUCE NUSSBAUM.

 

Everyone can learn to be more creative, but to become very creative, I’ve come to believe you need to lead a creative life. In watching my best students, in examining the lives of successful entrepreneurs, and in seeing the process of the great Native American artists who I know, it is clear that how they live their daily lives is crucial to their success. I realize that it sounds very “zen-y” (which is OK by me), yet I come to this realization not through a search for spirituality or clarity but from simple observation.

Creativity is in such demand today that when we apply for jobs, when we join organizations, or when we just meet other people, we are asked to present our creative selves. But we can’t do that unless we understand the nature of our own creativity, locate the sources of our originality, and have a language that explains our work. If you are one of the growing number of “creatives,” or want to become one, you need to lead a creative life. This is what I talk about with my students. Through outside speakers, deep readings of key classics, and intense classwork, we explore the nature of leading a creative life and develop a series of concepts and a literacy that allows us to understand ourselves and communicate and convince others of the validity of our work and the resonance it has in society and the marketplace.

It’s a work in progress, of course, but here are three specific ways that can help you lead a creative life.

 

1. BE MINDFUL—DISCONNECT

As important as it is for you to lead a hyper-connected and super-stimulating life as a creative person, it is just as crucial for you to be self-reflective and mindful. The last time I had dinner with Bill Moggridge, the father of interaction design, the cofounder of Ideo, and then head of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, I asked him where he went in New York to spark his creativity. He quickly said the High Line. Walking the High Line was where he would go to think and ponder. Steve Jobs was a walker. Mark Zuckerberg is a walker.

14435

For good reason. We are all so connected these days and distracted by constant interactions. Our time is spent responding, reacting to others or absorbing, taking in new information. But we often lack the space, the time, the moment to integrate that knowledge, connect those dots, generate that creativity. Slowing down and disconnecting provides that space. That’s why showers or lingering over that cup of coffee before starting off to work are good places to start your creative life. Taking a walk is particularly good. Walking alone is an excellent strategy for freeing your mind up so that you’re able to bring together different areas of knowledge. Finding that neighborhood coffee shop to hang (not the one where you meet your friends) and just think can be important. You don’t need hours and hours of disconnection but just a few to be mindful of your challenges and how you might meet them. You need to allow your creativity to flow without interruption and to let your mind to fill up.

zen-rock-garden

2. TO CREATE MEANINGFUL THINGS, DELVE INTO THE PAST

Bill Buxton, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research and a polymath’s polymath (he was building a Cree birch canoe using traditional tools and techniques the last time I saw him in Toronto), says people spend more time learning about the music they love than the fields they work in—especially in high tech. Prospecting and mining the past to gain a deep understanding of where things come from and why they exist is hugely important to creating meaningful new things. Buxton points to the example of the 1993 IBM/Bell South touchscreen smartphone called the Simon that was a likely inspiration to Jony Ive for the wildly successful iPhone. Bob Dylan “mined” Woody Guthrie. Van Gogh found inspiration in Jean-Francois Millet. Being mindful of the roots of your knowledge domain, your industry, your creative space can bring greater understanding—and more success—to your own creative efforts.

IBM Simon/iPhone

IBM Simon/iPhone

Being mindful also means understanding the intellectual context and history of key ideas. The UX (user experience) is perhaps the single-most important concept in business today, but our understanding of that experience is shallow. We know enough to be “user” focused but not enough to really know what that means. Read Walter Benjamin’s work on aura and fashion, and you realize that our most powerful attraction to things come from a dynamic engagement, not a passive experience. In Praise of Shadows, Junichiro Tanizaki describes a Japanese entrancing relationship to the smell and look and feel of cooking rice. Digging deep into meaning and understanding, you discover that some wonderful things “beckon” us, we interact with them emotionally, we want to stay engaged. In an era of social media where we all want to participate in the making of our lives, user engagement (UE) is more important than UX.

 

Being meaningful is important for leading a creative life because it allows you to understand the deeper meaning of relationships, outside and inside the marketplace. That includes our relationships to things and our relationship to one another. For example, we just celebrated Valentine’s Day. But do you really know what a gift is? We are mired in swag, “free” gifts we give away at nearly every event. But do you know the intense underlying psychology, social, political, and economic dynamic that goes with giving and receiving a gift? Knowing the anthropological and sociological literature on the gift—it is extensive because the gift is perhaps the most celebrated and common of all human rituals—provides meaning to your creativity. Kickstarter is all about the gift as a mechanism of patronage, art production, and, I would argue (and cofounder Charles Adler would disagree), shaping a new kind of capitalism.

 

3. BE MASTERFUL

We now know that we can all learn to be more creative. It’s not a rare “aha” moment that comes to a lucky few. To be very creative, however, requires a deep mastering of both knowledge and skills. Creativity is mostly about two things—connecting different bodies of knowledge in new ways and seeing patterns where none existed before. Connecting dots of disparate information (shoes and the Internet, anyone?) usually involves “fresh eyes.” It plays to the strengths of the younger. Seeing things differently, often taking existing things and connecting them to new technologies, can be serendipitous. But we can train ourselves to look for serendipity constantly and everywhere. We can learn to play at connecting this and that to see what it creates. We can make serendipity work for us day to day.

2508643089_ab3cbc3e2b

Learning pattern recognition takes longer. Pattern sight requires you to master the skill of looking for what should and shouldn’t be there. It’s the ability not only to see the rare “odd duck” but to routinely look for that duck and see it. That’s what good birders do. That’s what hunters, hikers, skiers, and all outdoors people do. It takes time to learn patterns of information, which is why you need to spend a lot of time “in the field.” We call that “experience,” and you’ve seen that whenever you’re in a situation with someone who just “knows” what’s coming next without being able to explain it. That person is reading the patterns. This mastery is not about fresh eyes but wise eyes.

zen_master_yoda_by_sirgunky-d5fok2w

Leading a creative life is increasingly the path people are choosing, for good reason. In an era of volatility, uncertainty, chaos, and ambiguity, being creative is perhaps the best way to navigate your career and succeed. It gives you the right skill set and mindset. But a creative life can offer more than business success. Keith Richards perhaps says it best in his biography Life: “There’s a certain moment when you realize that you’ve actually just left the planet for a bit and that nobody can touch you. . .When it works, baby, you’ve got wings.” Richards is a textbook example of leading a creative life, which is why his biography has become required reading in my classes. But you don’t have to be a rock star to tap into creative flow—just start by taking a walk.

 

Author: Bruce Nussbaum

Source: Fast Company

What to do After Your Work Goes Viral

The Truth About Going Viral

Everyone wants to be famous for something. We all want to do something epic, something worth remembering. But maybe fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, I have good reason to believe that it’s not.

An archived post on my blog recently caught some traction and went viral, sending over a million people to my website in a week. It’s causing me to rethink why I do my work and whether or not artists should chase audiences.

Here’s what happened:

  1. An article about traveling while you’re young was picked up randomly by a student leader in Singapore one year after I published it.
  2. That person shared it on Facebook with a travel group he led on campus.
  3. Each person in the group shared this with their respective networks, and it spread to similar student groups in the Philippines and Malaysia.
  4. In about 24 hours, the post had made it all the way around the world, finishing its tour in Brazil.

The first time this happened, 0ver 150,000 people visited the blog. The second time, it was about half that amount. And then the third time, it reached over 1 million visitors and was shared via Facebook over 250,000 times — all in about a week. Pretty crazy.

But here’s the craziest part: none of that matters.

The confusion of virality

After the article went viral, I was confused and anxious.

What did this mean? Should I change what I write about, focusing more on this topic of travel? Should I try to keep as many of those visitors as possible? And what would I do when Monday rolled around, and I had to start blogging again?

The next week, I hit the old grindstone again, and the Internet had already forgotten about me. My traffic spike had mellowed out, and I was back to zero, forced to earn people’s attention all over again.

I tried to drag out the success, of course, tried to prolong that temporary feeling of fulfillment that fame brings. But for some reason, it wasn’t enough. And through the process, I learned something:

Every week I go back to zero. And so do you.

No single creative success can be sustained. That’s why you can’t create solely for profit or praise. In the end, the thrill never lasts. If you want to be an artist, there has to be something more than fame that sustains you.

Just ask Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert was an inexplicable, runaway success. After she wrote the book and it raced up the bestsellers lists, people asked her a cruel question:

“Aren’t you afraid you’re never going to be able to top that?”

The answer, not surprisingly, was: Yes. She worried she’d never be able to write another book that achieved such success. In an amazing TED Talk, she said, “It’s exceedingly likely that my greatest success is behind me.”

This worry held her back, caused her to hesitate and wait years before writing and publishing another book. But eventually she did. And how she did it was unique. Courageous, even.

She went to work, anyway. She treated her life’s work as just that — a job.She started believing in the idea of a Muse, a spirit that indwells artists. She resigned to a more mystical, creative process, and began to understand that “success” wasn’t up to her.

No, her job was to show up.

We must do the same

No matter how amazing you are today, you have to get up and put the hours in tomorrow. And the next day. And so on.

Because that thing inside of you that causes you to create already forgot yesterday’s successes, it’s hungry. And if you don’t feed it something new, it will eat you alive.

That, my friends, is why artists kill themselves, why they get depressed after a monumental success and never create anything again. After going big with some huge, mega success that plummets them into instant stardom, they seemingly have nowhere left to go.

But that isn’t why they got into the game in the first place. And it’s not why you and I are in it, either. At least, I hope not.

Fame is not enough

Doing creative work for mass consumption is not fulfilling. Sure, it’s a nice byproduct, but it can’t be the focus.

This is why I write (and often) every day. Not for the fans and followers. But for me. Because if I do not, I feel like something is missing. The accolades never seem to completely satisfy. Only creating can fulfill you after the fanfare fades.

So do something creative today. Scribble a note in your notebook. Snap a photo. Bang out a few chords on the guitar. Hit “publish” on that blog post you’ve been stalling to write.

Show up and do your work.

Whatever you do, please, don’t live in the past. And don’t wait for the future. Now is all you have. So, artist, create. It’s what you were made to do.

Source: Medium

About the Author: Jeff Goins is a writer, blogger, and speaker who regularly talks about how to live a life worth writing about. He is the author of three books. For thoughts on writing and life, you can join his free newsletter.

6 Lifestyle Hacks that Successful Creatives Use

6 Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People

I expend a huge amount of my time and energy writing books and articles and working to keep my company innovative. I’ve developed an obsession with some of history’s most creative minds in the hope that I might learn some tricks to expand my own creative productivity.

Some of the things I’ve learned are more useful than others, and some are simply too weird to try.

Steve Jobs, for example, routinely sat on toilets, dangling his bare feet in the water while he came up with new ideas, and Yoshiro Nakamatsu (inventor of the floppy disc) would dive deep under water until his brain was deprived of oxygen, then write his ideas on an underwater sticky pad.

Weird ideas aside, I’ve developed a pretty good understanding of the habits of some of history’s most creative minds. There’s enough commonality between different people that I’ve distilled their habits into strategies that anyone can follow.

Six of these strategies stand out because they have the power to change the way you think about creativity. Give them a try, and you’ll reach new levels of creative productivity.

1. Wake up early.

Not all creative minds are morning people. Franz Kafka routinely stayed up all night writing, and William Styron (author of Sophie’s Choice, among other best sellers) woke up at noon every day and considered his “morning” routine to be staying in bed for another hour to think.

However, early risers make up the clear majority of creative thinkers. The list of creative early risers ranges from Benjamin Franklin to Howard Schultz to Ernest Hemmingway, though they didn’t all wake up early for the same reasons. Ben Franklin woke up early to plan out his day, while Schultz uses the time to send motivational emails to his employees. For many creative people, waking up early is a way to avoid distractions. Ernest Hemingway woke up at 5 a.m. every day to begin writing. He said, “There is no one to disturb you and it is cool and cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.”

The trick to making getting up early stick is to do it every day and avoid naps—no matter how tired you feel. Eventually, you will start going to bed earlier to make up for the lost sleep. This can make for a couple of groggy days at first, but you’ll adjust quickly, and before you know it, you’ll join the ranks of creative early risers.

2. Exercise frequently.

There’s plenty of evidence pointing to the benefits of exercise for creativity. Feeling good physically gets you in the right mood to focus and be productive. Exercise also forces you to have disconnected time (it’s tough to text or email while working out), and this allows you to reflect on whatever it is you’re working on. In a Stanford study, 90% of people were more creative after they exercised.

It’s no surprise that so many creative and successful people built exercise into their daily routines. Kurt Vonnegut took walks into the nearby town, swam laps, and did push-ups and sit-ups, Richard Branson runs every morning, and composers Beethoven and Tchaikovsky both walked daily.

3. Stick to a strict schedule.

It’s a common misconception that in order to be creative, one must live life on a whim with no structure and no sense of need to do anything, but the habits of highly successful and creative people suggest otherwise. In fact, most creative minds schedule their days rigorously. Psychologist William James described the impact of a schedule on creativity, saying that only by having a schedule can we “free our minds to advance to really interesting fields of action.”

4. Keep your day job.

Creativity flourishes when you’re creating for yourself and no one else. Creativity becomes more difficult when your livelihood depends upon what you create (and you begin to think too much about what your audience will think of your product). Perhaps this is why so many successful and creative people held on to their day jobs. Many of them, like Stephen King, who was a schoolteacher, produced their breakout (and, in King’s case, what many consider his very best) work while they still held a 9 to 5.

Day jobs provide more than the much-needed financial security to create freely. They also add structure to your day that can make your creative time a wonderful release. The list of successful, creative minds who kept their day jobs is a long one. Some notable individuals include Jacob Arabo, who started designing his own jewelry while working in a jewelry shop; William Faulkner, who worked in a power plant while writing As I Lay Dying; and musician Philip Glass, who worked as a plumber.

5. Learn to work anywhere, anytime.

A lot of people work in only one place, believing it’s practically impossible for them to get anything done anywhere else. Staying in one place is actually a crutch; studies show that changing environments is beneficial to productivity and creativity. E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web, said it well: “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” The same is true for any type of creative work. If you keep waiting until you are in the perfect place at the ideal time, the time will never come.

Steve Jobs started Apple in his mom’s garage, and JK Rowling wrote the first ideas for Harry Potter on a napkin on a train. When you have a creative idea, don’t wait—put it into action as soon as you can. Recording that spark of creativity may very well be the foundation of something great.

6. Learn that creative blocks are just procrastination.

As long as your heart is still beating, you have the ability to come up with new ideas and execute them. They may not always be great ones, but the greatest enemy of creativity is inactivity.

Author Jodi Picoult summarized creative blocks perfectly: “I don’t believe in writer’s block. Think about it—when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due? Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands. If you have a limited amount of time to write, you just sit down and do it. You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

Picoult’s comment describes all creative activity—the only way to stay creative is to keep moving forward.

Bringing it all together

In my experience, you must get intentional about your creativity if you want it to flourish. Give these six strategies a try to see what they can do for you.

Author: Travis Bradberry

This article was originally published on Entrepreneur.

14 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

Product development, web design, free-style rapping, writing, cooking, art, music, to the way you make your bed in the morning, what are we talking about here?

Everything.

From forward-thinking tech-product managers such as Ryan Hoover, to the barista who serves your coffee art, we all have creativity within us. Here’s a hit list of 14 things nobody told you about being creative:

1. Anyone can do it.

If you want to be creative, do it. Forget the prejudice that creativity is saved for the select few. With a willingness to learn and desire to start, you can be creative. So get going.

2. Creatives steal.

Art is theft. — Pablo Picasso

Actually, I took the concept for this column’s title from the book, Steal Like An Artist, by Austin Kleon. My title was his subtitle, and became the inspiration to write this piece. How’s that for meta?

This is seen in all disciplines, with blaring examples surfacing in hip hop. How many times have you heard your favorite rapper’s chorus, sound byte or voice in another rapper’s song?

Pablo Picasso is often quoted as saying, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” From web design, writing, music, to cooking, there are endless examples of creatives “borrowing from one another.”

 

3. Freestyle rappers should be your creative role models.

Speaking of rap: This study shows brain scans of freestyle rappers with the goal to understand the neuroscience behind the skill.

“We think what we see is a relaxation of ‘executive functions’ to allow more natural de-focused attention and uncensored processes to occur that might be the hallmark of creativity,” says Allen Braun, a neuroscientist at the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders in Bethesda, Md.

In layman’s terms, the rappers were able to remove themselves from the logical thinking that happens in their brains so that the creative side could come through. Mind — blown.

4. It can be a learned skill.

There are endless research studies that have been shown that creativity is a learned behavior. One of my favorite studies was done by George Land.

In 1968, Land tested the creativity of 1,600 children. He re-tested the same children at 10 years of age and again at 15. The results were astounding.

  • Test results amongst 5 year olds: 98 percent
  • Test results amongst 10 year olds: 30 percent
  • Test results amongst 15 year olds: 12 percent
  • Same test given to 280,000 adults: 2 percent

“What we have concluded,” Land wrote, “is that non-creative behavior is learned.”

Wow.This should give us even more reason to go against societal norms.

5. It can be improved.

Here are some ways to improve it: experimenting, exploring, questioning assumptions, using imagination and synthesizing information.

Last week I wrote a column about different activities that allow my entrepreneurial brain to be more creative.

6. ADHD is good.

Latent inhibition is a person’s ability to ignore irrelevant information in the world, an important skill in navigating such a complex place. However, people with low latent inhibition, such as those with ADHD, have less of a filter, and are more likely to notice seemingly irrelevant information around them. You could say their logic force is constantly subdued. As a result, they are more likely to make unexpected connections.

7. All ideas matter.

One idea can create a domino effect. In his book, Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson writes that “creativity happens when seemingly unrelated existing ideas collide to form new ideas.”

8. Use it or lose it.

Creativity is a muscle that can be developed with constant exercise and healthy habits.

Combining their research about creativity, Tony Schwartz and Swedish psychologist Anders Ericsson found that, “it’s possible to build any given skill or capacity in the same systematic way we do a muscle: push past your comfort zone, and then rest … it’s not inherited talent which determines how good we become at something, but rather how hard we’re willing to work.”

9. Look outside.

Most of my personal creativity comes from the world around me. The moment I try to “get in the zone” and start getting creative is typically the moment where I feel the creative block. Exploring the world eyes wide open will give you the creative fodder you need.

10. Creativity is infinite.

Everything you see is a creation. Whether you believe in a master creator or in evolution, it is all still creation. I can go off on a tangent, but rather am going to provide you a relevant Steve Jobs quote:

Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact — everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. Shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just going to live in it vs. make your mark upon it. Once you learn that, you will never be the same again.

11. Use nature for inspiration.

Have you looked outside recently? The world is full of awe, from the smallest of insects to the endless expanse that is the universe. Everything about nature is beautiful. There’s no better inspiration.

12. It is a conscious decision.

Creativity takes work, time and energy. Being creative is a lifestyle choice.

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try. — Dr. Seuss

13. Take notes all the time.

I document everything. I have notebooks and jot down ideas. I use Keynote to sketch out product visions. I use Google docs and have endless drafts for articles, books and all of my writings (published and trashed). I save websites I like, I mock up stuff all of the time and am constantly taking notes about everything.

14. F–k opinion.

Van Gogh, Thoreau and Edgar Allen Poe were all ahead of their time. Who’s to say you aren’t?

Create what you want, write what you want to read, build what you want to use, cook what you want to eat and share it with the world. If the world responds positively — cool. If not, who cares? At least you’re doing what you enjoy. Maybe the future will appreciate you, and maybe not. Learn how to be creative for you.

Author: Andrew Medal

This article was originally published on Entrepreneur. 

yellow flower

9 Ways To Dramatically Improve Your Creativity

 

creativity boosters

Creativity is like a muscle. It must be stretched, challenged, and occasionally pushed past its comfort zone.

In a previous column, I shared nine ways you can become more creative in just 10 minutes. I’ve also shared four must-watch TED talks on creativity in business.

Now it’s time to stretch your creative muscles again.

Here are nine ways you can dramatically improve your creativity.

1. Learn Through Collaboration

Curiosity will lead you to creativity.

Andrew Ng, formerly of Google and now of Baidu, is one who doesn’t believe innovation is due to unpredictable flashes of genius. Rather, he saidyou can become more creative and innovative systematically.

“In my own life, I found that whenever I wasn’t sure what to do next, I would go and learn a lot, read a lot, talk to experts. I don’t know how the human brain works but it’s almost magical: when you read enough or talk to enough experts, when you have enough inputs, new ideas start appearing.”

Indeed, collaborating with and learning from others may be just what you need to give your creativity a boost.

2. Do Something You Love

Stuck for ideas? Not sure what to do? Your life needs some balance to ensure your creativity doesn’t suffer.

In a letter to his son, Albert Einstein provided a great bit of fatherly insight when addressing his son’s interest in playing the piano that is applicable to losing yourself in the creative process: do something that pleases you.

“That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes,” Einstein wrote. “I am sometimes so wrapped up in my work that I forget about the noon meal.”

Love and creativity are intertwined. A hobby, such as playing an instrument, running, or collecting memorabilia, can help you relax and fight stress while giving your creativity a boost.

3. Find Inspiration From Other Industries

Your next idea won’t come from copying what a competitor has already done. So look for innovation in different industries and niches.

Research what businesses are dominating. Why

What businesses are you most loyal to? Why?

How can you transfer what worked for businesses outside your industry to your own market? Maybe you can improve on these ideas.

Taking inspiration from other industries is a great way to boost your own creativity.

4. Unplug (Or Just Do Nothing)

As Alan Cohen once wrote, “There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”

Sometimes your best ideas will come when you’re not wracking your brain trying to come up with the next great idea.

It could be while you’re sleeping. A good night of rest will help you be more productive and creative.

It could be while your mind wanders in the shower that you get a great idea.

Maybe your next innovative idea will come while you’re driving, exercising, hiking, shopping, sitting on an airplane, or watching the sunset.

If your creativity is lacking, unplug. Relax. And let your brain do its magic.

5. Walk

The average person sits between 7 and 15 hours every day.

Crazy, right.

That’s terrible for your health and your mood, which means it can be terrible for your creativity.

Stanford research has indicated that walking improves creative thinking. In a follow-up study, HBR found that people who take part in walking meetings are more creative and engaged.

Priceline Group CEO Darren Huston, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Western Union Co. CEO Hikmet Ersek, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and scores of other business leaders and entrepreneurs regularly have walking meetings.

While walking during work won’t solve our national sitting crisis, it’s a step in the right direction.

6. Set the Right Mood

A lack of ideas or being unable to solve a problem can be extremely frustrating.

Unless you value complete silence, music can be the thing to give your mood, and your creativity, a boost.

Steve Jobs used music to change his moods and keep himself creative.

It could work for you, too.

7. Use the Six Thinking Hats Technique

Sometimes you just need to start over. Forget everything and begin anew with a blank slate — break it down using six different colored “thinking hats”.

Using this process could help you look at things in a different way. It gives you the option to look at things in a “just the facts” manner (white hat); where things could go wrong (black hat); and possibilities, alternatives, and new ideas (green hat), for example.

By looking at a problem from several unique perspectives may be just what you need to find a solution.

8. Ask For Advice or Feedback

Sometimes you’re too close to a problem to figure out a creative solution all by yourself.

Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. Ask for help and advice from friends, peers, and people from your personal network that you trust and respect. Every person has a unique skill set, experience, and knowledge.

A fresh outside perspective, or three, or five, may be just what you need.

Even if you don’t use their advice, it may spark some new, creative thinking that will get you where you need to go.

9. Pick a Terrible Idea

Step away from whatever idea you’re stuck on for a few minutes.

What’s the most useless idea you can imagine? Make a list of the worst ideas you can think up.

Now the real challenge to stretch your creativity: what are the best features of these terrible idea

Perhaps looking at these terrible ideas will spark something creative that you can transfer over to your excellent idea.

Bonus Ideas to Stimulate Your Creativity

Check out this infographic for some more ways to get your creative juices flowing.

Credit: Shout.

Originally published at www.inc.com.

About The Author

Larry Kim is the Founder of WordStream. You can connect with him onTwitter, Google+, Facebook, or LinkedIn.