When was the last time you did something for the first time? Put your answer aside for now, and instead focus on how long it took you to come up with a response—likely, you had to think a little bit. This is normal. As time goes on, opportunities for new experiences are rare as we perform the same actions thousands and thousands of times the exact same way.
Habits like these can be incredibly useful—they help you to perform actions with precision without having to use an excess amount of energy in the learning process. But when habit patterns are relied on too much and the situation calls for creative solutions, they can really get in the way. Stuck in the same mental grooves, we struggle to consider that there may be a simple solution to a problem we’ve always been solving in a complex way.
Take farming for example. In recent years, when faced with problems like disease, insects, poor soil fertility, and weeds, farmers began turning to artificial chemicals as a way to preserve their crops. Scientists have since discovered that small, community-based farms with a large variety of species that work in harmony to fix nutrients into the soil and prevent disease can be more productive. We may have thought of this a long time ago, but instead turned to preserving an old, inefficient method out of habit which resulted in littering the earth with dangerous chemicals.
While this is a large-scale example of habits overruling creative problem-solving, having a creative outlook can be beneficial when applied to even the smallest aspects of your life. Here’s some tips on how to maintain your creativity.
Treat Every Action as Your First
Before you perform each action, treat it as a totally new experience. This can be done by focusing on the joy, appreciation, and satisfaction that is found at the completion of every event. And it will help you find more creativity in your actions and maintain a greater sense of joy in general.
Seek Creative Outcomes
It can be easy to turn to what you or most people have done in the past when approached with a new problem or conflict. If these familiar solutions don’t fully solve the problem in a sustainable way, consider creative alternatives. Muster your deepest child-like curiosity and refuse to conform to your normal thought patterns. Think differently and see where it leads you!
Discover New Possibilities
If you’re struggling to find a creative solution, research ways that others have been creative. This could mean internet searching, talking with friends, or going to the library—depending on the situation. Sometimes, it can take fellowship and collaboration to come up with the best alternative.
There is so much joy to be found in approaching life from a different perspective. With these tips, we hope you’ll find some creative, outside of the box solutions that brighten your life and lead to greater joy.