Episode 69 | (00:00):
Hey there, friend. Today we're talking about how your midlife creativity can be the secret ingredient to improving your problem-solving skills. Now, you may not think you're creative, but I'm going to say, "Nonsense."
You were designed with a creative gene, though it may look a little different than you're thinking. So today we're going to take a brief look at how creative thinkers think...
Then I'm going to leave you with a three-step process to help you start using your midlife creativity to improve your problem-solving skills.
They can even help you live a more creative life. How cool is that? So are you ready? What are we waiting for? Let's dive in!
Hey there, Easy Ager. If you're not already on the Easy Aging® Insiders' list, go to TheEasyAgingShow.com right after this episode and sign up today.
Before we dive into the specifics of this three-part process for creative problem solving, I wanted to talk to you a little bit about how creative thinkers function.
Creative thinkers don't think things have to look a certain way. They're very open to possibility. They're open to grabbing onto new ideas and new perspectives.
They look at the same things as everyone else, but they see something a little bit differently. They're willing to take risks by thinking differently, and they're willing to make some mistakes along the way.
They practice seeing things differently on a regular basis, whether they realize it or not. Being a creative thinker isn't nearly as difficult as you may believe it to be.
I can assure you that it is much more interesting to be a creative thinker than to be on autopilot just going through life without thinking or noticing anything new.
That sounds boring and that definitely does not sound interesting. So let me give you this three-step process so you can start getting off autopilot and start living a more creative life. How does that sound?
Number one, get out of your routine. Shake things up a little bit. I don't want to say anything bad about routines. Routines are life savers. They help us make decisions one time for the little things that we do every single day.
Can you imagine trying to make a decision about brushing your teeth or washing your face every day? Oh my gosh, that makes me tired. That would be absolutely exhausting, wouldn't it?
We would all have decision fatigue by the end of every day if we had to do that. So these routines are great for basic daily activities at home or at work, but when you're trying to think of a solution for something, you really need to get out of your routine a bit.
Have you ever gone on vacation and then all of a sudden it seems like — boom! You have a ton of ideas flooding through your brain with solutions for so many problems. Has this ever happened to you?
The reason this happened was because you shook things up. You got out of your regular environment. You moved things around a bit. You got out of your rut and in the process, you got out of your own way to start seeing things differently.
Getting out of your routine really isn't that hard. You could try a new route to work or to the grocery store. When you go to a friend's house, look at the details in her house.
Maybe she has a collection of figurines you never paid attention to before. Look at the detail involved in those figurines.
You can go to a museum and look at art in detail. Look at the composition, look at the brush strokes, look at every little detail that that artist put into that piece.
One of the easiest ways to get out of your routine is to step outside. There are so many details in creation. Look at the leaf of a tree. Look at the texture and the pattern in it. Look at the veins of the leaf.
You can watch the squirrels and see how they play. You can watch birds in a bird bath. I mean, there are so many things to look at by stepping into your backyard.
When we look at things in detail, we can shake things up. We can get out of our routine and we can get new views, new perspectives and, of course, new ideas.
Number two, open yourself up during your routine. Just like when you're on vacation, have you ever had some of your best ideas come to you in the shower? For me, it happens in the shampoo portion of the program.
The reason this happens is because your mind isn't preoccupied with whether or not to use a shampoo or conditioner first. You know the routine. You know how warm you want the water. You know exactly where that shampoo bottle is without even looking.
You have this down pat. When you are doing a routine that doesn't take a whole lot of brain activity on your part, your mind is free. It's roaming around, it's exploring. It's taking a little break from the day-to-day tasks.
It's basically relaxing a little bit. It's enjoying the hot shower. And oh my goodness, it loves the massage when you're shampooing your hair and all of a sudden — boom! The light bulb goes off.
"Oh, what if I tried this? Better yet, what if I mix this with that? Would that work?" And your brain is off and running. It starts racing with all these new creative ways of seeing something, of solving the problem, of looking at things in a different way.
Opening yourself up during your routine also means that you are going to notice things that have been right in front of you for years. The other day, something was bugging me about my bathroom. I couldn't figure out what it was.
It's a tiny bathroom, and I kept looking at the shower curtain. Then, as I was brushing my teeth one day, I looked in the mirror at the cabinet behind me, and then it hit me.
I've always been annoyed that the bottom doors of that cabinet have never closed fully. And the hinges on the top part of the cabinet are getting rusty.
I'm embarrassed to say that I've been here nearly five years and have never noticed that before. I mean, I may have noticed it and put it aside and noticed it and put it aside, but I didn't do anything about it.
But this time I took action. I got the doors fixed. They are now closing properly and have new magnetic thingies, so they line up properly. I have new hinges on the top cabinet. I took off all the old paint from the doors.
I spackled, and I'm about to put a fresh coat of paint on this in the next few days. While it took me almost five years to notice this and take action on it. I got everything done in about a week and a half.
So that leads me into my third point. Take action. When you have a new idea, when you notice something that needs to be fixed, take action. Take action to fix it or resolve it. If you need to apologize or send the email or make the call, take the action.
Because when you have a creative burst, you need to act on it immediately. Don't ignore it like I kept ignoring the cabinet that was bugging me all these years. Just move, friend. Make a move, take an action. That is going to help you live a more creative life right then and there.
When you are fully present, even in the routine things, you are going to experience life differently. You'll get new perspective on everything going on around you. You'll have new solutions that will help you move forward, and you'll be on your way to becoming a true creative thinker and living a more creative life.
So that's it for today. Let me recap this for you. Number one, get out of your routine. Number two, open yourself up during your routine. And number three, take action on your "aha" moments and don't delay.
Once again, if you're not already an Easy Aging® Insider, go to TheEasyAgingShow.com and sign up right now. I'll see you in the next episode and until then, peace, love and blessings to you and yours. Take care. Bye-bye!