Creativity is like a flowing, bubbling river with wonderful and surprising waterfalls. When you’ve got it, everything flows. With creativity also comes other exciting things like being in the present moment and synchronicities.

"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity." - Charles Mingus

 Yet, creativity is not always easy to cultivate. Here are some tips to help it start flowing in your direction:

  1. Write down your values. When you are in touch with what you value, you can more easily identify the areas where you’d like to be creative. It’s a great starting point.
  2. Identify a set of moral beliefs. These beliefs could be spiritual in nature or a moral code of conduct. Sticking by these beliefs or codes will open your eyes to the bigger picture. This is especially useful when creative thoughts are wanted, but not coming in.
  3. Take at least 10 minutes a day for free-form thinking. Sit in a space in your home or office that brings inspiration. Just start writing or brainstorming about a project or idea you’d like to bring more creativity to. We often don’t slow down enough to let our new, creative thoughts truly unfold.
  4. Be receptive in your daily life. Open yourself up to graciously accept compliments when they are given and for help when it is offered. Increasing receptivity in all areas of your life will clear the path to more easily receive creative thoughts.
  5. Do things differently each day or week. Humans tend to be creatures of habit, but our habits get in the way when they turn into ruts. Creativity shies away from ruts, big time. If you always walk the same way home or always take notes in a certain way, start by doing one thing differently. For example, take notes in an art notebook with colors and use pictures or sit in a different position. Sit on the floor even! Take a new route when running errands whether by car, bike or foot. By doing things the same old way, you’ll end up with the same old thoughts, but doing new and different things will usually bring new ideas.

Remember, creativity is like water. You can keep it flowing your way, redirect it and if you have a temporary dam up know that you can always take a few simple actions to break the dam and bring it back.

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Kate Goyette has an MBA in Sustainable Enterprise, works as a program officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service, has volunteered far and wide, and loves hiking, biking and meditating her way through the world.

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This article is part of our series on the theme of Creativity.

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