by Antonio Tooley, contributor
Everybody tends to look at creativity as something that some people have, and some don’t. Another common notion that people have about creativity is that it’s inconsistent, meaning it will strike at random times. If you are coming up with ideas all the time, great! If you are going through a dry spell, the only thing you can do is wait until inspiration strikes again. However, people are wrong.
Just like any other cognitive ability, creativity can be practiced and perfected to become more than just a random occurrence. In essence, creativity is nothing that a person’s capability to make connections between things, put information into different contexts, along with one’s ability for abstraction. As you can see, we have already mastered all of those abilities, so it’s just a matter of learning to combine them.
Once you do, you will be able to tap into your creative capacities any time you like, which is awesome. Unless you hate being creative. If that’s the case, we’re afraid we have some bad news for you. Once you teach yourself creativity, it becomes something you can’t turn on and off. But don’t worry, because we have found 5 things you can do to put an end to that nasty, nasty habit.
1. Stick to Only One Angle of Looking at Things
A great way of avoiding creativity is to never change the way you approach problems. By all means, always look at things from the same angle, no matter how tempting it may be to do the opposite. If you stick to methods and ways of solving problems you’ve used in the past, you eliminate the chance of unpleasant surprises. Who knows what sort of trouble you can stir up if you to attempt to think the way you’ve never thought before?
It is better to be safe than sorry, so be safe and stick to what you know and what’s worked in the past. If it’s worked in the past, that means it breeds success. Why would you want to mess with that by flirting with creativity? Seriously, do you have some twisted desire to fail?
2. Never Combine Different Things
Combining separate thoughts and ideas should also be avoided at all costs, because you may end up with something completely new and that can be dangerous. That is how explosions happen! To be on the safe side, adopt a linear way of thinking and exclude everything that is unfamiliar and unproven. Messing with the natural order of things can only land you in hot water.
Another way of avoiding the temptation of trying to connect different ideas together is to always to stick your narrow area of expertise. If you do so, you will diminish your chances of coming across a concept that is new and cutting-edge. There is a reason why all these different ideas have remained separated for so long. It is not your place to change this. You are not wiser than all of your predecessors put together, and you are surely not the first who has thought of connecting different things.
3. The First Solution You Come up with Is Always the Best
You’ve all heard of Occam’s razor, a problem-solving principle that states that the simplest solution is usually the best one. We would like to expand on that idea and say that the first solution you discover is also the best. If you have a solution that works, why waste and energy looking for another one that might not work at all? Not only will you waste valuable resources, but you will also come off as indecisive and become a subject of ridicule among your peers.
Looking for pointless alternatives to an existing solution should be left to less intelligent individuals, and surely you are not one of them. Let them embarrass themselves if they are so keen on doing it. Stick to your comfort zone and appreciate what you have.
4. Live and Work in an Safe and Predictable Environment
One of the best ways to stifle your creativity is establish a routine in all areas of your life, and that includes your workplace and your home. If you can manage to keep everything predictable and safe, you will prevent an influx of ideas and unplanned moments of inspiration. Always go to work at the exact same time and take the same route, visit the same places, eat the same meals, watch the same programs, read the same books, and go to bed at the same time each day.
This will minimize the amount of stress in your life. Stress has a negative impact on our health, so it’s best to avoid it at all costs. And for those among you who are still students, here is a tip: stay in school for as long as you can. Although you may frown at the notion, according to the renowned British author, professor and educationalist, Sir Ken Robison, schools kill creativity, and we have every reason to believe him. So should you.
5. Don’t Pay Attention
When you are paying attention, you are opening yourself up to information, which you may be tempted to analyze and which may inspire you to look at things from a different angle. This is exactly the kind of behavior that leads to being creative. It gets even worse. Remember those annoying people in your class who always paid attention and asked questions? Remember how embarrassing that was? By asking questions, you are only showing your lack of knowledge. Stay smart by staying quiet.
By adhering to these practices, you will have all of your bases covered. You will save yourself a lot of time, energy and nerves by eliminating creativity from your life altogether. Spare yourself the hassle and the stress that other people go through. By eliminating everything that is unpredictable, you also eliminate the chance of failure, and a life without failure, is a life of perfection. Stay perfect.
About The Author
Antonio is a New Jersey-based hopeless optimist who enjoys basking in the world’s brightest colors. He loves biking to distant places and occasionally he gets lost. When not doing that he’s working for a dissertation service EduGeeksClub where he helps students with research. Find him on Facebook and Twitter