Intuition = Your Doorway to Creativity
When you encounter the word “creativity,” what comes to mind? Do you visualize a painter, a dancer, or a symphony playing? Maybe you see a poet or a sculptor or a designer. Now here’s my real question: Do you see yourself when you think of creativity or are you absent from the creative vision? If you are one of those logic-driven professionals who believes you don’t possess a drop of creativity, here’s a reason to consider otherwise.
Creativity isn’t a given, a fait accompli, a quality written into your DNA. It’s actually a process, a big fat verb, an active ability that is cultivated, not just the luck of the draw. Why, then, do some people seem to be so much more creative than others? Because they’re open to the process and gladly put themselves in creative motion rather than avoiding it, as so many people do. Being open to your creativity is the key, which is where your intuition comes into play.
Intuition is the secret ingredient when it comes to cultivating creativity because it is where creativity first shows itself. In fact, without intuition there is no creativity, so silence what author Stephen Pressfield refers to in The War of Art as the creative “resistance” and listen—really listen—to your intuition. In many ways, your intuition is the fundamental ecosystem where ideas begin to grow and blossom, which is why it’s so important to become attuned to your intuition and fully engaged in it, rather than disregarding or silencing it. Too often when our intuition is trying to get our attention, we swat it away or say, “Shhh.” No more of that, people!
An easy way to tune inward to the frequency of your intuition is to make time every day to quiet your mind, especially in the morning while your brain’s alpha waves are active. Once you start giving your intuition—what my mother calls your “third eye”—its due, your creative sensibilities will awaken and become an active force in everything you do. All functions of the brain can be improved upon with deliberate practice and that’s especially true of your intuition.
In Imagine: How Creativity Works, author Jonah Lehrer says: “ Creativity should not be seen as something otherworldly. It shouldn’t be thought of as a process reserved for artist and investors and other ‘creative types.’ The human mind after all, has the creative impulse built into its operating system, hard-wired into its most essential programming code. “
Another way to cultivate your intuition and the creativity that follows in your life and work is to allow your mind to wander. Daydreaming or mind wandering is a great way to allow the right hemisphere of the brain—the creative side—to awaken. And the only way to get your mind to wander is to purposefully take breaks from the controlling, extreme focus patterns that we generally stick to as we move through our day-to-day lives. We are a society that tends to be obsessed with focus and accomplishment and obviously focus is critical to getting the things done that you want and need to do! But too much focus is actually bad for engaging your intuitive and creative muscles because when you’re in extreme focus mode, the mind can’t wander and your intuition is quieted.
Learn how to let go of the constant, extreme focus pattern in your life by taking advantage of the random pockets of time in your day where you can engage in some healthy, mind wandering. Better yet, make regular dates with yourself to do some “free thinking” and watch as you begin to be flooded with new ideas, inspirations, and solutions to problems that have been holding you back. A wandering mind is a relaxed mind and a relaxed mind is a condition necessary for creativity and ideation.
I know it has entered the annals of entrepreneurial lore, but the story of Arthur Fry, the inventor of the PostIt Note still inspires me. Fry famously daydreamed his jillion-dollar idea one day while singing in his church choir. Allowing his mind to wander, he found himself thinking of how nice it would be to have sticky bookmarks to flag the pages of his hymnal. From a lovely, free, relaxed place in his mind came one of the most recognizable innovations of our time.
So pay attention to your intuition. Give it a place of importance in your thought processes and the way you spend your time. Cultivate it by allowing your mind to wander and make time to truly relax your brain just as often as you work it. Soon you’ll know for yourself that creativity is part of your natural design as a human being—in other words, it was right there all the time, Dorothy!
Check out some of the books that help ignite my creativity:
After twelve years in Miami, we have relocated to the San Francisco bay area.
Please make note of my new office line: 650.592.1490
Remember, Genius travels.