By: Kent Sanders, writer, professor, and creative coach at
Creativity is a vital element of success today. Without creative thinking, we have no hope of growing as individuals or leading our organizations and businesses to greater success.
Creativity isn’t just about painting, music, dance, or other forms of art. Creativity is about being a person who is growing and learning in order to lead and bless other people.
But who feels like they have extra time to be creative? We all lead busy lives and feel pressed for time. However, there are many ways to feed your creative mind.
I’ve put together a list of ten items below, many of which you can do with your family. I encourage you to pick one or two that fit your interests, and take the plunge.
1. Watch a great movie.
Movies blend storytelling, moving images, and music to transport us into other worlds. Movies can also speak to your heart and mind while sharpening your creativity.
There are, of course, thousands upon thousands of movies available, but why not choose a great one? I recommend something from the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time. I’ve also compiled a list of ten movies that will blow your creative mind, as well as ten movies that will inspire your new year.
2. Read a great fiction book.
A good book, however, lets you go much deeper into a character’s world than a movie or TV show ever could. You should never feel guilty about reading fiction because we’re wired as humans to connect with other people’s stories.
I recommend reading fiction for many of the same reasons I recommend movies and television: because of the power of a great story.
You should never feel guilty about reading fiction because we’re wired as humans to connect with other people’s stories.
3. Read a screenplay.
Watching a movie can be a great experience, but reading a screenplay is a whole different way to experience a story. If you’ve never read a screenplay before, check out The Script Lab for lots of free ones.
4. Visit an art museum.
If you have an art museum in your neck of the woods, make some time to be inspired by the creativity and artistry of different cultures and time periods. I live in St. Louis, and we not only have a fabulous art museum, we also have several other notable museums.
But even if you live in a smaller community, I’ll bet you’re not too far from some type of museum gallery that can expand your horizons. Here’s a list of art museums around the world.
5. Do some backyard astronomy.
See if you can spot Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, or (if you’ve got an eagle eye) Mercury with the help of the StarWalk app or the Sky and Telescope website. If you use good binoculars or a small telescope you can see Saturn’s rings and Jupiter’s Galilean moons.
When you begin to study astronomy you truly realize how small you are in the vast scope of the universe. You also stand in awe of God’s creativity.
When you begin to study astronomy you truly realize how small you are in the vast scope of the universe.
6. Learn to play an instrument.
As a guitar teacher, I’ve taught all ages, including adults who have grown children and even grandkids. You’re never too old to stop learning, and taking up an instrument (or a second one, if you already play one) can unlock a new spirit of creativity you never knew existed.
7. Watch a TED Talk.
The TED organization focuses on spreading great ideas and sparking conversation. (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design.) TED is mainly known for the fascinating talks that are given at its conferences. These talks are given by all kinds of leaders, innovators, and artists, and feature a wide array of topics.
8. Go geocaching.
Geocaching is a worldwide phenomenon that is like a giant treasure hunt. Millions of people participate by hiding and finding “caches” that can range from a tiny container to a good-sized box. You locate the cache by using GPS coordinates on your phone.
My son and I have been geocaching for several years, and it’s a great way to bond with friends or family while doing something fun and getting outdoors.
Geocaching is a great way to bond with family or friends while doing something fun outdoors.
9. Build something.
One summer a few years ago I decided to build a treehouse for my son. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I was determined to learn. It took me a few years and a lot of trial and error, but I finally finished it in the Summer of 2016. The result was a very cool treehouse with windows, a trapdoor, skylight, bridge, and pulley system.
You can see a video tour of our treehouse by clicking here.
Obviously, you don’t have to build a treehouse to express your creativity, but I definitely encourage you to build or make something with your hands (even if it’s a simple bookshelf). If you do a lot of work on computer, it’s a great way to recharge your creative batteries.
10. Visit a graveyard.
When you walk among the dead, you have a very real sense of the brevity of life. You see the headstones of those who have gone before you in this life, and you realize you will join them one day.
I know that sounds depressing, but it’s a truth that should motivate and inspire us to use our time wisely. You only have one short life, so make it count!
There’s no special formula or magic elixir that will make you become more creative. It’s all about taking small, daily steps to reach your potential. These ten simple steps are within the reach of almost anyone.
About: Kent Sanders
Kent Sanders is a writer, professor, and creative coach. He is also the author of The Artist’s Suitcase: 26 Essentials for the Creative Journey, and host of the Born to Create Podcast. Kent’s mission is to help others unlock their creative potential. You can find lots of resources for creative entrepreneurs at his blog, KentSanders.net, where he writes about creativity, mindset, and productivity.