The Simple Strategy That Fires Up Your Creativity

4 min read

Education & Career Trends: June 15, 2024

Curated by the Knowledge Team of  ICS Career GPS

Article by Anthony D. Fredericks, published on

Think back to childhood: making up songs, building a treehouse, creating a surrealistic kingdom with a box of crayons, sharing stories about characters with superpowers, conjuring bands of six-headed space aliens, and playing games like “Red Light, Green Light” and “Hide and Seek,” inevitably making up new rules along the way. In short, engaging in creativity almost daily.

Now, in adulthood, creativity often feels like a challenge. Whether it’s creating a new marketing plan at work, writing a futuristic novel, or sketching an outline for a new garden, many experience moments of panic when trying to create something innovative and different, leading to frustration and discouragement.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Pablo Picasso

Creativity as a Habit

Creativity shouldn’t be an isolated event but rather a normal, even daily, part of regular activities. Regular, small creative activities (mental mileage) help build the stamina and strength necessary to tackle large creative challenges. As children, using a creative mind almost daily was normal; as adults, that regular training is virtually non-existent, often replaced by logical reasoning instead of innovative thinking.

A determination to make creativity a regular part of daily activities prepares the mind for times when a large idea is needed in work or everyday life. Best of all, a tiny creative act every day fosters a growth mindset and begins to shatter unseen forces that have negatively influenced thinking for so long, moving from a fixed mindset to new realms of creative expression. Like a vitamin, everyone can profit from one a day.

Consider the daily habit of brushing teeth, initiated at a young age and practised throughout life, becoming routine. Creativity, like brushing teeth, can become an automatic habit. It works best when actions are short, say two minutes each day, and done religiously.

Here are some simple activities that can be addressed in a short amount of time on successive days:

  • Ponder questions like: “What if a red circle appeared in the middle of everyone’s forehead whenever they told a lie?” or “What if you could re-live any year of your life?”
  • Think about the similarities between a brick and a rubber band, a stapler and a motorcycle, or a cherry pie and a lighthouse.
  • Consider five alternate uses for a pair of socks or a screwdriver.
  • Think of ways a paper clip could be used to fix a broken toy or a cell phone.
  • For writers, elaborate on similes.
  • Draw or illustrate ambiguous words like “fine,” “needless,” or “tense.”


Consider the following: 1) Creativity can be a habit, 2) creativity can be practiced every day, and 3) we can significantly improve our creativity when we make creativity a daily habit… as we did as kids.

The reality is that practicing little acts of creativity (daily) is the ultimate key to a creative life. Lots of small creative actions get us in the habit of making creativity an expectation rather than a rarity. It eases us into an imaginative frame of mind that becomes a natural way of thinking rather than something foreign or overwhelming. Ultimately, creativity is never a matter of “I have it” or “I don’t have it.” It is, most often, the result of a daily dedication to imaginative thinking, not just while we were kids but also well throughout our adult years.

“Everybody has huge creative capacities. The challenge is to develop them.”

Sir Ken Robinson

Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

Want to Pursue a Career in Psychology? Here is Everything You Need to Know

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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