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Vivek Mahbubani
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Be more creative in 5 steps

I've been thinking and after a lot of reading and researching and trial and error-ing, I finally gathered a set of tools that will help you become more creative. So here they are:

Connect the dots... differently Creativity is all about connecting two things that weren't connected before. It's not necessarily about coming up with something brand spanking new, but it's simply using something that exists in a new and different way. For example, if you have 3 cups all filled with different levels of soup and a spoon, chances are you will most probably use the spoon to scoop out the soup. Instead, you could have used the spoon to tap on the cups and you've got yourself a musical instrument!

So the next time you have an object in hand, look at it differently, throw away its normal use and think of it another way. Some other ways that spoon could have been used:*By lifting it up, one may realize it could be used as a paper weight. *Many kids use it as mini swords *Bar tenders use the back of the spoon to pour alcohol on so the drink flows lightly into the glass under it. I've seen many use this when making a B-52 shot. *What about shining a light and using the spoon as an extension of your hand for shadow puppets? Think backwards Instead of thinking of what the spoon can be, think of what is cannot be! A spoon can never be a fork... or can it (this is where the idea comes about)? Perhaps hold the spoon the other way round (your hand holding the round end that you would normally scoop soup with) and you may be able to poke objects.

What else can the spoon not be? Perhaps it can never be a chainsaw... or can it? Maybe one end of the spoon can have a jagged edge so you can use the spoon as a knife. Some of you may be wondering, wouldn't that cut your hand easily while holding it? Yes, yes it would, but it's an idea we can work off of. Perhaps the spoon can become like a pair of scissors on the end you normally hold it.

Change one thing about it Stop and list out all the attributes you can think of about the object and change one attribute at a time to see what happens. For a spoon, the list of attributes would include:*Round/oval shape at one end *one long, straight handle *Made of metal or plasticNow let's change one attribute. Let's say we change the round/oval shape and replace it with a rectangle. Now you can scrape that cream off the edge of the ice cream cup. What if we made the long straight handle into a long but L-shaped handle? I hope you see what I'm trying to get at, the ideas will keep flowing!

Ignore it Yes, this is my favorite step. Incubate the idea by ignoring it.

Basically, allow your subconscious to have a play with it by putting it aside. During this time, you may decide to go out and go for a swim or play a game of tennis. Wait a second, tennis! Maybe the spoon can be like the racket and have holes in it so it acts like a strainer as well! The good thing about putting aside your creative process is that you open up your mind to other realms of possible connections as well as give your subconscious a crack at it :) It's never been a better time to get lazy!

Be stupid The last step I take is to be completely idiotic about the whole process. This is where I let out the monkeys in the dungeon that is my brain (FYI, http://www.monkeydungeon.net actually goes to my portfolio ;p). Basically this is where you just run wild with the above four points. You give yourself, say, half an hour of nothing but free and stupid thinking.

Connect the dots... differently.You start connecting the spoon to, say, a web camera and suddenly you have the idea of being able to film via a spoon. Maybe something parents will find cute to do for their one year old or that art student will use in his/her next avant- garde video assignment.

Think backwards. So maybe you film yourself eating with a spoon and then play the video backwards or even upside down.

Change one thing about it. What if the spoon had eyes? It could direct you towards your food while your eyes may be focused on the newspaper during breakfast?

Ignore it. Maybe you can pretend your spoon is trying to tell you something and you don't want to listen, so you start shouting "la la la la la la !" at it. From that, you may get the idea of a spoon that has music playing out of it? What if the spoon would make a remark depending on how hot or cold it gets. For example, when you use it to scoop ice cream it goes "wow, iceeey!" and when you scoop hot soup, it shouts "Ouch! Hot! Hot!".. a novelty item right there.

So from now on, just go nuts. No more "Oh, I'm not the creative type" talk. Keep these five steps in mind and you're good to go!

about 17 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

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Apparently, I am Hong Kong's funniest person as of 2007. Yummy :D Update: And now I'm the Hong Kong's funniest person as of 2008 :)

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english, cantonese
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Hong Kong
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February 3, 2008