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How do you "get creative"?

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MHP368

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So I was torn on whether or not to put this in the books section but i'd like to just have an open ended discussion (book recommendations are welcome but of course you can probably just summarize the key points a bit)

What works for you? what have you heard works for others? , what kills it for you?

We spend all this time on the sort of nitty gritty how to but I think that can leave you with a bit of tunnel vision right?

So what's the fastlane think and do?
 

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MJ DeMarco

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MJJones

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This is something I've noticed while reading the trajectory explained in The Millionaire Fastlane and in reflecting on my own experiences, that oftentimes the greatest source of inspiration comes from the mundane. Trivial jobs. Menial work. I think it goes back to "Necessity is the mother of invention" in two ways.
1. Mundane, trivial, menial "sidewalk" work will drive people with ambition mad. Insane. Even genius if you give it time and have the mindset of being a fully observant, open-minded, and somewhat tortured tourist, not a resident there.
2. "Sidewalk" work is terribly inspiring, making you think each day "There's gotta be a better way" and finding a solution.

So, I'd suggest doing something you absolutely hate or think you'd be terrible at and going from there. There are lots of volunteer opportunities that fall into this area.
 

MHP368

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threadkiller!
What do you mean by creative? In an artistic sense or business strategy?
yeh all of that, I was picking through "tools of titans" when it occured to me that my entire bookshelf is pretty much "how to" , maybe with some mindset and self development angles. Anyway it was "James Altucher's" piece. Writing list of ideas, and just getting in the habit of "flexing' the creative muscle (he called it the "daily 10" practice) , so that sounds solid which made me think "well what do other people do?"
I'd suggest doing something you absolutely hate
I'm a Psychiatric Emergency Room Nurse...it's...crazy?
 

MJ DeMarco

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threadkiller!

My bad, I didn't mean to imply sarcasm or facetiousness. I was being dead serious. Of course, it has be a MJ strain that works for you, so some trial and error might be needed.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Non-Conformist

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So I was torn on whether or not to put this in the books section but i'd like to just have an open ended discussion (book recommendations are welcome but of course you can probably just summarize the key points a bit)

What works for you? what have you heard works for others? , what kills it for you?

We spend all this time on the sort of nitty gritty how to but I think that can leave you with a bit of tunnel vision right?

So what's the fastlane think and do?
I actually struggle coming up with ideas
 

404profound

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yeh all of that, I was picking through "tools of titans" when it occured to me that my entire bookshelf is pretty much "how to" , maybe with some mindset and self development angles. Anyway it was "James Altucher's" piece. Writing list of ideas, and just getting in the habit of "flexing' the creative muscle (he called it the "daily 10" practice) , so that sounds solid which made me think "well what do other people do?"
One practice I make is to merge two industries or domains together to see how they compliment each other. For example, are there any practices or technologies in healthcare that can make finance better in some way (more efficient, more profitable, etc). Are there any region-specific things that can be introduced to another region. This is similar to when people say "lets make the Uber of X market". They are lifting the Uber business model and dropping it into another industry to see if it fits.
 

Christopher104

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So I was torn on whether or not to put this in the books section but i'd like to just have an open ended discussion (book recommendations are welcome but of course you can probably just summarize the key points a bit)

What works for you? what have you heard works for others? , what kills it for you?

We spend all this time on the sort of nitty gritty how to but I think that can leave you with a bit of tunnel vision right?

So what's the fastlane think and do?
Creativity is taking something you can physically see in the real world and processing it into a new image in your imagination. Perception, my friend.

Whether the glass is half empty or half full is a creative outlook based on the state of your environment, mind, and experiences.
 

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sparechange

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MJ smokes MJ.. The next book is gonna be ''lit'' :rofl:

I think it's important to talk to other people, I'm not sure what YOU need to be creative on, so assuming it's some type of problem you are facing, discussing it with others can bring up eureka moments with another persons perspective on things.

Meditation could possibly help with some clarity on an issue.
 
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Kybalion

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I agree with MJ - weed helps. I prefer black-tar heroin, but that's just me. :playful:

Here's the serious answer:

Whenever I need a creative idea for sales copy or solving a specific problem I read about topics related to the task at hand. These can be books, forums, amazon reviews, and so on.

When I read my brain starts throwing up more creative ideas than I can handle. Some are practical, others are too wild to mention here. Then I just write them down and evaluate.

I find that while creativity for its own sake is therapeutic, having a ''tunnel-vision'' helps me stay on track. The ''nitty-gritty'', ''how to'' stuff is a great channel for expressing creativity. For me, the nitty-gritty is like canvas and creativity is the paint. Without the canvas, you're not an artist - you're just lunatic throwing paint around.





.
 

Kid

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My bad, I didn't mean to imply sarcasm or facetiousness. I was being dead serious. Of course, it has be a MJ strain that works for you, so some trial and error might be needed.
There is a reason why most artists (and most famous ones) were taking drugs.

To answer topic:
It's hard to find something if you don't know what you are looking for.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Of note, the answers to this question can be UPVOTED (like Reddit) since this thread was posted as a QUESTION (not a discussion.)

Another few things I found helpful...

Getting into nature. A bike ride. A steaming hot shower or an hour in the sauna in complete silence!
 

Kid

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Of note, the answers to this question can be UPVOTED (like Reddit) since this thread was posted as a QUESTION (not a discussion.)
Can you do some CSS MJ? I would suggest to make UP/DOWN votes and count with brighter color (even plain white), without mentioning it can be barely seen.
Nice feature.
 

MJJones

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I'm a Psychiatric Emergency Room Nurse...it's...crazy?
I bet! That sounds like a very exciting and stimulating environment. I'd maybe try a couple of the other tips here, too, like meditation. Spending time in nature. If your schedule allows, watching the sunrise outside each morning, regardless of the weather or temperature outside. I really enjoy Stoicism practices in that way, sometimes making yourself even slightly uncomfortable can shake things up a bit.
 

Dark Water

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I second what has been said so far. For work, a mundane job or any job where you turn off your brain is a great time to find creativity. I used to stock grocery store shelves. You can develop some great momentum and ideas in such a job because you are moving around and get in this kind of flow state, even though it doesn't take a ton of effort. Build up the flow further with positive interactions with customers/colleagues. With this, I think there are diminishing returns; the sweet spot for me was 10-15 hours per week; when you do such an endeavor full time, you can lose sight of your goals and be sucked into the matrix with the extra responsibility that comes with that.

I also find running to be inspiring and thought-provoking. Particularly if you live in a nice area. It's hard not to be motivated when you jog by home after home that is between $750k and $2m. You think how each one has a successful person behind it, an entrepreneur, a high paid worker, a sidewalker with a large debt, whatever it may be, and it's hard not to get ideas churning.
 

mon_fi

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Creativity emerges out of pain, boredom and fear (I know...).

The reason people are not creative anymore is because they are not bored enough. As soon as we are, we take our phones out which provide us with unlimited entertainment. The brain is constantly stimulated which does not help it create out of nothing, which is what creativity is.

If you wish to be more creative, empty your head, go for a walk, go to the forest, change your environment and let your thoughts be.

I have seen some advising to take substances to become creative. I don't recommend it. It's like taking alcohol to get over a breakup. You risk becoming dependent on it.

If you want to access parts of your brain you normally don't have access to awake, you can imitate Edison. Edison noticed that he was extremely creative in his dreams, so he designed a system that would wake him up as he was falling asleep in order to write all the ideas that were in his head at that moment.

To do so, he'd fall asleep in a balancing chair with coins in his hand. As he fell asleep, his hand would extend, the coins would fall and wake him up.

No, if you are as insane as I am, you can also restrict all dopamine-triggering activities (this will boost your brain).
I have experienced with extreme creativity when I went on "no dopamine weeks". I would cut off sugar, porn, masturbation, social media (in fact, screen consumption altogether), news, alcohol, coffee, weed, cigarettes, etc.... I gained super-human energy and creativity, and was relentless.

Jordan Peterson pretends not everyone can be creative. I call it BS. Creativity runs in our genes. If you're not creative, it is because you're doing something that is blocking your creativity.
 

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I think creativity (for me atleast) comes from being able to essentially letting your mind naturally drift towards things that it wants to think about. In addition to having the room in your mind for creative thinking, it helps a lot to take in new ideas or experiences that align with what you're naturally into or predisposed to.

This analogy might help:

Let's say you're someone who is naturally gifted when it comes to building muscle and lifting heavy weights. (Think of the weightlifting exercise modality as an area of interest or expertise) When you clear out enough time (think of clearing time in your schedule the same as clearing space in your mind) to spend in the gym you open yourself up to be able to exercise (work with ideas). And then you take what you naturally like and are good at (lifting weights) and spend time/energy with that as opposed to trying to force yourself to become a runner or endurance athlete(aka spending your mental energy in areas that don't naturally give you energy) . When you do this, you're going to get better fast and enjoy it, which will then naturally encourage you to continue to get better and provide your more energy/motivation. You'll be much more likely to hit that flow state where progress and breakthroughs start to happen naturally.

I've found that almost any mental/psychological principle can be easily understood by relating it to the physical/fitness realm.
 

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MHP368

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As soon as we are, we take our phones out which provide us with unlimited entertainment.
Yeh something I read recently where they block off "creative time" and turn off the wifi (being away from the phone and computer might do the same)
I don't recommend it.
Yeh I'm a recovered drunk and had quite a psychonaut stint so , good on that end. Don't trust many of the nootropics either.

Odd coincidence you name jordan peterson , I've digested some of his material but it was actually just other philosophers disagreeing with him (can't remember the point) not his work , now I appreciate that he stood up as an intellectual against the sort of "woke plague" but for some reason the way he presented himself when he came out as a sort of celebrity turned me off (like a "hack" vibe)

Finally actually listened to him today on the car ride back from phoenix , pretty good stuff , pragmatic - I like pragmatic in my self development (which makes sense given his background in clinical psychology)

So yeh , disagreeable dude (and disagreeable apparently in a way thats not just opinion if you ask certain philosophers) but good stuff.

Anyone ever hear of dr nakamats?

Sounds crazy (maybe he does it for publicity) but , made me wonder if you could sort of "placebo effect" raw creativity. Plenty of creatives seem to have weird mannerisms and things.
 

MHP368

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. A steaming hot shower or an hour in the sauna

You ever try the cold bath / shower thing? Wim hoff / tony robbins style? I made it 6 days and got a cold a few years back and gave up but i've started messing with it a bit the last few weeks on my morning routine.
 

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Thought I would share, I've been doing a bit of work today and had full blast rock music on coming up with some ideas and writing copy for my website.

Give it a try, and when the cops show up play bad boys.
 

MHP368

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full blast rock music on coming up with some ideas and writing copy for my website.
Could you elucidate? Have you tried other music? Are you add in general or music judt helps a "flow / grind it out" state.

What else do you do to prep for serious worktime and creation?
 

MetalGear

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So I was torn on whether or not to put this in the books section but i'd like to just have an open ended discussion (book recommendations are welcome but of course you can probably just summarize the key points a bit)

What works for you? what have you heard works for others? , what kills it for you?

We spend all this time on the sort of nitty gritty how to but I think that can leave you with a bit of tunnel vision right?

So what's the fastlane think and do?
 

cm-devpreneur

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I agree with all the suggestions above. I'll add my 2 cents:

Think like a 5-year old. No limitations, no concept of good or bad idea, or it'll never work.

I remember in uni I was studying IT and decided to try something different and do a 48-hour film project with some film students.
My instincts would have been to treat it like a project, create some structure - scope, resources, budget, what's realistic and then do a brainstorm with that in mind, and the other key elements of a film - plot, characters, props.

But I let the film students lead the project. They were so relaxed about the project even though the deadline was tight. It wasn't really a structured brainstorm it was just a throw your idea out there and lets chat about it until the next one comes along.
All ideas were welcome and to be honest we ended up coming up with so many great ideas that it didn't even matter which one we picked. No right or wrong. Any idea was OK to blurt out. We didn't really write anything down until we found something that worked. Their process was very different to how I would have approached creativity in that scenario.

What I took away from that is that structure kills creativity. Try to brainstorm like a 5-year old. Pretend for a moment there are no constraints. You don't have to come up with good ideas, come up with interesting ideas instead.
There'll be a time for structure and evaluating which ideas are realistic but don't let that part poison a good creativity session.

Another takeaway is that you can amplify your creativity through casual 'semi-structured' conversation. Where you bounce ideas off each other. This is great and powerful especially if you find someone(s) who complements your thinking process well.
I've also found that sometimes people need permission to come up with bad ideas, so try to help people relax and not feel like they have to come up with a good idea all the time. This is where taking a casual, natural conversation approach helps.

Also, the more you know the more you can stretch your imagination in a practical way.

There's a kind of creativity that I observe and admire from afar in engineering/scientist/PHD types.
Their ideas aren't about creating something new but innovating and making something that exists better in a small way but with a BIG impact.
Maybe they've nailed it. Maybe the key to being creative isn't being creative in a big way but in a really small way that allows to try many different small ideas until you find a small idea that actually works AND has a BIG impact. And more importantly being willing to try ideas that might go either way - waste of time or EUREKA!!

And I agree with the comments about being 'bored' and the mundane. Garderning, doing the dishes, long showers where you aren't thinking about your problem can often lead to spontaneous creativity, lightbulb moments you can't explain. Give your subconscious time to be creative.

Also I think being open to trying new things in life generally helps you be more creative in the long-term. Don't always follow a routine, shake things up
 

MJ DeMarco

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You ever try the cold bath / shower thing?

No, I run cold so -- when it is 110 degrees in Phoenix I still run my heat-dish in my office. Lets just say any cold oriented strategies I dismiss outright.
 

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Awesome thread!

Here are some things that work for me to get me creative...

- Consistency. When I keep at it daily, I get into the groove. IMHO creativity can be a habit. I found that the more often I do creative work, the more often I get inspired too.

- Imperfection. Dull moment? Not feeling creative? How about allowing your art to suck for the time being, just so that you can keep at it until it gets good again?

- New experiences. When I meet new people or have new experiences, often the story writes itself.

- Learning. As you learn more about your craft, it allows you to be more creative, as you have more ways to express, and more knowledge on how to do it well.

- Analysis. How do others do it whose art you love?

- Inspiration. Reading books, listening to music, watching videos or movies, talking to someone...
 

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