Creativity is another word for imagination, which is the ability to produce images, ideas and sensations in the mind without any immediate input of the senses. Usually, imagination is called the creative power [of the brain].

Creativity is the power of the brain at work, and one of the greatest skill we’ve been blessed with and sought-after resource. Now here are 5 little tricks to spur your creativity.

1- Ask stupid questions or be silly once in awhile

Sometimes, it happens that a particular idea is at first considered silly, stupid, until it’s later recognized as pure expression of a creative mind.

As an example, I would say The Social Media movie released in 2010. It features Jesse Eisenberg in the role of Mark Zuckerberg. The movie tells how Facebook started back in Harvard as a … um … stupid concept. That silly stuff, “the facebook”, years later morphed into the biggest social media ever with 2,27 billion monthly active users, as of year 2018, Statista reveals. and a behemoth company. As I’m speaking, the “Facebook” brand has a financial value of more than 45 billion USD, Interbrand reports.

So below are a few ways to start tapping into the creative potential of “stupid”:

  • What if I [blank] instead of [blank]?
  • What’s stopping us from achieving this 10-year plan in 6 months?
  • What do [blank] and [blank] have in common?
Movienuggets.com — Hiro Hamada and the Big Hero 6 team testing creative concepts in a lab
Movienuggets — Big Hero 6 (movie)

2- Be more empathetic

Empathy is described as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. For more definitions of empathy, please check the Merriam Webster dictionary.

Consequently, developing empathy helps you see things you may be familiar with from a different perspective. Also, empathy helps you connect to connect in a deeper way. That is why, empathy is key in areas such as product development, leadership or counseling.

As we can see, empathy can be therefore a powerful tool to spark creativity both for individuals and organizations, as a result.

It is empathy that helps Tadashi (Daniel Henney) create an AI-powered medical assistant called Baymax. By the way, Justin Bariso talks about the three types of empathy and how you can make it work for you.

3- Keep working at it

“Inspiration exists,” Picasso says, “but it has to find you working.” Don’t be idle thinking creative ideas will just appear, get your hands dirty rather.

So how do you get creativity flowing when your mind is going blank? Try these few tips:

  • Rearrange your work environment. This is how Hiro was able to come up with his micro robot concept (oops … spoiler)
  • Play music that inspires you while working
  • Have an idea book: write down any idea that may come on your mind
  • Use mind maps to realize how a topic / idea can branch out into many other ideas you don’t see at first glance. You can find cool online mindmapping tools that are free to use here.

4- Get around creative folks

A great illustration to this is Silicon Valley. The Valley is an amazing environment to evolve in, as it is a compendium of highly creative minds. For instance, thousand of high technology companies are headquartered in Silicon Valley.

This is an illustration of the “iron sharpens iron” adage. Yeah, you enhance your own creativity as you hang around [other] creative folks. Similarly, the San Fransokyo Institute of technology constitutes a source of inspiration for Hiro Hamada and each of the Big Hero 6 team members.

Below are a few ways to get around creative folks — whether physically or through their works — and make creative ideas happen:

  • Brainstorming: brainstorm a problem rather than an existing solution to gain deeper insights and come up with a more effective.
  • Creative/professional gatherings of your industry around constructive topics
  • Podcasts around your centers of interest
  • Books from authors you consider creative enough to inspire you, no matter the genre.

5- Participate in new activities

Participating in new activities arouses your curiosity and eventually opens doors to new [creative] ideas to come. Which is why traveling to an outlandish place or a place with a culture different from yours is beneficial.

Other examples of new activities: signing up to a cooking class and learn some recipes. Learning the basics of astrophysics to discover how the universe works.

The key here is to stretch your thinking and imagination as a result. Exposing yourself to new stuffs helps you gain new insights.

In fact, the information you gather from your senses (hearing, smelling etc.) flow up to your brain and constitute “raw materials” necessary to your imagination to work with.

Ps: Do you know what [the research for] creativity and resilience have in common? Find out in this article: 5 reasons why resilience is what you need to succeed today.

About the movie

The storyline of Big Hero 6: The special bond that develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.

  • Directors: Don Hall, Chris Williams (directed by)
  • Writers: Jordan Roberts (screenplay) and Robert L. Baird (screenplay) & Daniel Gerson (screenplay), Man of Action (Big Hero 6 team and characters created by), Steven T. Seagle (characters) (as Man of Action), Duncan Rouleau (characters) (as Man of Action)
  • Stars: Scott Adsit (Baymax, voice), Ryan Potter (Hiro, voice), Daniel Henney (Tadashi, voice), T. J. Miller (Fred, voice)
  • Total lifetime grosses: $657,818,612 (worldwide) as of May 28, 2015
  • Best animated feature film of the year 2015 (Academy Awards). Another 15 wins & 57 nominations.

Disney’s movie, Big Hero 6, is available for you to enjoy, in Blu-Ray & DVD format, on Amazon and Prime Video.