Kick Start Creative Thinking By Suspending Limits

Let’s talk about suspending limits and how we can use it to kick start creative thinking. It’s a great way to start a brainstorming session, or use it on its own whenever you’re having a hard time coming up with creative solutions.

Here’s the big problem with creative thinking. Our minds try to keep us in the realm of possibility. The brain tries to stay within the box where it’s nice and safe. Our regular thinking processes go along the lines of what we know will work. That’s the opposite of creative thinking.

The best way to break through this thinking barrier is to suspend your beliefs and limits. When you erase the box, seeing what’s outside it becomes easy. To do this, ask yourself the following:

If money, physics, time, etc. weren’t an issue, what would you do?

Give it a try. Start by going through this as an exercise on a regular basis. Ask yourself a hypothetical question or post a problem, and practice suspending limits. Here are a few examples:

  • If time, money, and physics weren’t an issue, where would I go on vacation this year?
  • If money wasn’t an issue, where would I live? What would my house look like?
  • If willpower and time weren’t an issue, what would I eat, what would I do to stay in shape and what would I look like?
  • If money and obligations weren’t an issue, what would I do for a living? How would I spend my time?

Give it a try and see for yourself how freeing it is to suspend your limits. While you won’t always come up with workable solutions, you’ll come up with some interesting ideas that may lead to other creative ideas.

Let’s say you’re thinking about the family vacation and something cool to do with your son, who happens to be a space buff, this year. Suspending your limits completely, you come up with the idea that going to the moon or even mars on vacation would be amazing. While that’s not a workable solution (at this point), it may give you some great ideas for space-type tourist destinations you could visit. You may end up heading to Cape Canaveral on vacation, for example, something that may not have crossed your mind until you suspended your limits and got creative.

How else can you incorporate this into your life? Make it part of your daily journaling. It always makes for some fun journal entries. Get your family, your close friends, and your team at work involved. Use suspending limits as an ice breaker for any and all discussions, conversations, and meetings; and see where it takes you. Have fun with it, and you’ll surprise yourself with the creative ideas you come up with.

Essential Oil: Citronella

Citronella oil is steam distilled from the leafy parts of the citronella plant, also known as Cymbopogon nardus. Thanks to its fresh, welcoming aroma, Citronella essential oil is a common element in perfumes and cosmetic products and is well known for its use in outdoor candles, sprays, lotions, and other camping and outdoor essentials.

As a relative of Lemongrass, Citronella has a slight citrus scent that provides a pleasant and inviting experience whenever it’s used. Its versatility makes it a great household product to add to your beauty routine or to refresh indoor and outdoor spaces. Apply topically before and during outdoor activities, or diffuse for 30 minutes up to three times a day.

Taking Risks Sparks Creativity

I have an interesting concept to share with you. It’s the idea that risk taking and creativity and creative thinking, in particular, are connected. The basic idea behind creative thinking is to go beyond the obvious, beyond the norm. That takes courage. That takes putting yourself out there with an unproven concept and an idea that could possibly be ridiculed. In short, thinking creatively and voicing those thoughts means taking a risk.

The reverse is also true. When you allow yourself to take risks and step outside your comfort zone, you start to think more creatively. Taking a risk means going all in. It means that you’re fully committed and you’re probably a little excited as well. That gets your brain fired up and helps you make connections that you wouldn’t see otherwise.

Taking a risk also means that you have something to lose. Our minds are very good at avoiding pain. This could be physical or mental pain. That means that if you take a risk and put yourself out there, your mind will do everything it can to reduce or eliminate the pain or risk of pain. This is again where you get creative and find yourself coming up with solutions you wouldn’t have come up with otherwise.

Here’s the perfect example. Let’s say you’re running your own business and you risk your income by investing in a new marketing course or hiring a business coach. The expense may be a stretch and, if it doesn’t pay off, you may not have the money you need to pay your employees or yourself. That’s a pretty big risk.

It’s also the type of scenario where you find yourself going through the material in record time and implementing everything you learn. It’s the time when you work closely with your coach and hustle to grow your business. The risk is lighting a fire under you and making you work harder, and more importantly, making you come up with creative ideas to make up the expense.

When we take risks and tap into this creative thinking ability, we see huge growth in our business, in our personal life, and in ourselves. Isn’t that worth getting a little uncomfortable for? Start thinking about where you want to see growth in your own life. What problems are you facing? Don’t be afraid to take a risk. Stop playing it safe and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what your mind will do to reward you for the risks taken.

Essential Oil: Highest Potential™

This blend of Blue cypress, Ylang ylang, Jasmine, Cedarwood, Geranium, Lavender, Northern Lights Black spruce, Frankincense, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood™, White fir, Vetiver, Cinnamon, Davana, Rose, Matricaria, Blue tansy, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Spearmint, Lemon and Ocotea may be diffused up to 30 minutes three times daily. It is useful for confidence and emotional balance.

The Power of Brainstorming

Let’s talk about brainstorming today. It’s my favorite technique to use whenever a problem has me stumped, I don’t know what to do next, I feel overwhelmed, or I encounter some sort of road block. You can brainstorm by yourself, with a partner, or in a group.

To brainstorm, you simply throw out any and all ideas that pop into your head. Don’t judge, don’t edit yourself, just get it all out there. While a lot of what you come up with is utterly useless, it helps you refine ideas and start thinking creatively. The fact that much of what comes out of a brainstorming session won’t be used doesn’t matter because the few ideas that do work are well worth the time and effort spent.

When you’re brainstorming by yourself, it’s helpful to write down your ideas. You can brainstorm with a pen and notebook, use a word document on your computer, or other tools like mind-mapping software for example. The most important thing is that you have a way to record your ideas and then go back and organize them later.

When you’re brainstorming in a group, writing things down isn’t always necessary, but it can be helpful to have a few notes written down on a notepad, a shared digital document, or a white board.

The reason brainstorming works so well is because it allows you to quickly tap into your creative thinking. We’ve talked in an earlier post that you have to go past all the obvious answers before you can start to look at a problem with fresh eyes and from a different angle.

A lot of different ideas will come up in a good brainstorming session. Often something small will spark another idea and another. This is when you’re really starting to tap into the creative thinking part of your brain. It’s also why it’s important not to judge or discount thoughts in a brainstorming session. Get it out there and put it on paper. You never know what will spark the one idea that will turn out to be the perfect solution.

When you’re brainstorming by yourself, it’s OK to take your time. Get the first flow of ideas out there and then walk away. Come back a little later with fresh eyes and see what you can add. If you’re brainstorming in a group, it’s important not to judge or ridicule. Don’t dismiss an idea, no matter what. It doesn’t matter that you know this won’t work. What’s important is to get the thought out there and allow it to inspire the other members of your team.

Essential Oil: Brain Power™

Brain Power™ is a blend of essential oils high in sesquiterpenes—like Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Blue Cypress, and Frankincense—to promote a sense of clarity and focus when used aromatically. Diffuse up to 1 hour three times daily.

Your Brain is a Muscle: Work It Out

The brain works a little like a muscle. You have to work on those creative and positive thinking processes on a daily basis, or you start to lose some of the progress you’re making. Think back on long summer breaks when you were in school. Study after study shows that kids lose much of what they’ve learned and how well they learn during a long summer break, unless they are encouraged to do a little something to work out their brains.

The same goes for you. Think about the first day back at the office after a two week vacation. You have a hard time getting into the groove, and it takes a while before you’re back to your regular thinking and processing speed. The longer you’re gone, the worse it gets. If you’ve gone back to school after a few years on the job or gone back to work after maternity leave, you have experienced this first hand.

The key then is to keep the mind sharp by actively working it out regularly. Honestly, this isn’t just about positive and creative thinking. It’s about thought processes and keeping your brain working well in general. The more you challenge yourself by reading interesting books, solving puzzles, and learning something new on a regular basis, the better your brain will perform for you in general.

We’ve already talked about the benefits of learning something new on a regular basis. Don’t stop there. Create some every-day challenges to work out your brain. Maybe it’s solving a crossword or Sudoku puzzle each morning. Maybe it’s surrounding yourself with critical thinkers who challenge you in conversation. Maybe it’s reading something uplifting each evening before bed.

Come up with some simple little things you can start to do regularly to make sure your brain stays active and sharp. Find a new hobby that challenges your mind. Make new friends. Learn a new language or skill. Sign up for an online brain training game.

Make training your brain just as non-negotiable as eating a healthy diet and getting in your physical exercise. You’ll be happier and healthier for it for years to come, and it will really pay off big time as you get older. You can do a lot to combat the loss of cognitive function by actively working out your brain.

In addition to working out your brain in general, do as much as you can to encourage yourself to think positively and creatively. Solve some interesting puzzles. Come up with creative solutions to imaginary problems for the fun of it. Practice your daily affirmations, write in your journal, and remind yourself to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. The more you practice, the easier it will become; and you’ll actually be able to reshape your brain towards positivity and creativity.

Essential Oil: En-R-Gee

Fresh and herbaceous, En-R-Gee essential oil blend offers an invigorating aromatic boost when you need it most. Diffuse or apply it topically during your morning routine or before any activity to enjoy the stimulating, spicy-pine fragrance of Rosemary, Juniper, Lemongrass, Nutmeg, Balsam Fir, Clove, and Black Pepper essential oils.  Combine with Clarity™ essential oil blend and diffuse during long drives or late night study sessions for an invigorating aroma that will help you push through.

Keep Your Eyes Open: Creative Solutions are Everywhere

Vintage style black female author writing and sitting on a chaise loungeAs you start to become a little more aware of creative thinking and creative solutions and start to do a little more of it yourself, you’ll start to notice things here and there that you can use and implement. It’s a pretty amazing feeling and, of course, quite helpful when you need an out-of-the-box solution. It’s a skill that will come to you eventually, but why not speed things up a little bit by keeping an eye out for creative solutions. They really are everywhere.

I’m an online business owner and marketer; so naturally, I’m always looking for new and creative ways to share content and present offers. I’m also a shopper or consumer. Some of the things I buy are very specific like supplies for my favorite hobby. Then there’s the everyday stuff like groceries, clothing, and once in awhile, purchases like a new car or washing machine. You get the idea. We all buy a lot of different things and, as a result, we’re bombarded through various advertising, emails, newsletter, magazines, social media posts, and the likes to buy the latest and greatest product.

Since I am also a marketer and always looking for fresh and creative ideas for my business, I started paying attention to what offers grab my attention. What emails am I opening? What Facebook or YouTube video has me go out and look for a product? What makes me laugh or sit up and pay attention? Those are the creative solutions out there that catch my eye.

Often it’s something that has no direct or obvious place in what I do with my business. It could be a tool, crafting supplies, some fun clothes, an interesting offer for some books or magazines, or even a great spin on how to use oils. Something will catch my eye and I figure out how to include it in my own marketing.

Let me give you an example. Suppose a grocery store sent out a flyer early this spring with some spring cleaning deals and tips in it. Not only might that  inspire you to do a little spring cleaning around your  house, it also might motivate you to organize and declutter your digital files and emails. That in turn, could inspire a new information product and coaching program about cleaning up what you’re doing online to increase profits.

Creative ideas and solutions are everywhere around you. Start to look for them and find a way to incorporate them into what you do. You don’t have to have your own business to benefit from this. Creative thinking will help you around the house, in your marriage, work, school, and any other aspect of your life. Go out there and get creative.

Essential Oil: Tangerine

Tangerine essential oil (Citrus reticulata) is extracted by cold pressing the rind of the tangerine fruit. Tangerines, which are part of the Rutaceae family, likely originated in Southeast Asia and have since spread to subtropical areas around the world. Like the fresh citrus fruit, Tangerine oil is loved by children and adults alike, with its delightfully sweet aroma that can create a happy, contented mindset.

Because of its appealing aroma, Tangerine oil uses include a wealth of topical and aromatic applications. Use its cleansing benefits in your morning skin care routine for an added boost or apply it to your temples before study time or meditation. Its fragrant, calming aroma also makes it an important part of Young Living favorites such as Peace & Calming®Joy™, and Citrus Fresh™.