Being creative at work

Creativity, like juggling mountain lions, is not something that most people just pick up and start doing well at it. Though some seem to be more well endowed than others (DaVinci, Disney, Dali) with some practice it can be learned. The biggest roadblock? Fear of rejection.

When beginning your quest for creativity the most important thing to remember is that "only ideas fail, not people." The worst thing a creative person can do is to "play it safe." Being creative requires hard work and fortitude, its about being able to build new roads when others are too afraid to stray from the pack. If you look at the most successful start-ups in the past 10 years you'll see that they were willing to take some modicum of risk in order to gain an advantage over the competition (or even help to invent their own market: Amazon, Twitter, Facebook).

Its perhaps easiest to start with the little victories, building up your
courage and creative insight progressively. This will mean relinquishing some of your false preconceptions of creative people (mainly that they are pierced, tattooed loners who cut off their ears). Anyone has the potential to be creative and more often than not it happens via the exchange of ideas. I don't want to oversimplify things, but essentially communication yeilds creativity.

Here are a few ways to get your creative juices flowing at work:

- Take a 10 minute break (no email, phone or IM)
- Keep a small sketch/stencil pad with you for brain-storming
- Speak up at meetings and voice your ideas
- Change up your wardrobe (if a suit's required, wear off-the-wall socks)
- Decorate your office space with inspiration
- Try eating lunch at the park or somewhere with greenery
- Start a blog and post one entry everyday of something that interests you


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