Enhance Your Creativity: Imagination is Key to Your Success

Guest post by Hub LA member Jana Carey.

This blog is the first in a five-part series on Enhancing Your Creativity. Hub LA is reposting with permission from Jana’s blog.

Imagination is the key to your success.

“One of humanity’s most precious resources is imagination. Our ability to overcome the constraints of the present environment and travel to distant places and hopeful futures all in the mind is a skill that is hugely neglected in today’s society. With our intense focus on enabling students and employees to master what is, we are missing out on the huge opportunity for them to also imagine what could be,” Scott Kauffman, Scientific Director of The Imagination Institute in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

If you are reading this blog, chances are you are an innovator, artist, creator, imagineer, educator, or visionary at heart and you get the importance of imagination. But do you ever have times when you feel like your imagination has gone on vacation? You may have been creating like crazy, putting out new content, launching new programs, writing consistently and WHAM! it feels like your innovation reserves are running drier than a California reservoir? (Too early for drought jokes?)

Here are 5 practical and easy tips to help you re-engage your imagination: (BS-FREE BONUS: They don’t take require a huge investment of time or money. Time and Money are the most common excuses I get from most students and clients about why they can’t do something.)

1) Disconnect & Daydream. Are you always plugged in? Do you spend more time being intimate with your devices than anyone else? Do you carry a device with you everywhere, even into the bathroom? (Yes, I’ve been guilty of it too. Recent research about poop & phones may make you think twice).

We need downtime for day-dreaming and to digest our lives. If you are always plugged into other people’s points of view (through TV, radio, pod-casts, phone calls, social media, e-mail, text) then you have no time or space to “download” original content from the great Imagination Station in the Sky.

I’ll repeat. “If you are always plugged in then you have no space to ‘download’ original content from the great Imagination Station in the Sky” @JanaCreativity (That’s one to re-tweet!)

2) Track your peak inspiration times and activities. For a while it seemed like imaginative insight struck at the most unlikely of times. With closer observation, I noticed that certain times of day (right before bed or first thing in the morning) and activities (usually relaxing or repetitive activities such as shavasana, exercising or cooking) yielded more consistent inspiration than others. Now, I keep notebooks and stickies everywhere, by my bed, in my purse, in my car, on my writing desk, in my office. I’ve also trained myself to take note of these inspirations and not brush them aside. They are usually golden nuggets.

3) Switch things up. If you are in a rut, small simple changes can help you see things with a fresh perspective. Take a new route to work, try adding some new foods into your diet, switch up your workout routine, get a new hair-cut, move furniture around in your office or in a room in your home.

Another way to approach switching things up, is when one project or task has become mind grueling, let it go and focus on something else. It’s amazing how a little space and time can allow your subconscious to work it’s magic and when you revisit a project you can be filled with new insight.

4) Play everyday. Play was not meant to get left behind in kindergarten. Give yourself at least 20 minutes a day to sink into something that you enjoy and that truly makes you happy. If you are stuck for ideas, make a list of your favorite 25 childhood activities and re-engage with the ones that give you that excited buzz inside. A little fun can go a long way.

5) Date yourself. Related to #4, set aside a chunk of time each week (even just an hour) for a play-date with yourself where you engage in the simple good things in life. Go alone so that you can be selfish and really sink into what you love without distractions. Let it be a place in life where you don’t have to make any compromises to anyone. Your imagination and creativity will thank you. I am religious about my weekly play-dates and find they are the # 1 way I enhance my creativity and feed my imagination.

CALL TO ACTION: Choose one item from the list above and try it out for a week. Let me know how it worked for you and your imagination in the comment section below!

Jana Carrey, MA, is the Founder of Creative Spirit Awakening, an dynamic form of transformational coaching & mentoring aimed to empower artists, writers, creative entrepreneurs and global game changers. She is a playful visionary, creativity coach & consultant, as well as an artist, writer and an intuitive.

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