Creative thinking is a process that expands beyond our regular norms and tries to come up with an effective solution to a problem with imagination, which is why we call it Thinking out of the box. There needs to be intentional efforts in breaking the regular thinking framework and structure and be open to exploring other possibilities.
The current society is very much in need of creative thinkers in many ways, and our educational institutions should adopt new ways of teaching creativity and encouraging us to create something consistently. Teachers should be just a provider of the facilities’ information and direction to help students to be more creative. The same can be done in organizations too, encouraging their employees to be more creative in thinking to find the best ways to deal with difficulties with the organization. There should be at least one meeting every month, mainly focused on driving and encouraging creativity among the associates of the educational institution or organization.
How to Teach or Practice Creativity:
Creative thinking is an essential aspect of our lives and is not focused enough. We need to find ways to enhance our creativity continuously. The reason for less creativity around us is because of people around us, lifestyle, habits, aspirations, and inspirations. All of these can influence our creative ability in one way or the other.
Although we know the importance of it, we don’t have time to spend on this aspect of our life. Also, we find very fewer instances of genuine encouragement and appreciation when someone around us comes up with creative solutions to a problem or innovative way of expression about a particular issue. Instead, most of the people around us are busy. They are more interested in appreciating creativity, sarcasm, or demeaning someone or something which becomes viral content over the internet but not a quality contribution in the field of Art and being Creative.
The only way to amplify creative people’s efforts is to boost and support their morale by supporting their work and taking a moment to understand their efforts and share heartfelt acknowledgment even if it could be better. It means a lot to an artist when he receives an acknowledgment for his work.
The Theory of “Why NOT?”
As discussed, we need to follow the flow below to be a better thinker and a better decision-maker with the steps below on a high level.
- Gather Information around the problem statement
- Ask Why? — Think & Reflect to find reasons and logic.
- Analyse & Evaluate
- Come to a conclusion & decision making.
When I started to think of how can we improve our creative ability, I figured out a way that is as simple as never thinking of the importance of it. That was a moment of epiphany for me when I realized that this could be an excellent tool for anyone to build and improve their creative ability to think about any aspect of their life/work. I have started spending more time understanding the process of this and came up with a Theory that can make us a better-thinking machine of finding out different possibilities of a situation.
According to this “ Theory of Why Not?”, we will have to twist the gears from the common thought process, understanding and analyzing available information which improves our critical thinking, we will have to start asking the other possible questions around the problem. Since our usual thinking process looks for reasoning and logic interpretation followed by analysis is a regular flow. But only a few of us will ask the questions “why not?” and most kids will follow this methodology of why not? Followed by the question of why?.
We should practice asking more questions like below.
- Why not he/she can help?
- Why not can this be like this?
- Why not can that be of use?
- Why not we should build this?
- Why not we think this way?
- Why not this can workedout like this?
- Why not this solution?
- Why not this procedure?
- Why not we read this?
- Why not should we try a new way?
The questioning method of “Why Not?” is much more powerful than the question why, since the role of why? Question will satisfy us once we know the logic and reason which will only make us knowledgeable and help us make better decisions. However, we are still a step away from coming out of the box and thinking about what are other possibilities.
When you pose the question “Why Not?” to yourself or someone around you, the 1st thing that happens here is that we are ready to see what are all the possible opportunities by enabling us to expand our imaginations around the issue. Since you are now prepared to consider multiple possibilities and imaginations, you are already in a position to consider thinking and evaluating various options around the topic which make you much more knowledgeable than asking just a “Why?” questions. This way will enable us to gather as much information about multiple possible options. We get an opportunity to do a comparative analysis which is a much more effective way of collecting and analyzing the information.
Almost all the great inventions, discoveries, creations in the world have come from this methodology. Every advancement in technology or the process of human evolution, this methodology has played a significant role that we never tend to realize.
One of my Favourite live example of “Why not?” Methodology
We can take a number of examples of which one of my favorites would be Space X. This was only possible when Elon Musk built Space X when he found that Russia is overcharging for rocket technology.
Musk has spent months studying the aerospace industry and the physics behind it. From Cantrell and others, he’d borrowed “Rocket Propulsion Elements,” “Fundamentals of Astrodynamics,” and “Aerothermodynamics of Gas Turbine and Rocket Propulsion,” along with several more seminal texts. Musk reverted to his childhood state as a devourer of information. This meditative process has emerged with the realization that rockets could and should be made cheaper than what the Russians were offering. He came to this epiphany about rockets through reading books and texts about rocket propulsion, etc. This is how he eventually had enough knowledge to start the company. Source
So you may instantly turn yourself into a Creative factory by practicing “The Theory of Why Not?“. However, I’m just asking the random question around “Why Not?” wouldn’t help us so much to improve our creativity. This methodology should be used when you are seriously in a situation when you have to come up with a better plan.
I can give you another example with which you can relate it to much more quickly and easily. Imagine you woman driving a car in a desert, and suddenly he had a flat tire, and she had no one to approach for help. Finally, she figured out that there is a Stepney tire which she can replace with a flat tire. When she was trying to replace out of 5 nuts in the tire, four were rusted and of no use.
What do you think she should do? or what would you do?
Here is when you would need the Why not? The methodology of questioning by which we try to find other possibilities. She tried to see if she could find someone to help her with the issue. When she found no one, she thought out of the box and figured out that she can take out one nut from the other three tires, and including this one remaining she fixed four nuts to the new Stepney tire and drove back home.
Now you have a great tool or methodology to practice thinking out of the box and become a creative person. I can help you by giving you a simple mental exercise that you can implement every day.
- Think about your career or education
- Think about the obstacles or challenges that you face on a day to day basis
- Make a list of the challenges
- Use filtering techniques to prioritise which of the above difficulties is most affecting you currently
- Pic one
- Brainstorm around the challenge of asking why? questions
- Gather information in understanding the root cause of the problem
- Once you have a better understanding of the root cause, start thinking about “Why Not?“
- Write all the possible “Why Not?” around the challenge because every problem in life will have multiple solutions.
- Do a comparative analysis of those multiple possibilities and fix one of them and continuously work on it.
Happy “Why Not?ing” and wishing you the best with building yourself as a creative individual!