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Author and chief editor of the effizine, online magazine for busy professionals desperate for getting things done efficiently

How to be creative?

There’s no school, no training, no book you can read on being creative. Sure, there’s tons on sale in each category but the sad truth is that being creative is not a type of hard skill to learn. Being creative is just being creative. Once you are, you are. If you’re not, then… Actually there are things you can do to increase your chances.

I’m considered creative. But let’s rationalise. I’ve delivered tons of projects, impossible amount and impossible ones. I’ve failed couple of times too. It’s true that failing probably provides a lesson equally important to the one taken from succeeding. More often than not I’ve been around people asking general questions: how are we going to solve that, what are you going to do? What is the best way of tackling this or that…

More importantly I’ve came across hundreds of people, if not several hundreds from at least few dozen countries. I’ve seen tens of thousands of issues and solved several thousand tasks. That’s staggering! It provided irreplaceable knowledge of how things work and how they don’t. But there’s more. I think that just being around different people, projects, companies, situations, countries even, builds some kind of subconscious sense of direction that others take as being creative.

It’s about having so many lines to read that you don’t actually remember the whole book line by line anymore and you don’t even remember how it all started. In my case you don’t even know what is the sense of the book but one just fills in the gaps between different stories. You don’t know the order of chapters, just remember cause and effect. If the stories are wide enough then automatically there will be enough of space between the lines to fill in your own thinking. Your own place for your own mindset, somewhere between those lines is what the creativity is.

Build a thick book. Sooner or later you’d be off the margin of what anyone else considers the state of the book, as they read it and you’d become creative in some way. Everyone has their own book, just make sure you’re in places, lots of them and make sure there are no blank pages or unexplored paths. After a good while you will be able to connect dots backwards but also you’d see things and patterns and you’d also be able to connect them forwards, ahead of time and everyone’s understanding. Most importantly you’ll see alternatives and paradoxes (my favourite!)

This forward looking, forward thinking mindset is where you want to be if you want to be creative, even if people will call you eccentric, odd or whatever different. For me being around many places happened willing or not, sometimes even against my will. I’m still learning and learning super fast.

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