TEDx is all about sharing ideas to create a better world. But how do these ideas take shape? At TEDx Trondheim we believe that out of the box thinking is a very important aspect. To think like that you need a lot of creativity.
So if you want to present the next ‘big idea’ at our main event in the near future, you should try to raise your level of creativity. But is this even possible? It’s not like you can plan to be more creative…or can you? Here are 6 ways to spark creativity in your daily life in Trondheim.
1: Brainstorm after exercising
I have read that exercise enhances the neurological conditions for creative thinking. While you exercise you release a peptide that helps produce serotonin. Serotonin is a substance (neurotransmitter) that helps you to become calm and content. Exercise also enables brain cells to use dopamine more efficiently.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that can move you from a state of boredom or apathy to a state of excitement and engagement. If you have a high level of Serotonin and Dopamine, you will most likely be in a state to do your best creative work. You will be calm but energized. So I would advise you to work out a bit before brainstorming, but not so much that you tire yourself out completely.
There are some nice gyms in Trondheim and there are some great running routes in the area you can try out.
2: Build a habit of meditation
“All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness”Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now.
Do you find that you have a continuous stream of thoughts rushing through your mind? That’s not the state you want while you brainstorm for that one great idea. You want a mind that is clear of the clutter and stress you get from day-to-day interactions. You want a mind that is calm. There have been a lot of studies that have linked meditation with a higher level of creativity.
Meditation is not just sitting still with your eyes closed. It’s sitting in a distraction-free room and turning your attention inwards, observing your thoughts and trying to raise your sense of consciousness in the here and now. Sounds a bit complicated? Check this guide of how to meditate from the New York Times and you’ll be a meditation-expert soon enough.
Meditation helps you to mentally recharge and can help you to be more alert and increase your sense of aliveness in day-to-day situations. It helps you to clear your mind of the clutter so your mind is open to receive those out-of-the-box ideas you want.
3: Go on brainstorm walks
At this moment I am reading the book Becoming Steve Jobs and it seems that Steve had all these habits of boosting productivity and creativity. One of these habits was taking so-called brainstorm walks with others. He knew that the most ‘Eureka!’ moments come after you take a brake from a task and let your mind wander for a bit. That’s why it’s nice to take a walk and let your subconscious mind do most of the work.
We’re so lucky to live in Trondheim where we have so many great walking routes in and around the city. Check out some great walking routes here.
4: Learn about a wide variation of subjects
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”Steve Jobs
Another one of Steve Jobs’ habits was reading a lot about a wide variation of subjects that don’t really relate to one another. The idea behind this is that when you do that, a lot of dots that don’t seem related, will suddenly connect faster. ‘Thinking out of the box’ can more accurately mean ‘drawing from different boxes’. If you can draw from a lot of boxes, you can more easily think of creative solutions. Do you want to be the king of creativity? Then try to be a ‘jack of all trades’ and explore everything that simply piques your interest.
Learn about different sectors, diverse themes and get into different kinds of hobbies. Change your routines often so you can experience a wide variation of interests. Say ‘yes’ more. It’s important to note that you should also say ‘no’ to a lot of things so you don’t become like Jim Carrey in the movie ‘Yes Man’. Be very selective to what you say ‘yes’ to and don’t get distracted from your top priorities.
Of course nothing will broaden your mind more in a short period of time than our TEDx Trondheim events!
5: Be locked in a room with only a pen and paper
This might seem like a bit of a joke at first, but I really believe this can be effective! Some time ago I went to the cinema and saw the movie Colette, a biographical drama based upon the life of French novelist Colette played by Keira Knightly (it’s nice, go see it!). There’s a scene in the movie in which Colette’s husband needs her to write a second novel as fast as possible, so he decides to lock her into a room with only a chair and a desk with some pens and paper on it.
Instead of climbing out of the window like a normal person would, she yells and complains for a moment but then immediately decides to write anyway. She writes another hit book and she isn’t even mad at her husband anymore for locking her in.
It goes a bit far to lock yourself into a room, but it does work in three ways:
- You isolate yourself from the world and have no distractions whatsoever;
- You leave yourself alone with your mind and with a way to record your thoughts;
- You have only one creatively fun way to spend your time.
So this method may seem a little out there, but by letting someone lock you into a room (with some food and water of course) for a few undetermined hours, you create the ideal conditions to be creative and come up with the next ‘big idea’.
In Trondheim you can book a room at the NTNU (if you have a student or employee log-in) or you can pay to rent a room for example at Kultursenter Isak, Work-Work, Habitat or Digs. Just get away from your own place for a day and book a room to close yourself off from the world and spark your creativity!
6: Have a blank paper and pen (or phone) ready everywhere
“I’ll write this awesome insight down when I get home”.
“Of course I won’t forget this amazing idea when I wake up tomorrow”.
“After my shower I will work on this marvelous thought I just had”.
How many ideas do you think people just forgot over the course of time? Ideas that will never come to the surface of peoples brain again? I’m sure I had my share of forgotten ideas for stories, poems or blogposts. I just wish I had written them down immediately after their conception.
The lesson here kids, is to take a piece of paper and pen with you all the time. Always keep a small journal in your jacket pocket for instance or just make sure your smartphone is charged all the time, wherever you are. Also keep a pen and piece of paper wherever you get the most ideas, for instance in the shower or near the toilet.
It’s also very important to build the habit to always immediately write down an idea you have. So after you get the first idea, get a piece of blank paper (or empty word document) or open a blank document on your phone and write it down straightaway in catchphrases that will certainly spark your memory.
Don’t just scribble something unreadable or too vague on a piece of paper. Be as clear as possible. This way your ‘next big idea that can change the world’ won’t get lost into oblivion and we’ll see you soon as a speaker at our TEDx Trondheim main event!