“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” – John Lubbock
Often creative ideas stem from seeing something that you couldn’t see before.
The missing piece you were overlooking, or the element you hadn’t considered adding, or the solution you didn’t know existed until it hit you randomly. Regularly, new experiences can fuel these types of creative insights.
At the heart of it, a change of perspective is what invokes new ideas.
Think about this for a minute. Your perspective is unique because it’s only yours. Nobody has seen the things you’ve seen, from the exact place you’ve seen them, while thinking the things you’ve been thinking. Nobody. That’s your perspective. But the solutions to your problems, new ideas for your projects, and creative insights all regularly lie outside of your perspective (if they didn’t, you wouldn’t be stuck searching for ideas). Outside of what you’ve already seen.
So what do you do?
Like your body, you need to maintain a healthy perspective on the world around you. You need to exercise it, feed it, make time to simply listen to it. How do you do those things?
Regularly questioning your beliefs, asking yourself “Why do I believe this particular thing to be true? What if it wasn’t?” Asking others for their opinions, and really listening to what they have to say, helps too. Look for reasons why your perspective on something might be restricted somehow, and seek out ways to expand what you believe/see/think/feel.
Most importantly: try new things, often.
Like trying to watch a movie from the direct side of the screen, you don’t know what you’re missing until you actively change where you’re sitting.
Photo by Helga Birna Jonasdottir.