Is it when
- enjoying nature and the outdoors
- conquering a summit
- keeping to a regular physical fitness program
- basking in the joys of the palate as a foodie
- while cooking or baking
- exploring stories through photography
- through the sensory experience of painting
- long hand writing
- wood carving
- immersing yourself into DIY projects
Some physical activities just get your juices going. Running helps kick my ideas up a notch and start visualizing how to make them happen. The precision and creativity that go with baking make it a form of meditation that brings all senses alive for me — don't you love the scent of chocolate, vanilla, or apple pie?
We do better when we engage mind and body. We spend a lot of time exercising the body, or talking about it, and comparatively little in exercising the mind. The fascinating thing is that in Western societies we spend a lot of time mining the brain and little using the body in business.
Another way to engage creativity is by enrolling imagination. Reading fiction has been a good source of inspiration for me, for thinking and for writing. Well researched books that touch upon the Deliberate Practice habits of experts are also a reliable source. Here are the ten books that stand the test of time and continue to instigate me.
Composition is about connecting ideas and it originates from the combination of thinking and doing, being in flow. Better thinking flows from ideas in the act of creating something, anything. As a bonus, your preferred way of thinking may also give you an indication of your learning style.
Better comes from clearer and more deliberate work. Clarity comes from practice, tinkering more and thinking differently.
Do you have favorite thinking destinations and activities? Start noticing and you can turn them into good habits.
[edited from archives]
[image courtesy Brian Tomlison]