The Calculated Creative

Bored With Creativity Exercises? Try Something Daring!

By pushing boundaries you can concoct novel innovations, design madcap inventions, and write masterpieces transcending your wildest dreams.

Creativity coaches always preach the same stale advice: Make lists of ideas, write freely without editing, draw colorful mind maps, sketch random objects.

While those techniques can illuminate hidden creative sparks, they barely scratch the surface of our imagination's true potential.

If you're weary of ho-hum creativity guidance, why not attempt something bold and contrarian instead?

Dare to give these imagination-stretching exercises a try.

Though they may seem counterintuitive at first, embracing paradoxical creativity boosters can catapult your thinking into thrilling new terrain.

Adopt an Outrageous Contrarian Mindset

Our brains naturally filter ideas, highlighting promising ones and rejecting those deemed unworkable. To short circuit this limiting tendency, adopt a deliberately contrarian mindset. Challenge your best notions vigorously instead of accepting them at face value.

For every brilliant idea that bubbles up, argue why it could fail miserably or shouldn't be pursued. Think of every last contrarian objection, even if you wince at your creation being harshly critiqued. Question its underlying assumptions while playing devil's advocate. It may seem counterproductive to dismantle your most beloved ideas. However, putting visionary concepts through the wringer stretches your thinking abilities in entirely new directions.

By being brazenly contrary with yourself, you're apt to uncover flaws to fix, improvements to be made, or hidden facets of concepts that lead your thoughts down radical new creative pathways. The frustration of having your ideas interrogated is more than offset by the sparks of imagination this contrarian tactic ignites within your mind.

Impose Outrageous Limitations and Constraints

Conventional wisdom preaches that wider thinking and broad perspectives boost creativity. However, limitations and constraints often yield more inventive results. Narrow thinking opens up creative potential!

For imaginative idea generation, make a habit of imposing preposterous, irrational constraints upon your work purely for the challenge of it. These bizarre limitations stretch creativity by forcing the mind to problem solve and think divergently within absurd bounds.

Fun games to try:

  • Compose a symphony using animal noises rather than instruments
  • Design furniture usable only while doing a handstand
  • Write a short story without using vowels

Outlandish challenges like these powerfully disrupt ingrained thought patterns and habitual perspectives. Faced with severe constraints requiring unorthodox solutions, your creativity goes into overdrive, forging unexpected connections amid desperation and frustration. The end result can be a cornucopia of wonderfully weird innovations.

Customize Random Input Generators for Your Needs

Thanks to modern technology, countless databases exist to query at random - serving up everything from surreal prose to astronomy images to song lyrics. Passively consuming randomness can nudge creativity by exposing you to surprising stimuli. However, uncontrolled serendipity merely scratches your imagination surface.

Instead, actively filter and steer random content to target your goals. Say you're writing a novel and wish to catalyze ideas around plot or characters. Feed a generator snippets of fables focused on loyalty. Design an algorithm to serve strange analogies involving family relationships. Input only rhyming words pertaining to difficult choices.

By customizing randomness rather than accepting pure noise, your brain receives oddly relevant pieces to connect - puzzles tailored to tease your thoughts in fresh directions. Absurd or thought-provoking results from refined random input gets creative juices vigorously flowing. The synapses start snapping with new possibilities begat from the bizarre connections made!

The Takeaway

Don't settle for boring creativity tips or sterile brainstorming sessions.

By pushing boundaries you can concoct novel innovations, design madcap inventions, and write masterpieces transcending your wildest dreams.

Now stop reading and start defying creative conventions.

Make Your Work
Suck Less

Pulling back the curtain on the creative process to help make your work a little less terrible. A 3-minute read delivered each week on Monday morning.

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