7 Ways to Open Your Mind to Creativity

Our staff team recently digested, and were highly impacted, by the book Creative Quest by Questlove, the drummer and joint front-man for the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots. The Roots is the in-house band for The Tonight Show

Questlove says, “A creative person is a person who creates. Creative things happen to creative people, especially when they let themselves go to the Zen of the moment, when they don’t allow themselves to be paralyzed either by overthinking or by laziness.”

The question is, how do you make your mind the kind of mind that is friendly to ideas?

According to Questlove, (infused with my reticulations), here are seven ways:

  1. Be open – Allow unexpected influences (both ideas and people) to shift your ideas (the way you think)  You can always come back to your convictions if they are real.
  2. Be real – don’t psych yourself out! We all have blind spots where we wilt, and we all have bright spots where we create or flourish.  If we’re so afraid of wilting we’ll never shine!
  3. Be observant – Pay attention to seeds. Big ideas grow from little things! If something makes you very uneasy, especially if it’s something that’s being done in a creative field where you have experience, pay attention. Isolate your insight
  4. Be weird (Cognitive disinhibition) If we are always discarding our thoughts to fit in with what’s acceptable, correct, or accurate, we’re not going to have ideas that leap away from ideas that are already there.
  5. Be Bold – Say “No!” before you say “Yes!” It’s not about letting everything in, but it’s about refusing to keep things out. Deciding what you’re not before deciding what you are lets you stand strong in your own category. Then, Say Yes! And execute your idea.
  6. Be centered – embrace mindfulness to feel the reticulations of the spirit. Reticulations can be described as chains, connections, web-systems, or structures.  They can be brief, intense phases of departure from self…micro-meditations.
  7. Be relentless – commit to process, be a “grifter” engage in petty swindling…a con man (or woman) of Ideas.

Ritch Hochstetler, President and CEO at ULEAD