Creativity is a subject that can bring angst to some people because they think they aren't creative or that they don't know how to be creative. Of course this really isn’t true. Each and every one of us has the potential to tap into our creative side. It's just a matter of practice and doing it regularly so we train ourselves to be creative. One of the ways you can do this is by reading on a very wide range of subjects. Reading stimulates your brain and that's what gets your creative juices flowing.
Not just any reading will do, though. Blog posts, short articles, magazines and the like are all a fun diversion, but they simply won’t turn your brain on the way a good book will. Here’s why.
Reading Stimulates Your Brain
Just as an Olympic Gold Medalist has to keep fit if they want to compete well, you must exercise your brain to keep it stimulated in order for creativity to flow. Your brain needs just as much exercise as the rest of your body. It's time to start focusing on the importance of exercising your brain every day. Set aside 20 minutes a day to go to a quiet place, pick up a book and read.
And don't always read the same thing. Stretch yourself and choose different genres to read from. If you normally read romance novels, pick up a biography instead. Immersing yourself, even if just 20 minutes a day, in different subjects will really help your mind start to look at the world differently and in turn help your creativity start to come out.
Reading Improves Your Concentration
With all the gadgets and electronics out there, it seems like we're always plugged into what's going on in the world. Most people are never truly concentrating on just one thing. Not that being plugged in is a bad thing, but sometimes it's a good idea to take a break from the negativity (and all the gadgets!) going on around us. And while there is sometimes a place for multi-tasking, we need to take a break from that too.
When you read, it forces you to unplug and focus on just one thing in order to be fully engaged with the book. The more you do it, the more you'll get used to concentrating on just the task at hand and that will help improve your concentration skills. By exercising that muscle, your creative thinking skills will develop more as well. Being able to concentrate helps you think more clearly and that's when those creative thoughts come out.
Reading Improves Your Vocabulary
Reading is one of the best ways to increase your vocabulary skills and while you may be wondering what vocabulary has to do with being creative, it can play a big role, especially if you're a creative writer, blogger, etc. Most writers out there will tell you that they spend a certain amount of time reading every day. The more you read, the more you will improve your vocabulary and you'll probably be surprised at all the different words you start to see in your writing.
Aside from reading being a way to help you be more creative, books are fun. So what are you waiting for? Grab a book, set a timer every day for 20 minutes and start exercising that brain of yours and see how fast your creative thinking skills improve.
I'm curious - What are your top 3 inspirational business books?