You likely know what it's like to be at work and on fire with your creativity. It's coming up with breakthrough ideas, facilitating brainstorming sessions for the most difficult problems, or helping your boss or executive solve a problem they can't solve themselves.
This post isn't about what creativity can do for you - you likely already know the benefits. What I want to talk about is how to be more creative. And to do this, I'd like to take a closer look at Ryan Holiday.
Ryan Holiday is a best-selling author known for 're-introducing' the world to stoicism. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with re-introducing the concept in a world that badly needs it, but it's not a new concept. Stoicism has been around since ancient times - it just wasn't well known until Ryan brought it to the forefront.
From Ryan Holiday's story, you can likely see where I'm going with this.
To be uncommon, you have to look at uncommon sources of info
If you're looking at the same books, articles, magazines, and sites as everyone else, you are going to come to the same conclusion as everyone else. You're going to have the same (or similar) thoughts. You are going to have similar mindsets. Worst of all you're going to have the same or similar results.
But once you consider and absorb different sources of information, you're going to also have wildly different ideas.
Consider two people: one person only reads the top business books on Amazon's bestseller list. They are going to know everything there is to know about business, which is fantastic in its own right.
But another person reads some of the top business books on Amazon AND they also read the top books in art, the top books in medieval times, and the top books in fly fishing. This individual may not have as deep of an understanding of business as the first person, but they are going to have more broad knowledge of different topics, and thus they have different ideas to connect and branch into.
How do you absorb different sources of information?
Go to the local bookstore and visit a section of books you never visit. It could be the occult. It could be the hard sciences. It could be civilization. Pick a few books that you are interested in and read through them. Dive deeper if needed.
Hit up a random Wikipedia article. Go as deep as your interest allows.
Consider a hobby or passion you have outside of work. Find magazines related to that passion and browse through, looking at who the top people are in the field, the equipment they use, the advertisements and more.
Visit the library and instead of looking at the most popular books, find books that aren't as popular (maybe you can sort by views / borrows). Find a few books with topics that interest you and borrow and read them.