A formula to easily boost your creativity

Creativity is part formula and part serendipity. Here are three steps to help with the formula part.

1) Find an idea that is generally accepted (GAI for “generally accepted idea”). For my book at bondChristian.com, I’m attacking independence. I’ll use that as an example. Independence is one of our culture’s most adamantly held beliefs, at least in Western culture today.

2) Find the opposite of that GAI. The opposite of independence is dependence. Sometimes finding the opposite is more difficult. Or you can come up with an interesting opposite. For example, Elie Wiesel argues that indifference, not hate, is the opposite of love.

3) Create a compelling position in favor of the opposite of the GAI. One argument against independence highlights that independence leads to isolation. A person can’t truly connect with others while remaining completely independent. Losing that connectedness seems to smack against something even more vital for humans than independence.

You can use this basic formula over and over again to come up with seemingly creative ideas. I say “seemingly” because from your perspective, you might not see it as creative if you’ve used a specific formula for finding it. Don’t worry – everyone else will.

Sometimes you’ll run into an opposite that you clearly won’t want to defend. Usually, you’ll find at least part of the position is accurate. But even if you can’t, you’ll learn a lot by picking that opposite position apart, trying to understand why it doesn’t work.

Try it, and let me know what you come up with.