How can one improve creativity? It seems that this is merely an inherent trait given at birth and there are those who have it and those who do not. Like everything in the random crapshoot that is life, some people may be more inclined toward creativity than others; creativity can indeed be learned and improved upon, however. This section will give you tips on how to do that.

Creativity is the ability to take old ideas and use them in novel and new ways. There is an old saying that "there is nothing new under the sun." This is true, for the most part, but creativity is about taking those ideas and finding ways to improve upon them, or simply personalizing them for you or your place of business.

Consider two scenarios that might require creativity. One: let's say you are writing a love poem to a particular romantic crush. You will probably (try to) remember all the poetry they made you read in high school or look in a book for some ideas. You might also recall that most of the poetry you enjoyed usually rhymed. When you write your poem, you are obviously not going to invent a totally new way to express yourself through writing, but if you are successful you will produce something that is recognizable as a decent attempt at poetry and personalize it in such a way that it reads like a true reflection of your feelings.

In another scenario (perhaps a more "practical" one), your boss wants you to write a company email wishing everyone a "Happy Holidays" before they go on their break. You won't be writing the first company email ever written, and you might even be referring to a book as you are writing for tips, but you will still personalize it for your place of business. If you are successful you will create an email that seems tailored to the company's experiences and history, and you will do it in such a way that it seems a little different than every other company email that the employees have been reading for years. Keeping it appropriate to business standards and various religious beliefs is also a part of creativity: creating something well within challenging boundaries.

Like most traits, there are several activities you can perform in order to begin developing your creativity. While some may seem more appropriate for you than others, we suggest you also select a few activities that you wouldn't usually see yourself doing—these types of activities are often the ones that challenge your creativity the furthest!


  • Push the Boundaries on what You Already Do: Start trying to do things you do everyway in new and improved ways. This could involve improving upon the emails you write at your work, trying out new recipes (or experimenting on your own), different sales techniques, new ways to introduce yourself to new romantic interests—the possibilities are endless if you are willing to open your mind. Often you will simply experiment to accomplish this, but books or classes on the subject might also be a help.
  • Enjoy Art: Preferably art that you don't usually enjoy or art that challenges you in some way. If you never get out of the house (or job) much, this could be as simple as watching movies or some acclaimed TV show you usually wouldn't give a try. Most people should try to stretch these boundaries as well, however. Go to an art museum, a crafts show, a play, or a concert. You could also read a book that's a little different from your norm. If you regularly enjoy different types of art, your creativity will improve from the artists' example.
  • Create Art: This is an obvious form of creativity, and often the type of creativity people think of when they imagine a "creative person". This is important, however, because most people don't choose to do this beneficial activity in their lives. Creating art helps you form a personal story that you will use to understand your life, and make you more self-reflective as well as more creative. To do this you could take a painting, writing, or acting class, take up a musical instrument, or begin creating crafts. You could even just do this as a mental exercise, like imagine how you would improve a movie you find lacking.
  • Get New Hobbies: This could mean taking a dance class, taking up bowling, building ships in a bottle, or almost anything. This will challenge your mind and expose you to different social groups and their different habits.
  • Improve Upon your Current Habits: Watch less TV if this is a problem; spending time in nature (or a busy urban center) instead might make your brain more receptive to creativity. Eat out at different restaurants. Make acquaintances or even friends with people outside your usual circle. Write to your friends more often. Hopefully you get the idea. If you change your daily habits so they enlighten (or at least stop deadening) your mind, you will be more receptive to new thoughts.
  • Work on the Curiosity and Open-Mindedness Traits: Improvements in these Wisdom and Knowledge traits will often improve your creativity.

Your Record

For considering faults in your "creativity," you will probably be best served to base them on your own goals from one of the activities up above. Make your own goals as well, possibly based on one of the activities up above. If you miss opportunities to meet your goal, that is considered a fault. If you also miss a great opportunities in your day to be creative, you should also recognize that missed opportunity as a fault.


The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done - men who are creative, inventive and discoverers.

Jean Piaget

Creativity is a lot like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope. You look at a set of elements, the same ones everyone else sees, but then reassemble those floating bits and pieces into an enticing new possibility. Effective leaders are able to shake up their thinking as though their brains are kaleidoscopes, permitting an array of different patterns out of the same bits of reality.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.

Albert Einstein

Golden Mean

Excessive originality, tastelessness

Recommended Reading

Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius — by Michael Michalko

This book by a "business creativity expert" will educate you on creativity and includes exercises intended to help you improve upon it.

How to Get Ideas — by Jack Foster

Explains where ideas come from and provides a technique to get more of them. The author intends to help you condition the mind to be more prone to creative thoughts and reduce the anxiety behind the process of trying new things.

Aha! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas — by Jordan Ayan

This author believes that creativity can be taught, and talks about improving creativity with the goal of improving performance at the work place as well as for personal benefit.

General Rules

Practice virtues daily so that they become ‘habits of the heart’.

Don‘t strive for perfection.

Never give up! Remember: even the greats have off days.

Rely on your intuition.

Avoid extremes. Strive to achieve the golden mean between excess and deficiency of a virtue.

Have fun and enjoy the program with humor and optimism.

If you would create something, you must be something. Goethe