Let’s talk about suspending limits and how we can use it to kick start creative thinking. It’s a great way to start a brainstorming session, or use it on its own whenever you’re having a hard time coming up with creative solutions.
Here’s the big problem with creative thinking. Our minds try to keep us in the realm of possibility. The brain tries to stay within the box where it’s nice and safe. Our regular thinking processes go along the lines of what we know will work. That’s the opposite of creative thinking.
The best way to break through this thinking barrier is to suspend your beliefs and limits. When you erase the box, seeing what’s outside it becomes easy. To do this, ask yourself the following:
If money, physics, time, etc. weren’t an issue, what would you do?
Give it a try. Start by going through this as an exercise on a regular basis. Ask yourself a hypothetical question or post a problem, and practice suspending limits. Here are a few examples:
- If time, money, and physics weren’t an issue, where would I go on vacation this year?
- If money wasn’t an issue, where would I live? What would my house look like?
- If willpower and time weren’t an issue, what would I eat, what would I do to stay in shape and what would I look like?
- If money and obligations weren’t an issue, what would I do for a living? How would I spend my time?
Give it a try and see for yourself how freeing it is to suspend your limits. While you won’t always come up with workable solutions, you’ll come up with some interesting ideas that may lead to other creative ideas.
Let’s say you’re thinking about the family vacation and something cool to do with your son, who happens to be a space buff, this year. Suspending your limits completely, you come up with the idea that going to the moon or even mars on vacation would be amazing. While that’s not a workable solution (at this point), it may give you some great ideas for space-type tourist destinations you could visit. You may end up heading to Cape Canaveral on vacation, for example. something that may not have crossed your mind until you suspended your limits and got creative.
How else can you incorporate this into your life? Make it part of your daily journaling. It always makes for some fun journal entries. Get your family, your close friends, and your team at work involved. Use suspending limits as an ice breaker for any and all discussions, conversations, and meetings; and see where it takes you. Have fun with it, and you’ll surprise yourself with the creative ideas you come up with.