5 TED Talks that will help re-ignite your creativity

Facing a mental block? Or feeling brain dead? Check out these videos that will help kickstart your creative process. By Satyaki Sarkar

No matter the field that you’re in, your creativity is more often than not the key to solving problems. Be it figuring out an out-of-the box solution to a problem, coming up with an attention-grabbing tagline for your product, or designing a banner for a promotional event, that spark in your head is paramount to accomplishing your goals. But unfortunately there are days when our stress, worry and deadlines get the better of us and our creativity comes to a screeching halt. To keep those days to a minimum, watch these five TED Talks.


1. Shimpei Takahashi: “Play this word game to come up with original ideas”
Meet Shimpei Takahashi, a toy developer from Japan, who is the man behind Bandai Co Ltd’s wildly popular range of toys. In spite of having chosen a profession revolving around what he loved doing most, Shimpei found that the pressure of producing often led to his creativity being squashed. That’s when he came up with a simple game called Shiritori, which helped him not only to tune out and relax, but simultaneously brainstorm and come up with new ideas. The game works by listing words one after the other, each starting with the last letter of the previous word. Once he has a list, he tries to think of ideas connected to each of the words. Now all the ideas aren’t always great, but without fail, he ends up with at least a few unique and innovative ones, which he might have otherwise dismissed even without thinking.
Watch it here


2. Elizabeth Gilbert: “Your elusive creative genius”
The author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert is a renowned writer, essayist, biographer, novelist, and memoirist, who tells us that contrary to popular belief, creativity is not something that always stems from suffering. Creativity is not something mechanical and automated that you can churn out at the press of a button, but is latent exists inside all of us. She argues that instead of worrying about and waiting for creativity coming to you, all you need to do is simply to take a leap of faith and let it happen naturally. Sometimes, it comes to you spontaneously, while other times, it takes a bit longer, but whenever you face a dead end or a mind block, it is important to remember and know that your creativity will return, and this is not the end.
Watch it here


3. Tim Harford: “How frustration can make us more creative”
Tim Harford is a renowned English economist and journalist, and the author of four economics bookses. In this invigorating TED Talk, Tim tells us that perseverance and improvisation is one of the best ways to fuel your creativity. Contrary to what people think, mistakes, obstacles, and even roadblocks do not mean the end of your creativity, but in fact, force you to slow down and take a different approach, which in turn, makes you come up with a completely new and better solution that you might never have even considered before. The key, he says, is to not think of difficult or seemingly impossible tasks as a barrier, but rather, as an opportunity to completely reinvent yourself and come up with some of the most innovative ideas you have ever had.
Watch it here


4. Tim Brown: “Tales of creativity and play”
CEO and President of international design and consulting firm IDEO, Tim Brown is one of the leading authorities in the designing world. In this talk, Tim stresses on the importance of having fun, and how it is connected to one’s creativity. Fear of judgement, and the scepticism to express ourselves is often one of the main things hampering our creativity and holding us back. That is the difference between kids and adults; kids are not afraid of what others think of their opinions and ideas, but as they get older, they tend to become more sensitive to other people’s opinions. In order to get rid of that fear of judgement and return to the childlike mindset, he encourages you to have fun and be playful. This lets you come up with brilliant, innovative ideas that you would have never expressed otherwise.
Watch it here


5. Ann Morgan: “My year reading a book from every country in the world”
Ann Morgan is a popular British writer and blogger, and she used to consider herself well read, until she discovered that her bookshelves were only full of British or American authors. That’s when she decided to read, over the course of a year, a book from each of the 196 countries in the world, as a way of diversifying her knowledge and portfolio. The lesson to learn from this, she says, is that while it is usually our nature to stick to our comfort zones and keep falling back to the same old habits, a lot of times, the lack of creativity comes due to the lack of any new addition. This is why she stresses the importance of going out of your boundaries every now and then and exploring something new, which in turn, could give you a completely fresh perspective or idea that you never would have come up with before.
Watch it here 

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