The Power of Combining Things: How to be Creative Anytime with Simple Unexpected Combinations

Episode 031: Two New Apps to Help You Learn Creativity
February 22, 2021
Episode 032: Avoid Cliches Like the Plague – How to Speak and Write More Creatively
March 1, 2021

The Power of Combining Things: How to be Creative Anytime with Simple Unexpected Combinations

Think you’re the most uncreative person in the world? 

Well, not anymore. 

You can decide to become creative if you want to right in this very moment.

And all it takes is a simple formula.

What is Creativity?

Creativity is just combining two things that previously had nothing to do with each other and mashing them together. 

Look around and you see this act of creation all the time. Artists, for example, take two things that just didn’t belong together and mash them together to produce creative art. 

Even humor or a joke is nothing more than mashing two unrelated things together in a way that makes you laugh. 

Still not getting it?

Let’s give you a more concrete example.

Putting Creativity to Work

Take any two things right around you right now and imagine mashing them together to be creative. 

For example, let’s take a hanging ceiling lamp and a coffee mug. Now, what if you mashed those two things together? Just imagine the two together and then envision how it could be formed or how it could be useful. 

Creative idea #1: Imagine a kitchen table light that looks like a coffee cup. 

Creative idea #2: Now, imagine a coffee cup that lights up. It has some kind of feature where it glows whenever you grab the handle. Or maybe it glows in the dark, or you can see it at night or it shines some message. 

The point is – you grab two things in the immediate vicinity, mash them together – and voila! You’ve just become creative! 

Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Putting Creativity to Use

Just because you can combine two things to be creative doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be useful. 

One effective method used to develop creativity is called Systematic inventive thinking or SIT, which is based on patterns mankind has used for thousands of years to create inventions and innovations. 

Surprisingly, most inventions in the world can be explained by just these five patterns. Those patterns can be reapplied to anything else, and essentially, that forms the creative act. 

But the part of SIT where you decide whether it’s valuable is by asking yourself these two questions: 

  • What would be the benefit? 
  • Is it feasible? 

So you also want to do this mental process in your head when trying to jam two things together. 

Regardless of where you are right now, try this exercise out. Look around you to see if you can spot any creative act. See how two things were brought together unexpectedly. Then also use this exercise to generate more creative ideas and hone your creativity.To hear more on how to become more creative, listen to the full podcast episode here: Episode 030: The Power of Combining Things: How to be Creative Anytime with Simple Unexpected Combinations.