Creative Thinking means “thinking about thinking in order to bring something new into existence”. This new thing can be an idea, a plan, an event, an object, a book, a play, a research paper, or a process.
It’s important to know that:
- You are a natural creative thinker because creative thinking is part of being human.
- You can improve your creative thinking by learning about it.
- You don’t have to be artistic to be a creative thinker.
There are lots of ways to think creatively, and you will learn some of them in this section.
Why and When You Need Creative Thinking
You use creative thinking when you need choices for solving a specific problem. Several situations requiring creative thinking are listed:
- When something you care about isn’t working out the way you want.
Example: You haven’t found enough reference material for your research paper.
- When you want to think of ways to deal with bad situations.
Example: You have a flat tire on your way to class.
- When you to change the way you are doing something.
Example: You are chair of an important committee, and the meetings are too long, are poorly attended, and are inefficient.
Creative thinking and critical thinking are similar. You use them in daily life to assist in problem solving and decision making. Critical thinking leads to creative thinking, and creative thinking leads to critical thinking. For example, your critical thinking tells you that you need to study more to get better grades. Your creative thinking comes up with ideas for increasing your study time. Then your critical thinking selects the best ideas. Finally, your fear of failure drives you to do the necessary work.