Ed Glassman
Ed Glassman

Reasons to Think Creatively: Nurture the Creative Flame within You

“The enjoyment of creative effort provides its own reward.”

If you have drifted into routine ways and deleterious mind ruts, you might change your habits and use creativity triggers to help you improve your creative thinking and get you out of your ruts. The following may also indicate a need to boost the way you think:

• You always think the same way…or think very little.

• You keep doing the same things in the same ways.

• You lack interest in what you do.

• You don’t take risks in your work.

• Your life does not challenge you enough.

• You ask few challenging questions.

You have resistance to trying out something new.

This constitutes one reason to think creatively: to get out of mind ruts.

“When I Am Creative, I Feel…”

Return to how you feel when you engage in creative effort. Please finish this statement: “When I am creative. I feel…”You probably wrote good feelings, such as: fulfilled, joyful, good, enthusiastic, insightful, stimulated, enjoyable, intense, fun, happy, delighted, good, satisfied, useful, energetic, alert, challenged, worthwhile, energized.

These words describe the feelings of enjoyment that most people describe when they are creative. This is an important reward of being creative, to enhance your enjoyment. So, go ahead, indulge yourself, and spend time frolicking with your creativity.


Another reason to be creative is to help with success in your life, your activities, your work, and your relationships. The creativity triggers described here will help you.

“The Biggest Help To My Creativity Is…”

Please finish this sentence: “The biggest help to my creativity is…”

You have a 50% chance of saying “other people” are the biggest help to your creativity. That’s how about half of the people in my workshops finish this sentence. The others say: time; challenge; adventurous work; freedom; being alone; rewards, etc.

In other words, half have good relationships with other people and can work creatively with them.

That’s another reason to learn the creativity skills. If you work creatively with other people in groups, then you have a great opportunity to develop relationship skills that will also help you throughout your life.


Research has shown that people solve problems more creatively and turn out solutions with more unexpected surprises, if they focus their attention on their daily enjoyment and the fun that comes from the challenge and their total immersion in their creative effort.

For high levels of creative output, you need to see the novelty in your work, enjoy your competence and self-direction, and feel that you engage in play, rather than work.

To achieve your creative potential, you need to have a sense that you work for your own satisfaction on a self-discovered problem in which you have considerable choices, especially in how to accomplish goals.

In addition, for creative thinking to flourish, you need to feel a lot of curiosity and interest, as well as have a high stability to cushion risks.

These conditions do not usually exist, and most people wait for someone else to provide the ideal conditions that never appear. Stop it. Do not wait. Immunize yourself now against the spoilers of your creative thinking.

Immunize yourself against distractions, the external reward systems, evaluation and time pressures, competition with others, high control by others, and restricted choices.

Keep your focus on your daily enjoyment, the challenge, and your sense of competence about your work. Nurture the creative flame within you by focusing your attention on these inner motivators. Do it now.

We all want rewards. We all have to achieve goals, meet deadlines, get positive evaluations, and obtain the approval of others. Indeed, most of us constantly work for someone else’s satisfaction.

Yet, these outside rewards spoil daily creative output by overwhelming inner motivation: the daily enjoyment, challenge, and self-satisfaction. Help your creative thinking by focusing your attention on inner motivators and watch your creativity and innovation soar.

Allow the enjoyment of creative thinking to motivate you. 

First, you can increase enjoyment and satisfaction by staying creative as a problem solver.

Second, the sheer enjoyment of creative thinking provides a personal reason to stay creative. Creative thinking provides its own enjoyable rewards.

Stop allowing others to distract your attention with long-range external motivators like promised rewards. Of course, you want these long-range rewards, but focus your daily work on your inner motivators, the instant enjoyment and fun inherent in creative thinking.

Focusing on money, and similar rewards, spoils creative effort at work.

A HABIT THAT SPOILS CREATIVE THINKING: We allow long-range rewards to distract us from inner motivators, our good feelings and the immediate enjoyment as we create. We allow external motivators to overpower and destroy inner motivation.

Summary: Reasons to be creative

— To get you out of your ruts.

— To increase your enjoyment of life.

— To raise your fun level.

— To better your relationships.

— To solve problems more creatively and more effectively.

— To increase the probability that you will succeed in your

endeavors and achieve your goals in life.

And checkout my book: “CREATIVITY TRIGGERS ARE FOR EVERYONE: How To Use Your Inventiveness To Brighten Your Life.” CLICK here AND HERE.

Ed Glassman, Professor Emeritus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, founded the Program For Team Excellence And Creativity at the university. He led scores of problem-solving creativity meetings and creative thinking workshops-seminars for many large and small companies. He was a ‘Guggenheim Foundation Fellow’ at Stanford University, a ‘Visiting Fellow’ at the ‘Center For Creative Leadership’ in Greensboro, NC, a Visiting Professor at the University Of California at Irvine, and a Visiting Scientist at SRI International in Palo Alto, California.

His book: “Team Creativity At Work I & II: Creative Problem Solving At Its Best,” is available: CLICK here AND HERE.

His book: “R&D CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION HANDBOOK: A Practical Guide To Improve Creative Thinking and Innovation Success At Work” is available.   CLICK here  AND HERE

About the Author
Ed Glassman, Ph.D., is professor emeritus and former head of the "Program for Team Effectiveness and Creativity," in the medical school of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was also a visiting fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina.