Explore Your CreativityNile Rodgers

Though creativity has many definitions, the award-winning musician Nile Rodgers likes to use a simple definition: creativity is about creating something from nothing. It’s about taking an idea in your head and making it a reality in some form. 

This might seem like the kind of thing only artists need to be good at, but Nile explains that creativity can be used to solve all sorts of problems you might face. In his case, Nile used creativity to solve problems he faced during his childhood. 

For example, being the only black kid in his school, Nile had to be creative to earn acceptance and to avoid getting bullied. Solving problems like these developed Nile’s creativity and gave him the foundational skills he used to succeed in the music industry. In fact, Nile describes what he does as a record producer as solving problems. 

Anybody can learn to use creativity to solve the problems they are facing. Below are three of Nile’s suggestions for becoming a creative problem solver: 

1 . When facing a problem, write down all your ideas - List all of the different ways you could possibly resolve a problem. Don’t be afraid to write ideas that seem unconventional. As you write these ideas, often certain ones will jump out as the best.

2. Keep the good and bad ideas, then consider why the bad didn’t work - Ideas that did not work can be a learning opportunity. Also, you never know when an old idea will be the perfect fit for another creative problem!

3. Build a technical background in your field - The more you know, the more ideas you can pull from to put forward creative solutions to problems.
To help you practice your creative problem solving skills, the guiding activity will ask you to think of many solutions to a single problem. Get started below!

Guiding Activity

Come up with a problem you are facing in your life and write or sketch four different potential solutions to the problem. To do this, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Choose a problem in your life you would like to solve. This can be related to school, work, family, or anything else in your life. 

Step 2: Take a piece of paper and fold it so it’s a four-square grid. Spend around 1 minute in each block writing or sketching a different solution to the problem you identified in Step 1. 

Step 3: Evaluate which solution do you think is the best and why?

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