It’s a myth that only highly intelligent people are creative. In fact, research shows that once you get beyond an I.Q. of about 120, which is just a little above average, intelligence and creativity are not at all related. That means that even if you’re no smarter than most people, you still have the potential to wield amazing creative powers. So why are so few people highly creative? Because there are bad habits people learn as they grow up which crush the creative pathways in the brain. And like all bad habits, they can be broken if you are willing to work at it.

Here are 8 simple steps to help you achieve something new:

– Prioritize your time wisely – Find out what really matters to you by asking yourself what have been doing to make your’s or someone else’s life better. Then do at least one thing to move closer toward your goals, today.

– Use praise instead of criticism – If you criticize yourself or others for not being creative a natural defensive will kick in and you are less likely to try something new. Praise creativity even when it doesn’t end up as well as you hoped.

– Learn to focus – Everyone is creative but some people are more focused. If you want to be creative in a certain area, focus your energy on it and let the ideas flow.

– Question assumptions – Most of us never question why we do the things we do. Questioning assumptions is at the heart of creativity. If you can learn to ask questions, you’ll be healthier and more likely to find a solution.

– Stop trying to predict the future – There are no facts about tomorrow so it’s impossible to predict what will happen for certain. It will limit your creativity to try and do that.

– Don’t waste your time – If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, stop doing it. That doesn’t mean stop living but rather spend your time only on the things which make your life better.

– Keep a journal or a sketchbook with you at all times even if it’s a phone app – Everyone has the ability to be creative, but it doesn’t always come out when you need it so have something ready. I personally use a voice recorder on my phone that later converts the speech to text. (

– Go for a walk – Your subconscious mind is very powerful and sometimes all you have to do is clear out the mental clutter by taking a walk. Our bodies are wonderful machines that feel relaxed when we go for walks. Your mind will follow your body’s lead and open up to creativity.

Creativity is something that everyone possesses, but it gets crushed by bad habits. The good news? It can be broken if you’re willing to work at it and follow these 8 simple steps.