Is creativity something people are just born with? For many of us, creative thinking isn’t purely intuitive—it’s also plain hard work. As writer Iris Shoor explains, coming up with fresh ideas isn’t always a natural gift—it’s a skill that can be learned.

A few days ago I was telling someone about my startup company. “How did you come up with the idea?” he asked, and added very nicely, “you must be very creative.” This line always makes me smile, as I believe being creative is not a natural gift. Every day I try not to think outside the box, but rather work hard on trying to live outside of it. I believe that creativity can be taught, and I know for a fact that I’ve become more creative over time. It’s not about finding the ‘one’ idea, but rather about using creativity to achieve everyday personal and professional goals. I use creative thinking to sell my product and ideas to people, design better, and even to overcome personal obstacles, going outside my comfort zone.

Here are some methodologies I use to come up with fresh ideas.

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