Although you might believe certainty and control over your circumstances brings you pleasure, it is often uncertainty and challenge that bring the longest-lasting benefits...
And a series of bullet points:
1. seek out the new
Kashdan's dawn-till-dusk challenge involve inserting novel experiences into the daily routine to open the mind. You could listen to a new kind of music over breakfast, swap your usual newspaper for a different perspective, lunch with someone you don't usually speak to, visit an exhibition you would normally steer clear of and learn a language or cook an exotic meal instead of turning on the tele when you fall through your front door
2. embrace new views
talk to people who may have a completely different way of thinking about an issue... instead of automatically looking at a situation from your usual stand, take a look from a different perspective whether its an unwelcome comment from a colleague or the war in Afghanistan
3. reinvent your desk
rearrange your worktop, adding an inspirational montage or motto or anything else that might shake up your apathy. 'The key is to changing your usual surroundings to find the unfamiliar in the familiar..'
4. escape your confines
those lightbulb moments require a mulling period and that playful, rebellious spirit, and your unlikely to manage that in the office with phones and blackberries pulsing all around you. 'Find a space that works... going for a walk is a proven way of changing your mindset to a positive and playful one'
5. stick to the here and now
if you're haunted by a pile of unanswered letters of agonising over a cock-up in conference, sort things out before you start mulling. 'Creativity is impossible if you're focussed on the past or the future...believe it or not, breathing properly, steadily, rhythmically, deeply, is a great way of focussing on the moment. Watch any athlete doing it'
6. help yourself
if your brain declines to play along, kick-start it with strategies as brainstorming or De Bono's lateral thinking. 'Find the ones that work for you.. but don't get hung up on them. Creativity is not completely conscious, rational process. Daydreaming is surprisingly effective'
You don't say! We've heard it all before, but perhaps we need to keep hearing it....
It seems to be remarkably easy to lose novelty from your life. Humans seem programmed to fall into recurring patterns and habits, safeties, securities, knowns. When did you last change the furniture round?!