By John Ostapkovich

A lot of us would like to be more creative in our daily lives, and a Philadelphia native says it’s less about waiting for inspiration than training yourself for the task.

The recipe for creativity begins with appropriate knowledge, imagination and motivation, says Tina Seelig, a Stanford University professor and the author of inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity.

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“Creativity is the core to who we are, and we all need to know that we have the keys to our innovation, and it’s up to us to unlock them,” Seelig explains.

Sometimes, the key to thinking outside the box is to recognize there is a box.

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“The first story I tell in my book is about how when we ask questions, like, ‘What is the answer to five plus five?’ Five plus five is ten. There’s one right answer. But what if I asked you, ‘What two numbers add up to ten?’ How many answers add up to that? Infinite.”

Another key, says Seelig, is looking at failures as data to getting it right the next time. Social structures and even physical spaces can work either for or against creativity.

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