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Technical textiles accounted for nearly 29% share of the global textile revenues in 2015. Demand for technical textiles is expected to remain steady during the forecast period 2015-2020, owing to a widening applications in end-use industries, such as automotive, healthcare, construction, and sports equipment.

Hometech, buildtech, and meditech are the three highest-selling technical textiles globally. Resurgence in housing sector, steady infrastructure development, and demand for highly functional textiles for use in healthcare sector are fuelling demand for these technical textiles segments. Demand for these three technical textile types will remain strong throughout the forecast period. However, Oekotech, Geotech, and Sportech will be the fastest growing segments in terms of revenues.

Figure 3: Top 3 fastest growing segments CAGR 2015-2020

Oekotech – technical textiles used in environmental protection and waste disposal – are anticipated to grow at the fastest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in terms of revenues. Increasing emphasis on sustainable development and consumer awareness on reducing carbon footprint are influencing both government and private entities to opt for Oekotech.

Demand for Geotech technical textiles – textiles used in civil engineering and geotechnical applications – is projected to witness 6% CAGR in terms of revenues through 2020.

Sportech – technical textiles used in sports and leisure sector – are also anticipated to witness steady demand owing to growing demand for sports equipment, especially among the millennial segment.

Textile Engineering / Top 5 latest innovations in Textiles and Fashion
« on: March 15, 2018, 05:35:39 PM »
2016 and 2017 have been a very busy couple of years, with all kinds of new technologies giving their contribute to the textile sector. From fabric improvement, tagging and even wearable technology, we have found some of the newest developments to showcase.

1. Maestley, by Teijin (1)
A new input on man-made leathers. Through a thoughtful process of fibre selection, non-woven structures, based material density and lamination methods, Teijin has managed to present a new high-grade man made leather. Seeking to tackle rising prices on leather, this comes as an option for leather-based apparel –  especially footwear due to this fabric’s high durability.

2. Post-Consumer cotton based jeans, by Levi’s and EVRNU(2)
Jeans giant Levi’s has joined forces with EVRNU to bring eco-friendly jeans into the market. The trousers are made entirely of regenerated post-consumer cotton waste. This new way of reutilizing waste seeks to ensure the garments’ quality and strength, while being characterized by the 511 classic Levi’s denomination. Certainly, a step forward towards a Circular Economy.

3. Bio-fabrication Leather, Modern Meadow(3)
In short, Modern Meadow is growing leather. This innovative company is bringing sci-fi to reality. Through collagen growth, they are able to create leather and modify it for different purposes and quality bases. Their product is completely controlled, from DNA to clothing.

4.Wood Fiber Yarn Technology, Spinnova(4)
From wood to yarn through an innovative process, simplicity is the key word Spinnova. Avoiding complex chemical processes, this is an important textile in order to improve environmental conditions and reduce the industry’s impact.

5. Tech infused wearables, Emel+Aris(5)
Heating technology is one of the key trends for 2017 in the realm of textiles and clothing. After collecting more than £100.000 through a Kickstarter campaign, these coats are available to shop online and in physical stores. Their infrared heat energy warms up without any faulty wires, nor does it sacrifices the garments’ aesthetic value. Their slogan sums it up pretty accurately: “whatever the weather, style is never compromised”. Certainly, a high performance in fashion.


জাতীয় বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের বহু শিক্ষার্থী বিসিএসের ‘সোনার হরিণ’-এর পেছনে ছুটছেন, তাঁদের মধ্যে অনেকেরই দ্বিতীয় কোনো পরিকল্পনা নেই। ছাত্রছাত্রীদের সঙ্গে কথা বলে মনে হলো কোনো কোনো শিক্ষার্থী বিশ্বাস করেন, তাঁদের দ্বিতীয় কোনো পথও নেই। এই ‘বিশ্বাস’ একই সঙ্গে তাঁদের শক্তি ও দুর্বলতা। লক্ষ্যে অটল থাকছেন বলেই জাতীয় বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের বহু শিক্ষার্থী বিসিএস ক্যাডার হচ্ছেন, আবার বিসিএস ক্যাডার হতে না পেরে অনেকেই ধরে নিচ্ছেন—সামনে এগোনোর বুঝি আর কোনো পথ নেই।

ইংরেজিতে একটা কথা আছে: ‘অলওয়েজ হ্যাভ আ প্ল্যান বি।’ অর্থাৎ সব সময় একটা বিকল্প পরিকল্পনা রেখো। বিশ্বখ্যাত টেনিস খেলোয়াড় সেরেনা উইলিয়ামস তো একবার এমনটাও বলেছিলেন, ‘যদি প্ল্যান “এ” কাজ না করে, আমার কাছে প্ল্যান বি, সি এমনকি ডি-ও আছে।’ অর্থাৎ এক নয়, একাধিক বিকল্প পরিকল্পনা থাকা উচিত। শুধু একটাই লক্ষ্য সামনে রেখে প্রস্তুতি নেওয়াটা অনেক সময় ঝুঁকিপূর্ণ হয়ে যায়। বিসিএসের প্রস্তুতির সঙ্গে আরেকটু চেষ্টা করলেই কিন্তু ব্যাংক কিংবা বিভিন্ন বেসরকারি প্রতিষ্ঠানে চাকরির প্রস্তুতিটাও নেওয়া যায়। যত বেশি পথ তৈরি করা যায়, তত ভালো। ছোট-বড় সব ধরনের চাকরির জন্যই অন্তত চেষ্টা করতে পারেন, তাতে আত্মবিশ্বাস বাড়বে।

আমরা টিমওয়ার্কে খুব ভালো নই। একেকটা মানুষের মধ্যে একেক দক্ষতা থাকে। কয়েকজনের দক্ষতা এক করে একটা উদ্যোগ নিতে পারেন, উদ্যোক্তা হতে পারেন। বিদেশে কিন্তু এই ব্যাপারটা এখন খুব প্রচলিত। আমরা সবকিছু একা একা করতে চাই। অনলাইনে এখন আলু, কলা থেকে শুরু করে কী না বিক্রি হচ্ছে? কত সুযোগ আছে সামনে! কিছু “সফট স্কিল” বা সাধারণ দক্ষতা নিজের মধ্যে গড়ে তুললেই কিন্তু অনেক সম্ভাবনার পথ তৈরি হয়। যেমন মানুষের সঙ্গে ঠিকমতো কথা বলা, দলবদ্ধভাবে কাজ করার মানসিকতা গড়ে তোলা, এগুলোও একেকটা দক্ষতা।

In an era of limitless technology and information, life can feel at once empowering and overwhelming—especially in jobs where employees feel pressure to be swamped. But just how busy are we, really?

Not as busy as we’d like others to think, according to a new study.
In a survey of 10,000 adults across various generations in 28 countries, they were asked about how technology and connectivity have affected their lives. Perhaps the most illuminative finding: People feel compelled to lie about how busy they are. Most respondents in the 28 countries fell into a middle “conflicted” category—people who outwardly admired busyness but wanted themselves to slow down. For those people, the conflicting feelings resulted in emotional tension and a desire to exaggerate their personal commitments. According to the study, only one in five respondents around the world said they genuinely find themselves rushing around a lot.

Peace of Mind / You'll need to know what you are living for
« on: March 10, 2018, 03:11:30 PM »
Many people are searching right now.  You may be one of them.  Some people are searching for a job, financial stability, or something like that. Others are searching for meaning, wondering if anything in life really matters, or even if they matter.

You'll find people searching for a sense of identity, an inner knowledge of who they are.  Some search for purpose.  Others for a relationship with God, or a deepening sense of spiritual connection in whatever forms that might take. Many are searching for connection with other human beings, whether that is friendship, deepened intimacy, or someone with whom to grow old with.  And, many more are searching for a way out -- a way out of pain in all its forms, a way out of disappointment, regret, shame, anger, sadness, loss, anxiety and fear, what have you.  And, we search in the mundane too.  I lost my keys the other day, and spent three hours trying to find them. And, we search for other things that are really nothings at all, like more time, more relaxation, more confidence, less stimulation, more beauty, more happiness, information, knowledge, or skills. We search to understand, to make sense, to fix, to figure out, to achieve insight. It's always about something other than what is.

All this searching takes enormous effort too.  And, sometimes it pays off, but often it doesn't and we are right back at it again.  Worse, it pulls us out of our lives.  Searching for peace of mind can be like that.  Most people want it, but few of us can find it and keep it around long enough to convince ourselves, let alone anyone else, that we've got it. Maybe that's the problem here.  Maybe peace of mind isn’t something we have or find, but something we do, nurture, and cultivate in ourselves.  Maybe it's right under our nose.

Searching to have or be something other than I am is not a core value of mine. But understanding our core values is different.  Living our lives in alignment with what truly matters to us isn’t about searching, trying to be something other than we are.  It is living with ourselves, our histories, and going forward to create a life worthy of our time on this planet.  That kind of peace is durable.  It can’t be bought, lost, or stolen.  It’s hard, yes.  And, it can be sweet too.

But first, you'll need to know what you are living for.

পরিচিত কারো সাথে দেখা হলে সচরাচর আমরা জিজ্ঞেস করি, কেমন আছেন? মুলত যে বিষয়টার খবর  আমরা জানতে চাই, তা হলো স্বাস্থ্য। শরীরটা ভালো যাচ্ছে তো, কোন অসুখ বিসুখ দানা বেঁধেছে কি না। আবার পুরোন অসুখ থাকলে সেগুলো স্থিতিশীল বা ভালোর দিকে যাচ্ছে কি না। আমি আপনাকে একই প্রশ্ন করছি, আপনার শরীর ভালো তো?

আপনি বলবেন, হ্যাঁ, ভালো আছি, বেশ ভালো।

গুড! ভালো থাকলেই ভালো। এরকমটাই চাওয়া। আচ্ছা, সেই ভালো থাকাটা কতটুকু ভালো একটু খেয়াল করে দেখছেন কি? স্বাস্থ্যের সাথে জড়িয়ে একটা শব্দ বলা হয় ‘ফিটনেস’। খেলোয়ারদের বেলায় বেশি শোনা যায়। অমুকের তো শারীরিক ফিটনেস নাই, তাকে দলে রাখার কোন মানে হয় না। খালি চোখে ভালো বা সুস্থ দেখালেও ফিটনেসে রয়েছে অধিকাংশ মানুষের সাঙ্ঘাতিক ঘাটতি।
আপনার অনুসন্ধানী মন সচল করুণ। ছোট একটি পর্যবেক্ষণ করি। আপনার শ্রেনীর বা কর্মক্ষেত্রের অন্তত পাঁচজনকে গভীরভাবে খেয়াল করুণ। অথবা বাসে, ট্রেইনে কোথাও যাচ্ছেন, আসেপাশের পাঁচজন অপরিচিত মানুষকে মনোযোগ দিয়ে খেয়াল করুণ। তাদের শ্বাসপ্রশ্বাস লক্ষ্য করুণ, গলার স্বর ভালো করে শুনুন, কতবার হাচি কাশি দেয় হিসেব রাখুন। এরপর তাদের আলাপ শুনুন। কতবার তারা বলছে, ভালো লাগছে না, বিরক্ত লাগছে, বিমর্শ লাগছে, দুর্বল লাগছে, খেয়াল করুণ। আরো দেখুন তাদের চোখ, চোখের নিচের অংশ, নাখ, ঠোট, স্বাসের ওঠানামা, শারীরিক আকার আকৃতি।

এবার আপনি বলুন, যে পাঁচজন মানুষকে পর্যবেক্ষণ করলেন তাদের ফিটনেস কেমন? ১০০ নম্বরের মধ্যে কে কত পাবে? তাদের গড় নম্বর কত?
এই পরীক্ষাটা আপনি আপনার নিজের স্বাস্থ্যের জন্য অথবা পরিবার, পরিচিতদের জন্যও করতে পারেন।
আমি যত জনকে এভাবে দেখেছি, তাদের গড় নম্বর ৫০ থেকে ৬০ এর মধ্যে ছিল। এর বেশি দেয়া সম্ভব হয়নি। তাহলে বলেন, দেহ যদি আপনার গাড়ীর ইঞ্জিন হয়, আর সেই ইঞ্জিনের কর্মক্ষমতা যদি সর্বোচ্চ ৬০ শতাংশ হয়, তবে ফলাফল কেমন হবে?

Textile Engineering / Jute could be next main driver of economy
« on: March 09, 2018, 01:50:30 PM »
Jute and jute goods hold potential to become the next key driver of the economy as the present ones, garments and remittance, have little scope to contribute more in the long run. The government has been favouring the garments sector over the years and should similarly give policy support on adding value to jute and jute goods and make non-performing jute mills profitable by keeping them running. People worldwide are avoiding harmful polythene in their daily lives while entrepreneurs in the country are investing on jute and jute goods to regain its lost glory. Thousands of jobs have been created by small and medium jute mills in Bogra and Jessore running with machinery of Adamjee Jute Mills, which has been shut down.
Jute production increased gradually from 65 lakh bales in 2014 to 70 lakh bales last year for better prices ensured by a government rule making its use mandatory in goods packaging.More than 100 crore sacks were additionally produced for the rule and local entrepreneurs expanded the export base increasing the types of jute goods from 135 last year to 240 this year.
Moreover, by making viscose and paper pulp from jute at home, Bangladesh can save Tk 1,700 crore while earning $7 billion from jute and jute goods exports a year.

English is unanimously recognized as the second language in the world and no one can deny this truth. People believed that having English proficiency is the key, especially for developing countries, which can bring success by ensuring access to education, business and technology. As consequence, English is the most widely taught foreign language in more than 100 countries in the world. The need is greater than ever for children to learn one or more languages in addition to their first language, as the adult workplace become increasingly international. It also appears that learning a second language helps achieve facilities in other academic areas. English is generally taught using the translation method where nouns and vocabularies are translated from the mother tongue. Very few children learn English by the total immersion method where they hear and speak only English in the classroom. There is evidence that the total immersion method helps students become proficient quickly. However, there is a fear that the immersion method might lead to the last of the first language. In the field of engineering, English is an important language tool for communication between different cultures where English is not a native tongue.
It is generally agreed that the ability of our learners in English classes, especially at the secondary level, is not satisfactory, due to some underlying factors. Some researchers define attitude as one of the key factors that influences success or failure for language learners. There is a clear relationship between attitude and achievement in learning a language. A positive attitude will help learners to achieve their goals.
Bangladesh is a developing country of about 160 million people. A notable number of students are pursuing higher education especially in tertiary level (Bachelors and Masters) in more than 150 public and private universities in Bangladesh. The medium of instruction of tertiary level is English and beside this, maximum students in Bangladesh complete their primary and secondary education in Bangla medium. For this reason at the beginning of the university life, they find the atmosphere quite new and difficult, though students have to complete at least 14 courses on Basic English Language to acquire proficiency in English including 02 courses on Basic English at university level. After getting tertiary education certificate students wish to get a good job in the market but unfortunately maximum of them failed because of poor English proficiency.

Textile Engineering / Textile industry in Bangladesh in recent days
« on: March 08, 2018, 02:19:07 PM »
Industrialization is a major reason for the economic development of a country. It plays a significant role in transforming the monetary structure of developing nations. Textile industry of Bangladesh is more than 500 years old. It is one of the oldest and most successful industries with its rich history. Moreover, in recent years there has been a substantial development in yarn and fabric production.
There is a significant effect of globalization on international textile and apparel trade. Today, the developed countries are hugely dependent on the developing nations for textile and garment manufacturing. At present, Bangladesh ranks second in the world as the largest apparel producers with a $20 billion business in which 80% is earned by exporting goods.
There are three fundamental factors which have boosted the growth of textile in Bangladesh. The country has plenty of resources, opportunities, and beneficial government policies. In Bangladesh large number of labor workers can be found. Also, natural gas and cost of energy is cheap. With huge population, labor is abundant, and Bangladesh has an advantage in producing labor intensive products.
The main reason for the development of the textile industry in Bangladesh is the hardworking labor force. They put in more working hours to complete the target. Therefore, in recent times the per capita income of the country and the standards of living of the people have improved. Secondly, the country acquired an advantageous opportunity to trade with America and the European countries in ready-made garments segment.
These opportunities were supported by the government policies which sustained the growth of textile in Bangladesh. The liberal government policies promoted investments from foreign countries. The garment industry of Bangladesh is renowned and holds a major place in the world market today. The textile industry of the country has specialized textile goods, knitwear, and woven apparels. These products top in grabbing the export income for the country.
Moreover, the quota-free textile rule which has been introduced since 2005 has substantially improved the textile industry of Bangladesh. The government policies that supported textile included monetary advantages and institutional help. As mentioned earlier, labor and power are cheap and easily available here compared to India, Pakistan or China. This gives them a competitive advantage against their competitors.
The new textile policies which have been introduced almost have no tariffs for the spinning sector. However, the imported yarns and materials have high tax rates so as to encourage the use of local fabrics and yarn production. All these factors worked together in favor of the textile development in Bangladesh. Nevertheless, in the past ten years the country has witnessed the growth of spinning industry.

Happiness / Why do we feel unhappy?
« on: March 07, 2018, 03:42:56 PM »
Our obsession with finding happiness is what prevents it's attainment. Happiness is always present in our life. It's just a matter of connecting to it and allowing it to flow through myself...
As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit. Happiness is not determined by what’s happening around you, but rather what’s happening inside you.  Most people depend on others to gain happiness, but the truth is, it always comes from within. So we need to stop chasing the wrong thing, we need to stop living the life of someone else to find the happiness permanently.

~ (Collected from my Facebook status)

Spirituality / Awakening Thyself
« on: March 07, 2018, 03:30:03 PM »
You claim that you know a lot of things happening in the universe. But in real you don't know a damn thing about yourself. Don't be in a rush to make conclusions. Let's pay little more attention. You are a living being and you deserve a lot more attention.
Came across this video and a great learning is obtained.

Spirituality / How to Keep Spiritual Connection in Your Daily Life
« on: August 20, 2017, 09:27:50 PM »
Feeling your spiritual connection is so comforting and creates such a sense of being supported and unstoppable in this world! But, it’s a big BUT…

Most people find it a bit challenging to keep that spiritual connection because life is so damn busy and demanding day-to-day!

It’s like the world has been designed to distract us, to lure us into our egos and mind noise, and to BREAK that spiritual connection.

So, bottom line, from first-hand experience… if you want to keep your spiritual connection solid, reliable and “alive” in your daily life, you gotta do a few things to strengthen it.

Feeling connected to the Universe and your soul doesn’t happen by mistake. Most people who have that connection are enjoying it because they build it like a muscle. You don’t get great abs or strong biceps unless you work-out regularly. And you’re not gonna get a strong sense of spiritual connection unless you put in the effort.

Luckily, it’s not that hard to create, cultivate and sustain your spirituality in daily life. So here are the three tips to keep spiritual connection suggested by Bernadette Logue that I have come across few days earlier. Hope it will help us.
1. Always consider that, you are in this world but not of this world. You need to keep in mind all the material world and your bodily or physical existence. But you need to always accept that if you die, you are spirit first, body second. - remind this daily.
2. Use the morning ritual everyday that will help you remember your spiritual nature and build that connection.
3. See everything in your life as spiritual assignment. Whatever things happen to you, whoever you meet all this are just spiritual assignments. When you look at life this way, you will bring your spirit first to all interactions and situations.

Spirituality / Knowing Yourself Inside and Out
« on: August 15, 2017, 02:23:52 PM »
You know you have a body. You believe you have a mind (in some extent). The rest is belief.
You claim that you know a lot of things happening in the universe. But in real you don't know a damn thing about yourself. Don't be in a rush to make conclusions. Let's pay little more attention. You are a living being and you deserve a lot more attention.
Came across this video and a great learning is obtained.

Right now, think of the worst thing anyone has ever done to you. Think about how it’s still hurting you to this day. Think of how much it has robbed you of over the months and years.

Picture that person in your mind right now. Can you forgive them?

It’s never easy to forgive someone who did you wrong, especially when you know that person isn’t even sorry for what they did, or at least isn’t aware of how badly they hurt you.

But think about it: They’re out there, living out their lives, oblivious to how you’re feeling… while you’re here harboring a grudge, and letting your bad feelings slow you down and hold you back from achieving the kind of success and happiness you want.

We tend to think of forgiveness as a spiritual concept, but it is absolutely a psychological one as well.  Consider the following definition:  Forgiveness is “not condoning, excusing or forgetting what happened,” rather it is the decrease or elimination of “resentment or anger toward an offender,”  which is replaced  by “more positive feelings, thoughts, and behaviors” (Knutson, Enright and Garbers, 2008).  Isn’t that the point of psychotherapy and counseling, to be happier?

  I actually believe this is an advanced adult skill.  It takes commitment, willingness, action, intention and energy.  It’s also important to note that if you have been abused or traumatized in any way and you are having an adverse reaction to the idea of forgiving, that means that it’s time for you to work on your healing first and foremost!

The practice of forgiveness is actually an act of self-interest and not about another person.  It frees you because harboring resentments is like that saying about taking poison and expecting the other person to suffer.  Resentments steal your joy.  We can have joy or we can have resentments.  We can’t have both.  That is why practicing forgiveness of ourselves and others is crucial and how forgiveness relates to counseling.

Reference:  Journal of Counseling and Development, 2008:  Validating the Developmental Pathway of Forgiveness by Jeanette Knutson, Robert Enright, and Benjamin Garbers.

Self Improvement / can you train people to be more creative?
« on: July 16, 2017, 04:13:07 PM »
 Yes, You Can Train Yourself To Be More Creative. Here’s How? - According to Carly Schwartz, Editor in Chief, Google Insider.

People often think that creativity is something you’re born with or you’re not. “My sister is the creative one in the family; she goes to art school,” you might hear an accountant say.

A new book, Building Your Creativity: Tools For Having Ideas And Bringing Them To Be, argues that creativity is hardly a fixed trait. Rather, like any other skill, creativity is something you can train yourself to cultivate with the right kind of practice. In fact, it’s more of a science than an art.

"Creativity and engineering have been separated culturally, but at their  core, they’re both systematic disciplines”, one of the authors of the book says. People are shocked to find that there are multiple studies that show creativity can be enhanced. You can teach yourself to be creative just as you can teach yourself any skill.

According to the author, this process requires more than just “believing in yourself” — a common refrain in many of the creativity self-help guides out there. His team’s approach involves tangible techniques and specific action plans, which his book brings to life for readers through a series of hands-on exercises.

The author is quick to point out that, building creativity requires patience and hours of practice. So reading all the way to the end of this blog post won’t make you instantly more creative. But it will give you seven things you can start doing now, whether you’re an accountant or an art student, to bring more creativity into your life.

1. Push past your first ideas. Experts define the act of creativity as coming up with an original idea, something nobody else has thought of before. Our brains, however, are wired to focus on concepts we already know. “If someone tells me to design a car, my mind will first go to something that already exists, like Tesla,” the author explains. But this pattern can be broken with what his book calls provocations: simple, unexpected prompts or word associations that force our brains to connect seemingly unrelated concepts. “If that same person who told me to design a car then threw out the word ‘nature,” author adds, “I might instead think of something entirely new. Tires that can plant seeds, for example.”

2. Don’t self-edit (especially at the beginning). One of the biggest obstacles to coming up with creative ideas is our tendency to edit them along the way. Any creative act, whether brainstorming or writing or solving a problem, will be more effective if you give yourself the freedom to go in all sorts of directions and then evaluate your ideas afterwards. The author calls this the “diverge and converge” method: first let your ideas flow freely, then look at them more critically.

3. Give yourself time, and then even more time. Researchers say time is one of the most important indicators of creativity. “People are usually really excited during the beginning of a brainstorming session,” author says. “Then there’s almost always a dip in energy after the initial burst of ideas. And then you’re likely to be reinvigorated again. But most people give up before reaching that third phase.” Being patient enough to sit within the discomfort of feeling like you’ve run out of ideas — knowing that it’s simply a matter of time before your brain starts making breakthroughs again — will help you reach new creative edges.

4. Take a break. Our best ideas often happen during what scientists call the creative pause. “Our students echo what most people say: they come up with great ideas in the shower, driving their car, or on a walk,” author says. That seemingly idle time gives your subconscious the space and freedom to make connections. Working on something creative, taking a break to do an easy task while those thoughts marinate, and then deliberately coming back to whatever you were working on is an extremely effective strategy.

5. Personalize your space. What can you do to be inspired by your surroundings? author suggests setting up your personal space in a way that is conducive to your most creative self, whether that means natural light, candles, your favorite art pieces, or ensuring you always have access to notebooks and pens. “Research even shows that the way schools are designed can impact creativity,” author says. “Your work, mental state, happiness and creativity are a reflection of your environment more than you realize.”

6. Go outside. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can have a number of positive psychological effects, from stress reduction to improvement in memory. This extends to creativity. Immersing yourself in the natural environment, away from digital devices and the other distractions of a bustling 21st-century life, can give your mind the space it requires to be open and imaginative. Take a hike without your iPhone, go on a day trip to the ocean or lake, or simply sit under a tree with nothing but a journal.

7. Make it a habit. Like mastering any skill, becoming more creative takes practice. It’s important to engage in regular habits that both directly and indirectly allow you to cultivate creativity. Activities that help prime the brain for creative thinking, such as meditation, yoga, reading fiction and surrounding yourself with people who inspire you, are just as important as creativity exercises themselves, be them prototyping or problem-solving. “Infuse creativity into every part of your life,” Gast says. “If you do your best to build a lifestyle that encourages creativity, your creative ideas will be unlimited.”

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