I want to share a bunch of ideas about how to be more creative, but before I do that, let’s get a good understanding of what creativity actually is.
I would say that most people’s idea of creativity generally matches this definition: “the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work. However, if we take a look at other definitions- like this one from Dictionary.com: “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination”, we see that the term creativity does not have to refer exclusively to the arts. In fact, anyone can be creative.
Pablo Picasso even famously said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” I don’t think that even if a person remains creative, that they will necessarily turn out to be an artist, but I do believe that we can retain and even get back a lot of the creativity from our childhood.
I get the impression that most people believe they must be an artist, a writer, a dancer, a musician to be creative. Not true. Here’s the thing about creativity: Creativity isn’t about any one thing. Creativity is about (pardon the cliche) thinking outside the box. It’s about coming up with new ideas, new ways to do things. Can’t you think of a new way to do something in your life? That’s creativity.
The major part about creativity though, is that it implies action. If you just think about and visualize new ideas, you’re totally using your imagination, but you’re not being creative if you don’t do anything with those thoughts. Action also is neither creative nor uncreative, actions just are. It’s when you bring those imaginative thoughts and ideas to the actions, that you start being creative.
Here’s a really excellent quote:
“Creativity has nothing to do with any activity in particular – with painting, poetry, dancing, singing. It has nothing to do with anything in particular.
“Anything can be creative – you bring that quality to the activity. Activity itself is neither creative nor uncreative. You can paint in an uncreative way. You can sing in an uncreative way. You can clean the floor in a creative way. You can cook in a creative way.
“Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach – how you look at things.”
But what’s really cool about this idea is not just that anyone can be creative, but that any action can be creative too. In fact, a creative person, will bring creativity to everything that they do.
So how do you capture or re-capture that creativity from your youth? Well, let’s take a look at what it really is. We tend to think of a creative idea as something elusive, something that is hard to reach, hard to find. We often spend a lot of time searching for that hidden thing, that creative thing. Actually though, creativity is making connections between things that you already know. As you begin to exercise your creative muscles (so to speak) you’ll probably find yourself making connections in areas of your life that you didn’t even expect to.
You might find that you see the connection between certain ingredients and can now put a meal together without a recipe. You might find the connection between languages and experience the ability to learn faster! There are so many possibilities!
Just acknowledging this idea that creativity is making connections can help you jump into creative mode and get started with the ideas. Don’t forget to act though!
I’ll share some ideas on how to reclaim and exercise your creativity in the coming weeks. In the meantime, strive to notice some new connections in your own life and share them in the comments!
This post was published on Muse of the Morning.com
* Google Search: What is Creativity
* GoodReads collection of Picasso quotes
* Creativity At Work: What is Creativity
* California State University, Northridge: What is Creativity?
* OSHO: What is Creativity?
* ElizabethOnline: Creativity: What is it anyway?