Do you often wonder why you were not born with a paintbrush in your hand?
Do you envy those who can create art after art after art?
Do you imagine yourself launching your solo art exhibit or taking part in an art show alongside acclaimed artists?
Do you wish you were creative yourself?
Paintbrush. Art. Shows. They are tools of artistry that paint limiting images of creativity.
What really is creativity?
How is it to be creative?
Can you be one?
According to Robert E. Franken, author of Human Motivation (1994), creativity is
“the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.
He cited three reasons why people need to express creativity:
- To solve problems;
- To communicate ideas and values with others;
- To achieve novel, varied, and complex stimulation.
Many myths or misconceptions surround creativity. Martin Zwilling, Founder and CEO of Startup Professionals, discusses this in detail in his article “10 Myths about Creativity You Need to Stop Believing Now” at Entrepreneur.
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” ~Rumi, The Essential Rumi
These ways of thinking need to get busted, and what better way than changing your mindset.
Here are interesting ideas about creativity to address these myths and misconceptions:
1. Creative expression varies from person to person
Creativity is not only about arts, crafts or hobbies. It permeates all areas of your life – how you think, manage situations, create solutions to problems, and deal with life in general. You can be creative without necessarily creating with your hands.
Here are a few ways to express creativity differently:
- Whip up new recipes by imagining what ingredients work together and picturing out how to cook them;
- Do a makeover or transformation of your jeans by hand-painting, cutting the legs to turn to shorts, creating a hobo bag instead of dumping it to the rubbish bin or donation box;
- Sew a hole in your favorite dress or shirt and put a patch or flower fabric with a button on top of it;
- Concoct a perfumed deodorant from natural and readily-available ingredients in your kitchen.
For finished colored pages, read here about creative ways to enjoy them more.
2. Creativity is “out of the box” thinking
Creativity is a way of looking at a situation from a new angle, vantage point, thinking process, or perspective, to reach a solution. It is thinking, doing, and feeling differently as others do. It means veering from the usual, traditional or commonplace.
3. Creativity is inherent in everyone
When you were born, you didn’t start out with words. You worked with images and your creative imagination to make sense of the world. Creativity is in you. It may lie dormant but it’s there.
4. Creativity is a problem-solving tool
Creativity is a tool to deal with situations, problematic or not.
You may think up of solutions creatively by asking:
- How come?
- What if?
- What about?
- Why not?
5. Creativity can be learned
I didn’t know much about creating coloring designs in 2014 but I vowed to learn the creative and technical aspects of doing it.
You, too, can learn to be creative… or learn the tools to pursue your creativity. Have confidence that you can do it.
6. Creativity is never lost
You think you lack creativity when you became a lawyer, doctor, accountant, investigator, police, or politician. These are professions that demand logic and objectivity.
However, just because you are in a strongly left-brain run environment doesn’t mean you can’t be right-brained, which is the realm of the creative brain. You can be both. That’s how brilliant doctors who try novel ways of treatment are able to perform surgery much faster as usual, or they are able to discover breakthrough healing modalities.
Also, just because you think you have not been doing creative stuff since a child of six means that you’ve lost your creativity. Your creativity stays with you and is never lost. Try using your non-dominant hand to doodle or write anything. Try the opposite of what you’re used to doing. Soon, you’ll have it back.
7. Creativity is a choice
Decide to spend an hour a day to perfect that stroke is a choice. Practice writing fiction every day. Keep a daily doodling habit. These are creative expressions and doing them is a choice.
8. Creativity is vital to life
Picture a boiling kettle with a closed lid that has no outlet. When it can no longer take the pressure from heat, what happens? It would explode.
It’s pretty much like blocked creativity. If you don’t let it go, soon you become irritable, lethargic, lifeless, stiff, bored, tired, and sick.
If you keep holding back your creativity for whatever reason, you must stop now. Sing, dance, write poems, doodle, do lettering or calligraphy, or think up a new recipe. Liberate your creative sparks. Doing so would keep you well and alive for a long time.
Tips to Relax Rigid Mindsets on Creativity
Here are tips to boost your creativity:
- Be like a child. Creativity is a child’s domain and an easy way to get there is through play.
- Embrace your creativity. Denying it blocks your creative juices.
- Play with ideas. Brainstorm. Ignore the notion of right or wrong. There should be none. Even the ridiculous are welcome. You never know just what you end up with.
- Make room for new ways of thinking and doing. Think outside the box. Cultivate new values. Develop new mindsets. Create new habits. Pursue new ways.
- Go beyond your comfort zone. Enjoy your discomforts. Try new, different, untried and unconventional thoughts, ways or solutions.
- Pursue creative activities that you enjoy. Then, pursue them.
Talk is cheap. Action speaks louder than words.
What are you waiting for?
Go, be creative!