How Creative are You?

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How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body?”

Have you ever said that about yourself? When you think of creative people, what sort of person comes to your mind? Most people relate creativity to artists, designers, filmmakers and the like.

We are all creative though. Our problem is, we don’t recognize our own creativity because we haven’t defined it well enough.

Let go of old definitions

When we come into this world, most of us are given a heavy book of definitions and laws that tell us what to look forward to, and how to interact with our life. It was composed ages ago, and each generation passes it on to the next, adding and subtracting a little here and there. It forges our concepts of reality.

But it is horribly incomplete. Creativity is not clearly defined to us as we grow up, while by contrast logic, reason, and fear, are tattooed on our hearts.

If you want to live more creatively, reject the old definitions. Recognize and exercise your own brand of artistry, and you will create a more successful and beautiful world for yourself. Your drawing or decorating abilities pale in comparison to the power of your…

Everyday creativity

Artistry is a daily, albeit unconscious, activity for most people. Take the corporate environment for example.

Let’s compare two professionals in a computer gaming company. One is a graphic artist working on the visuals for a game design. The other is a technician who services the computer equipment used by people like the graphic artist. Now, everyone knows that the graphic artist is creative. His job title spells it out. But what about the technician? Most people would say his job is, well, technical — definitely not creative. But is that true?

Creativity is, “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, and relationships, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, and interpretations.”

According to that, our technician is just as creative as the graphic artist is. He absolutely is, if he employs that brand of creative thought and action to solve problems, and create new ideas to enhance the functioning of the equipment.

Wouldn’t that mean then, that anyone who thinks and acts in that way is a creative person?

It’s not always about aesthetics or poetry, painting or sculpture. The real creativity that builds this world is our everyday creativity. You could be a professional visual artist, but garden-variety creativity bears the best fruit.

How you solve the small and large problems of your life count most. When you help your friends and co-workers realize and harness strengths they don’t know they have, you weave creative magic. When you say “what if…?” to a problem, you are creative. When you find the courage to rock the boat, you are on par with the artist that attacks the canvas not knowing where the next stroke will be placed.

Creativity arises from courage and enthusiasm in the face of the unknown.

Five easy ways to stimulate creative thinking

  1. Learn to recognize whenever you use creative thinking, or take creative actions. Recognition = empowerment.
  2. Take yourself off autopilot and ask “what if…?” at least three times per day.
  3. “In the groove” soon becomes a rut. Get out of it by doing things differently. Wear a color you normally wouldn’t; do something daily that people wouldn’t expect of you; take a new route to work. Essentially, keep people (including you) guessing. Don’t let anyone box you in with rigid opinions of who you are.
  4. Work daily to acknowledge and support the creative thought and actions of family, friends, and co-workers. As you spread recognition and appreciation to others, your own creative juices will flood the banks of your mind.
  5. At the end of each week, take stock of your creative accomplishments, and congratulate yourself, then go do something that brings smiles and enthusiasm into your day.

And remember to never, ever, discount yourself, nor compare yourself to others. You hold a creative spark that will light up your life if you will let it. It asks only for your recognition and enthusiasm.

How would your life change if you were suddenly more creative?