“Creative thinking inspires ideas. Ideas inspire change.” – Barbara Januszkiewicz I grew up like every other teenager of the 80’s and 90’s – watching MTV. I was obsessed with Madonna, moshed my teen spirit with Nirvana, then entered …
Human creativity is both a gift, and a mystery. And, although we all have the potential to create art and beauty; many of us are either unaware of our ability, or unsure on how to unlock this gift. …
In the earliest days of our childhood we spent a good amount of time doing creative things. We were continually building and creating things like lego castles, forts made of household items, and works of art. Somewhere along the way the importance of this takes a backseat and it’s written off as “that’s a good hobby, but not something you do to make a living.”
Before long we stop creating and turn into sponges that absorb information that is rarely put to use. We go through the motions, doing what we’re told, and are left scratching our heads as to why we’re so bored with everything in your lives. We don’t realize that our creative capacity is fundamentally important to doing something the matters in the world.
“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve been reading way too many child-rearing books recently. It’s comes with the territory of being a new mom and wanting to give your child every advantage in life. With all the advice I’ve read, one that strikes me as particularly solid is to foster your child’s creativity and problem-solving skills through free play. No one tells you what to do. You simply use your imagination and the environment around you as inspiration. There are no ribbons to be earned, no goal set at the end of the day. Just have fun.
I thrived on free play during my own childhood. I grew up in a rural area with a large back yard, plenty of toys, and enough siblings to start a basketball team. I spent time outside – pretending to run a restaurant, re-enacting my favorite cartoon scenes, and mucking around in the dirt. I spent time inside – constructing elaborate societies with colorful ponies, tracing the same pictures over and over onto lined paper, and trying to beat the high scores off pointless video games. The memories blur together into one happy kaleidoscope.
I do a lot of writing about home improvement and environmental issues and one of the most important topics I find everyone can relate to is clutter.
Clutter can be a heavy burden that confines and suffocates. Like the interesting phenomenon of a pet taking on characteristics of its owner when they’re out for a walk, we often take on elements of the mess around us without even knowing it.
Show me a kid who doesn’t love creativity. Show me a kid who doesn’t enjoy making some type of art — painting, singing, writing stories, dancing, playing music or making things with clay.
You won’t find one.
Until life beats it out of us, we naturally find joy in creativity. Then life (a.k.a. confused grown-ups) tell us we are or aren’t good enough.
You hear that your picture of a cat doesn’t look like a cat. You notice the teacher got excited about Johnny’s singing voice but didn’t seem as thrilled about yours.
“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” – Sven Goran Eriksson
When you are happy you are confident, and you make choices that give you a better chance at success. When you procrastinate and resist change, that’s fear taking over.
It’s difficult to pull up that creativity anchor and let the “happy you” set sail.
Your fears are just trying to protect you from emotional pain. It’s self-preservation.
Wherever we live in the world, we’re used to the pattern of the seasons. We know that some months are good for planting new seeds, others are good for picnics in the park, others involve warm soups and thick blankets. The rhythm of each year is the same, but the seasons turn from hot to cold, from wet to dry. We wouldn’t blame the weather for being unsuitable for harvesting when it’s time to sow, or for being no good for wearing our favorite shorts when kids are out building snowmen.
Our creative abilities follow seasons too – but we’re often unable or reluctant to recognize these. How often have you blamed yourself for not being creative or productive at a particular time? How often have you tried to rush on with something, only to quickly stall?
Creativity can save the world. Creativity can save your life. Yes it’s that powerful. It can make you a millionaire; enchant the lover of your dreams; take you around the world; or fill your days with joy and wonder. Creativity is one of the most in-demand skills required for the jobs of tomorrow. And yet we get almost no creativity training in school. It’s expected that you either have it, or you don’t. Read on to find a simple method to begin unleashing your own creative brilliance.
The Incredible Power of Creativity
First, let’s take a moment to look at the value of creativity. I consider creativity one of the biggest keys to living an extraordinary life. Creativity is essentially the ability to think about things in a new way – to take the available resources and find new ways to use them. It can be used in a variety of artistic ways to create profound new experiences for you and your audience. And it can also be used to solve difficult problems – like how to design an amazing new product, how to get out of debt, how to cure malaria or how to arrange the most memorable, romantic date ever. Whenever you have a goal, creativity can help you figure out how to get from here to there faster, cheaper and easier.