©2020 Erin Newton, www.thewellnessgarden.ca, All rights reserved
Creativity is not an inherited gene like blue eyes or wavy hair. When people say they aren’t creative, it just isn’t true. We are all born with the capacity for original thought, fantasy, creation and exploration. It is only as we get older that we are conditioned to stifle it. There is creativity swirling inside everyone, but I would argue that it is less of an attribute and more of a skill that requires developing.
And, as with all skills, creativity needs commitment, inspiration and courage in order to bloom.
When we are children, our creativity is nurtured and developed through books, colours, music, sights, sounds, experiences, relationships and play. Lots and lots of play. Sadly, the impulse for unfiltered play gets driven from us earlier and earlier in our lives. Instead, our instincts for creation and imagination are being replaced with the drone-like consumption of screen time and task completion.
I know what you’re thinking. Yeah, yeah, we use too much technology. Yada, yada, yada. The issue has certainly been discussed ad nauseam. Stick with me though, because that’s not my main point.
My point is that even though it may be half-dead deep inside you—trapped by to-do lists and daily monotony--your creativity is still there. It’s not dead, just dormant, and with practice and care, it can flourish again. You see, creativity only dies if you let it and we only let it because we are unaware of its value.
Creativity is essential to human progress. Without it, there would be no problem solving, no invention and no collaborative creation. Without creativity, there would be no scientific discovery, no medical advancements or philosophical inquiry. You see, creativity is not only important, it’s vital! So now that we understand its importance, let’s develop our creativity by following these four simple steps:
Creativity requires commitment. If you aren't committed to regular exploration, then you don’t want to be creative badly enough. Artists and poets don’t create masterpieces by waving a magic wand. They work at it daily. If you want to be creative, you need to set aside time each day to develop the skill. If you want to write: write. If you want to draw: draw. If you want to dance: dance. It’s not important whether the outcomes are good or not. In fact, don’t be so focused on the outcome. The process of creation is more important than the product itself. Just spend time exploring the skill.
Creativity requires inspiration. Fill your head full of thoughts. Your thoughts, other people’s thoughts. Thoughts about thoughts. So many thoughts! Never stop thinking! Listen to music, read books, listen to podcasts, watch films, look at art. Surround yourself with other creative thinkers and allow them to inspire you!
Lastly, creativity requires courage. You can’t be afraid to suck. In fact, you need to suck. Then you learn something. Then you try again. Then you suck less. Then you learn more. You get the idea; it’s a process of vulnerability, so let go of the ego now and focus on what you can learn. If you are too afraid to fail, you will never create a damn thing.
The world needs creative thinkers. The world needs people who can imagine the world not as it is, but how it could be. Be committed. Develop your craft. Fuel your inspiration. Be courageous. Creativity only dies if you let it. Don’t let it.