Creativity is the ability to take raw materials and use our vision to create something more. It is the ability to see the potential in any given thing and apply purposeful action to create a new thing. That new thing can be an object, a new concept, a solution.
vision + purposeful action to make = creativity
People generally limit their concept of creativity to ‘the arts’, however creativity is actually required for success in any area. Even in mathematics we can use creativity to take basic arithmetic (raw material) to create solutions for various problems. This requires first having a vision for how arithmetic can be used to solve the problem, and then purposefully working to create that solution. Creativity can, in fact, be applied to any area of life.
Creation is a separate concept from manufacturing. Manufacturing is the purposeful action to make something new, without the vision. If you’re doing a paint-by-numbers, this is not truly an act of creation as much as it is the manufacturing of a painting. There was a vision involved, but it was someone else’s (the artist who created the original design). At best you could consider it a collaborative effort.
Similarly, vision without the action is basically just daydreaming. In order to be fully creative, we need to be producing a result; creating.
Everything we have in this society is the result of someone’s creativity. All of our technology, our art, our infrastructure, our transportation, solutions to our problems were developed from someone’s application of intentional action to their good idea.
Creativity creates solutions and drives success.
The good news is, everyone has the potential to be a highly creative being. It’s in our very nature to have a desire and need to be creative. My beliefs instruct me that this is because we were made in the image of our Creator, the one who formed the earth and everything in it from nothing. You may have different beliefs, but one thing is for certain; we are beings driven to create.
Why then do so many of us believe we are ‘just not creative’?
The first reason is the one I’ve discussed above. We have a skewed idea of what creativity means. We’ve limited our understanding of creativity so that someone who crochets nice afghans is ‘very creative’ while someone who creates philosophies or builds cars or does experiments in a lab is not. We’ve put creativity in a box and done ourselves a disservice.
The second reason we believe we’re not creative is the more difficult of the two to amend; we have a skewed idea of who we are. For whatever reason, if you see yourself as a person who is ‘not very creative’, you have limited your concept of yourself.
Perhaps this is fear-based; it requires vulnerability to allow people to see our creations, as they reflect something of what’s going on inside our heads. The inner workings of our minds can become a protected space, especially for those of us who have experienced some type of emotional trauma and turned inwards to try and protect ourselves from further harm. If this is the case for you, it’s important for you to realise that creativity can be very healing, even if you don’t share your work with anyone else. Start breaking out of your creativity drought gently, in the simplest way possible, and really pay attention to how it makes you feel. Use this as a starting point in exploring your creative mind.
Another reason you’ve disconnected yourself from your creativity may be that you’re simply overwhelmed by process. You get lost in the action phase. This generally comes down to a basic lack of understanding of how to get from vision to creation. If you doubt your ability to reach your goal, you begin to fear failure and this fear can stop you in your tracks before you even get to the starting point. For this type of problem I can’t overstate the value of breaking things down into steps. If you can take one step, even a small one, in the right direction, you’re moving. Oftentimes small steps are infinitely easier to digest than larger ones.
Which one of these goals makes you feel most comfortable? Which makes you least comfortable?
goal: create a doll from polymer clay
goal: create a head for a doll out of polymer clay
goal: create an eyeball for a doll out of polymer clay
goal: create an iris for an eyeball out of paper and coloured pencil
The fourth goal is just one tiny step in the creation of an eyeball for a doll, which is a step in the creation of a head for a doll, which is a step in the creation of a doll. Many of us would be completely overwhelmed by the thought of taking formless polymer clay and creating an entire doll out of it (especially when we begin to understand how much work is involved). However, most of us would be able to take a piece of paper, draw a simple iris with coloured pencil, and cut it out. In the end, it’s part of the process that leads to making a doll, and yet taking this one simple step seems much more achievable and is much less overwhelming to think about than the whole. Break things down into tiny steps, and then purposefully work your way through each. This will get you where you want to go.
Maybe you have written creativity out of your life script because of basic laziness. You may be someone who dreams all day long of the things you could do, but you don’t yet have an appreciation for work and lack the drive to take action. I have a message for you: if you want to succeed in this life, you are going to have to gain an appreciation for work. You are going to need to acquire a taste for the satisfaction that comes from hard work done well.
If you are someone who uses the sentence ‘I’m just not creative’ as an excuse to do nothing, yet you want to be a successful person, your current goals are not aligned with each other. Doing nothing does not lead to you becoming a successful person. You will not succeed until your actions in life reflect your true values and I highly doubt that your true values include being lazy. It’s time for some soul searching for you.
The purpose of this website is to help you work through whatever roadblocks are keeping you from the path to your life goals. If you like what I’ve had to say so far, please subscribe below. I will be consistently adding new posts to cover as many of these issues as I can. You’re also welcome to comment or send me a message if you have any questions, particular concerns or problems that you’d like my insight on.