“Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent, with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.”—Henri Matisse
Throughout time, we humans have expressed creativity with a passion. Whether through art, writing, music, or other media, creativity is what drives us to live.
To aspire to new heights.
But what exactly is creativity? How do we define this exotic beast and its role in our lives?
“Creativity is defined as 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.”―Robert E. Franken
Creativity and imagination. These elusive terms are difficult to pin down. Human imagination shows terrific promise. It performs miracles while participating in humanity’s gruesome sins. Human vision has no limits, save the ones we place. With enough ingenuity and patience, the strength of creativity can move mountains. Channeling one’s creativity is paramount as humans. It is our birthright and sets us apart from lower life forms.
Who uses creativity?
Creativity is often affiliated with writers, painters, musicians, and so on. Yet imagination is so much more—even business people can use it. Some say creativity is an extension of free will, akin to our souls playing with our true divine nature, as co-creators of reality.
The Divine Wisdom of Imagination
What is creativity without a guiding hand to steer imagination’s wild nature? There is a certain degree of divine wisdom that handles the process. It’s an unconscious, intuitive ability, one that our rational minds cannot comprehend. One simply picks up a pen or brush and begins painting. At some point, we no longer create art—the art creates us.
All art becomes an inner reflection of our soul.
The Components of Creativity
Here’s a diagram that details the facets of creativity:
- Expertise is the logical, restrictive, and straightforward intellect. A left-brained category.
- Creative-thinking is the right-brained category of imagination, fertility, and freedom.
- Motivation is the commitment factor—the long-term objective; the journey wrought by the mind.
When these three categories mesh together, creativity ignites within us.
The Global Creativity Gap
Here’s another comparative study by Adobe regarding creativity and how people view it:
It is ironic that our world values creativity, yet most don’t live up to their creative potential. We live in a society of mechanized production rather than free imagination.
What will the future hold for humanity if we continue at this pace? Will it change? How?
Here are some pointers on upping your creative game. Forming a routine with these steps—along with commitment—could provide dividends.
1. Do Something You Enjoy
It was Einstein himself who proposed this idea. Performing a task that brings fulfillment can help ease stress, clearing the mind. Whatever it may be, include it in your schedule for that creative boost.
2. Do Nothing
Work and rest go hand-in-hand. Sometimes the greatest ideas come to those who unplug from our busy world.
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”—Alan Cohen
If you’re out of ideas, try relaxing or meditating. Practice mindfulness meditation for the best results. Here’s an older article I wrote on the science behind it. Sometimes when we rest, our minds our fermenting, priming for a creative surge.
Exercise encourages body circulation. Long walks are a great way to feed your brain and stimulate creative juices. This case study alone suggests that walking improves creativity.
4. Embrace the Absurd
Sometimes the craziest ideas have merit. Many writers and artists, like Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, made use of the inane to fuel their creative works. Sometimes, from the depths of absurdity, genius can emerge. It can’t hurt, can it?
5. Another illustrative Diagram
Here’s a chart summarizing ways to maximize your creative potential:
Creativity is an elusive mistress, full of mystery and the arcane. Discovering the foundations of imagination may reveal untold secrets to humankind. In an age rife with conflict and misery, perhaps the solution is surrendering to the creative child within us.
That said, I’ll finish with one last inspiring quote:
“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.”―Pearl S. Buck
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Aspectä rey’lief, fair reader, and thanks for reading!
—Ed R. White