When you hear the word, “creativity,” what comes to mind? Maybe it’s a painter, a sculptor, or that perfect DIY art project you just saw on Pinterest.
Now, with whatever vision came to you, ask yourself this: do you consider to be a creative person?
Maybe you’re all about artistic expression, and that’s a big YES for you. But then again, perhaps you feel like you couldn’t paint or draw your way out of a paper bag, and that this “creativity” thing just isn’t your jam.
But just because you might not win a blue ribbon for painting or craft the perfect DIY Halloween costume for your kid doesn’t mean you’re not a creative person.
Believe it or not, you’re creative by nature. (This is science, friend.)
There’s a standard idea of what constitutes “creativity.” Most of us think of it as assembling physical things as an artistic expression, and that’s about as far as it goes.
But the truth is that “creativity” is SO much bigger than that.
Let’s say that you want to make a fresh start (as we’ve been talking a lot about recently!) The first step is knowing you want something new. The next is deciding what you want that new thing to BE.
This where my definition of “creativity” comes into play.
You can create any new beginning that you desire. It just requires that you look at the situation with fresh eyes. That’s what I’m here to help you do!
Today I’m sharing what I believe creativity really is, and why it’s so crucial now more than ever to embrace your own creative muse. For yourself, for your family, and even the world.
So let’s start by looking at a few misconceptions that the world seems to have about creativity. And from there, we’ll shift to a new definition that will liberate YOU to become the creative force that you are (whether that includes paintbrushes and art supplies or not).
So what IS “creativity,” according to me?
It’s stepping back and looking at something from a new perspective and using that new information to create a new solution. And then, of course, putting that new idea into action!
So by that definition, we are all creative beings, and there are endless opportunities to really harness those creative juices.
There’s a strong belief that you’re either “creative” or you’re not. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.
In the book “A Whole New Mind” by Daniel Pink, the author discusses the difference between left and right-brained thinkers. At one point in time, the more analytical left-brained thinkers pretty much ruled the world in terms of creativity and industry.
But nowadays, as we all know, a lot of the analytical jobs are either being outsourced to other countries or being replaced by automation. That’s just 21st-century life.
He also goes on to say that creative-based right-brained thinking is what brings our true individuality to the table, the uniqueness and humanness that a computer could never provide.
And that right-brained creative power is what helps people stand up and stand out in today’s world.
The good news is that even you don’t consider yourself to be “right-brained”, you can still benefit from this trend.
In fact, the more you use that creative power, the more creativity you generate. It’s a resource that you can continue to generate all the time if you use it consistently! So it’s never in short supply, nor is it limited to a fortunate few.
One of the things I love the most about what I do is that I get to connect with creative women from all areas of life. And one of those women is Molly Bestge, founder of a business called Cultivate 21. Her company focuses on helping schools incorporate and develop curriculums around what is known as “21st Century Learning.”
21st Century Learning is a concept that incorporates the four C’s: collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and, of course, creativity.
These four pillars are designed to help kids realize that it’s not just about passing and failing classes. It’s not just about learning math, history, or science. It’s about moving through the world in a way that you can adapt, be flexible, and solve real-time problems with real-world solutions.
It’s a pretty forward-thinking way of approaching education, isn’t it? Definitely not what I personally experienced in school.
I’m a product of the traditional school environment, and I bet you are to a certain degree, too. We had standardized tests. Our competence was measured by grades and test scores above all else.
Now, technically, I was a “good” student. I strove for excellence, and to me, “excellence” meant all A’s, ALL the time.
But I can honestly and unequivocally say that I didn’t learn anything in school about GRIT.
Back in school, I set the bar pretty damn high. I went into every situation thinking that I had to nail it the first time and get an A, or the whole thing was a failure.
Well, I’ve been in business for myself for five years. And let me tell you, there is a whole lot of stuff that I didn’t even come close to nailing on the first try! We’re talking colossal failures that I never saw coming.
School didn’t teach me that to get through real situations, you have to try a lot of things. And you also have to be prepared to fail at those things.
Business taught me how to handle epic failures that my formal schooling didn’t even address.
Most of us never learned how to embrace failure, work through problems, come up with innovative solutions. And guess what allows you to do all three of those things?
Ding, ding! Creativity!
And incorporating creativity into the equation is one thing that sets 21st Century Learning apart from “old school” educational ideas.
We can all take a page from the 21st Century Learning playbook by embracing creativity. It can help you find the grit and perseverance to consider situations from another angle. It gives you the courage to try new approaches, and learn from failures as much as from successes.
Creativity allows you to brainstorm new ideas, expand your horizons, and stay open to endless possibilities. And of course, take big action to create big magic!
The truth is that creativity matters now more than ever, and not just in our personal lives. I believe that we’re living in a time where we’ve lost the ability to hear perspectives that differ from our own. And this isn’t exactly working wonders for the morale of the planet.
You see, when you’re so dead-set on your point of view, you hamper your ability to think creatively. And hence find new and innovative solutions to big-time problems.
Now, don’t get me wrong–it’s essential to have your own values and a strong moral compass. I’m not saying that you have to sway to the wind of public opinion and stop having a mind of your own.
But what I do advocate is respecting and appreciating other people. I’m talking about keeping your ears, and your heart open to the ideas that other people bring to the table, even if they differ vastly from yours.
The more we dig in with our views, the less innovative our solutions become. Our answers become mediocre and ineffective because our minds and hearts aren’t open to other ways.
Not only to new ideas that could revolutionize our own lives, but new ideas that just might change the world.
So creativity isn’t just being able to paint. It’s not only about creating DIY projects for your Pinterest board. Creativity is opening your mind and heart to new possibilities, and taking action to bring new ideas into the world.
What is an area of your life where you might be digging in a little bit too deeply, and how can you open your mind to a new solution?
I invite you to open your mind, change your perspective, and let go just enough to allow new ideas or other opinions into your world. Look for ways to let that creative energy flow into your space, and see where it takes you!
Allow that creative juice to flow, whether you think you possess it or not. You DO. And using it will help you create new things for yourself, for your family, and eventually, for the world.
If you’re willing to take on this challenge, share it with us in the Groove Seekers Community! It’s the perfect place to connect with new people, share new perspectives, and get that creative energy flowing again! Join us!