"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun."
Mary Lou Cook
Mary Lou Cook
Do you believe you are not creative? Well, join the crowd. Most people believe they are not creative because they can’t draw anything more advanced than a stick man. The truth is that every child is born with the ability to be creative. The average child thinks of 60 alternatives for any given situation. The average adult thinks of 6. It’s a sad fact that we unlearn our creativity as we grow older. We learn more inhibitions. We ask fewer questions. We work more and explore less. We stop seeing shapes in clouds.
So, what is creativity? According to Webster’s Dictionary, it is the ability to create something new through one’s imagination. That means the result of creativity does not have to be a beautiful melody or painting. It can be a new way of ironing the shirts or mowing the lawn! Psychological studies have shown that intelligence and creativity are not necessarily related. A highly intelligent person may therefore not be very creative. Now for the million dollar question: How can I recapture my unlearned creativity?
Here are some suggestions:
Expose yourself to beautiful music. It has been shown that the music of Mozart and Bach increase creative power through changing the brain waves of listeners. Music also harmonises the interaction between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, thereby allowing for creativity to flourish!
Expose yourself to visual and performing art. Allow your imagination to stretch beyond its usual horizon. Develop your eye for colour, proportion and balance in art. Delight in the creativity of opera or theatre.
Expose yourself to different cultures. If you do not have the money to travel to far-away places, experiment with cooking dishes from other cultures. Have a Japanese evening with your friends where each friend brings a dish from Japan. To increase the creative experience, dress up in clothes from the Japan. Create a kimono from your bathrobe. Learn a few Japanese words. Try out the sake and sushi!
Get in touch with your inner child again. Look at issues in life and ask: “How would I look at this situation if I was six years old?” Observe children in a park and see how they play with wild abandon! Invite some spontaneity back into your life by playing uninhibited games. Have a shaving cream fight with your significant other or flatmate! How about blowing bubbles from your balcony? Indulge in some messy finger painting. Shake your booty, dancing wildly to some 80s music. Skip to the kitchen. Laugh from your stomach! Just have fun without being inhibited about what other people might think of you.
Explore your dreams. Imagine. If you had no restrictions, what would you be doing now? Diving off a yacht in Greece ala Shirley Valentine? Pursuing your dream job? Learning a new skill or craft? Leave the dirty dishes in the sink overnight?
Give yourself permission to act and think creatively and see where it takes you. After all, much of our modern world is the result of the creativity of people: Thomas Alfa Edison imagined electric light bulbs and Henry Ford created motor vehicles. Steve Jobs imagined all the i-products. Imagine what your creativity can produce in your life.