You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’
– George Bernard Shaw
From my primary blog here.
Creativity is a challenging but important topic. What is it? Where does it come from? Regularly, I see people who seem to possess unlimited creative potential as well as those who appear to lack any at all. Surely there must be something to account for the disparity!
The Difference Between the Known and the Barely Possible
I view creativity as the ability to see and understand a thing which does not exist in front of you. This can be every bit as vague as it seems. While it may seem counter-intuitive to some, a scientist in the laboratory on the verge of a breakthrough is every bit as creative as an artist at an easel. Indeed, it’s possible that the man of science may be more creative; he simply paints in a different medium. Regardless, it’s that talent to perceive beyond the immediate, physical present which is so remarkable.
Now, you may think that this is an in-born ability. Perhaps it’s true that some people “have it” and others never will, but I suspect otherwise. I truly believe that creativity is a habit which—like any other—will either be nurtured or left to rot. If you need proof, look no further than your nearest child. Yes, it’s fair to say that some children may be more creatively-inclined than others, but I don’t know of any child who exists without an imagination at all.
Developing Your Inner Creativity
It seems to be a common theme in life that the greatest thing holding back any one of us is our own self. Everyone of us—regardless of our limitations, which we do have—is born with an immense potential. There isn’t a single person alive who cannot have a considerable impact on the people about him. To the point, I believe it can be said that some of the most remarkable and affecting people alive have observable handicaps but have overcome them. I think of Dr. Stephen Hawking as just one example.
As with most goals or endeavors, the secret here is practice and patience. While it may be frustrating, it’s imperative that you allow yourself room to try and fail for a time. If you feel positive that there isn’t a single, creative bone in your body, then you have to expect that this will take time. Nothing good ever comes without hard work, and creativity is no different.
The great news is that every field benefits from more creativity. Whether you’re a journalist, a mathematician, or a construction worker, there’s room in your career for someone who can think outside of the box. Historically, this has always been how the most significant breakthroughs have come about. Look for small opportunities in every day to think beyond what is immediately in front of you. Despite any initial reservations you may have, I believe that you will find benefit for yourself and the people around you.
Thank you for your time.