Creativity. You’re either born with it or your not. You either have the creative gene, or you don’t. And if you don’t have a creative bone in your body, there’s no way you’re ever going to find it.
As children, we’re all born into a creative world. Our imaginations ran wild. One day we were astronauts shooting into outer space. The next day we were artists painting a masterpiece on the sidewalks outside our homes.
A child’s creative juices flow naturally. As a child, you didn’t think about it; you just did it. You paint because you have paints and brushes in front of you. You tell stories because the characters build in your mind. You dance and sing with incredible expression because it flows easily from within.
The problem arises as we grow. At some point, we lose our ability to “create” freely and organically. People around us begin questioning our abilities, so we do too. After all, if a friend or a teacher says we can’t paint/sing/write/draw, who are we to argue?
Add in our humanness. Humans like familiar. We like the path of least resistance.
So if something’s worked well for us in the past, why fight it? Just let it keep working, over and over again. Even if it isn’t really working for us anymore.
When we were children, all of our ideas were fresh and new. Then we aged. Every year, we added more baggage to our psyche. So instead of facing each new day with curiosity and freshness, we started it with our baggage wide open in our minds, ready to “help” us form opinions before we even faced a moment of the day. So we say to ourselves things like:
Why try that when you know how it will PROBABLY turn out?
We assign ourselves the non-creative label. And we begin the pursuit of avoiding anything that might make us look foolish to those around us.
But that doesn’t change the fact that you long to jump in and let your creative juices flow, does it?
- You want to write.
- You want to draw.
- You want to design.
- You want to create.
So why don’t we?
Creativity isn’t something you lose. It isn’t a skill that falls away once you turn a magical age. Creativity isn’t something within you. It’s not yours to lose.
Instead, it’s between us. It’s collaborative by nature.
We have the ability to be creative because of all that is around us. We cross-pollinate ideas because we learn, read, see, discover, and absorb what others do. By using that energy from others, we find a way back to our own creativity. It inspires us to be who we are meant to be.
Creativity can be taught. Creativity can be learned. It starts by not being afraid to release what you are meant to do; who you are way deep down inside.
If you have the desire to do something, do it. There’s a fan base for everyone. Someone will “get” how you think. Someone will “understand” what you do. You don’t have to find the “right” way to do it; just do it your way.
Here’s my challenge to you this week:
1. Start small by asking questions. What can I do differently today? What book can I read? What TED talk can I watch? What speaker can I go and see? What project can I start to follow? They all lead to new ideas, which ultimately spawn your creativity.
2. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. We may have an overwhelming amount of sameness in our lives, but it’s the a-ha’s that give our lives meaning. Run with your a-ha moments. Listen to them. Feed them. Use them to move forward one day at a time.
It’s time for a little reinvention!