When Your Creativity Shines You Really Thrive!
When it comes to creativity, how creative would you say you are? Seriously lacking the creativity gene so a “1”? Or creativity oozes out of you so a “10”?
We tend to think about creativity in terms of you either have it or you don’t. The truth is that we are ALL creative – yes – even you! It just shows up in different ways!
God is the most creative being I know! Have you noticed the incredible assortment of animals or the wide range of plants that grace our world? The natural beauty that exists in the dessert, mountains, rain forest, and the snow capped poles? Or the wild and crazy solutions He used to solve challenging situations from a wee stone to parting seas? The mere fact that every single human being from Adam on has been a unique creation – that’s creativity!
Because you were made in His image, you are creative too! Don’t believe me? Check out Genesis 1:27:
So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.
When observing young children, it’s easy to see creativity – it’s uninhibited and naturally leaks out of them in their play, their drawings, their movement, their solutions to problems, and much more! Seeing that creativity in action is just one of the many perks to being Grammy!
Yet there are startling statistics that show how over time creativity is stifled. According to researcher Robert McGarvey, in kindergarten, 84% of the children rate high in creativity. By the time children reach second grade, only 10% of children rate high in creativity. Wow!
In another study by Sir Ken Robinson, who was the chair of the UK Government’s report on creativity, education, and the economy, reported that 98% of the 1600 three to five-year-old children they tested showed that they could think in divergent or non-linear ways; in other words, creatively.
By the time children were 10 only 32% could think divergently. The same test was applied to thirteen to fifteen-year-olds and only 10% could think divergently. Of the 200,000 25-year-olds they tested only 2% could think divergently. Yikes!
The conclusion…Education is driven by the idea of one right answer, which serious impacts divergent or creative thinking. (Sir Ken Robinson has quite a sense of humor – be sure to check out his TED talk here)
What is creativity?
Dictionary.com describes it as…
The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination: the need for creativity in modern industry; creativity in the performing arts.
Creativity involves two processes:
- Thinking, which leads to producing.
- Action – ideas alone take imagination, but creativity requires action; implementation.
Your Soul Longs To Be Creative!
Have you noticed the creative activities that have sprung up in recent years? People are hungry for a creative adventure! Here are a few examples:
- Adult coloring books
- “Sip & paint” type places – they just keep popping up!
- “Real life escape adventures” – if one hasn’t arrived on the scene in your town, don’t worry, it’s on its way! It’s a great way to apply creative problem solving.
- Games – there are oodles of games on the market – more than ever before! Games like Qwirkle, Things, or Telestrations that tap into your creativity and that allow you to play, and giggle too!
- Online painting classes – I’ve taken a few and they were tons of fun!
- The flip frenzy – turning an out-of-date home into a desirable home requires creativity
That’s just the beginning. I’m sure many more examples are coming to mind! The beauty of these creative activities is that they force you to think in new ways and many of them also provide a way to bond relationally; two things your soul desires!
In my opinion, the current education process significantly contributes to the lack of creativity in adults, but it’s not the only factor. Consider these factors that might be blocking your creativity:
1. Being Too Busy
Creativity needs time and space. Without margin, down time, and designated time for creative pursuits in your schedule, your creativity will lie dormant.
2. Fearing Failure
Being creative requires that you explore and experiment. When you are trying something new, it doesn’t always turn out successfully – especially not the first time! If you fear failure, your creativity will be silenced. However, if you view failure as a learning experience you are freed up to get creative!
3. Believing A Lie
I alluded to the lie earlier – that some adults are creative and some are not. The truth is some people are more creative than others, but that we ALL have the ability to be creative. Like any other muscle, if it’s not used it will atrophy. If you want to be more creative, you have to use that muscle more! Don’t believe the lie that you are not creative!
4. Lacking the Right Environment
For creativity to flourish, you need a positive atmosphere! One that is brimming with encouragement, safety, and the freedom to make mistakes.
It’s also important to have a physical space that’s inspiring and fosters creativity for you. We are all different. What fosters creativity for me might not foster it for you. I’m most creative in an uncluttered space surrounded by objects that bring me joy. Most of the time I prefer silence, but sometimes I enjoy old school jazz or worship music playing in the background. And if I’m needing to do some creative problem solving, there’s nothing better than a walk out in the great outdoors!
What kind of environment are you most creative in?
Leaders & Creativity
What difference does creativity make in a leader? It makes all the difference!
Leaders that know how to harness their creativity and solve problems in bold new ways stand out and get noticed. It doesn’t matter if you are a parent, professional, business owner, or leading a Fortune 500 company, if you have the ability to be creative and know how to nurture that in yourself and those you lead, you’ll be head and shoulders above the rest!
My guess: you want to be a leader that stands out!
Something to Ponder
So, let me ask you this: Where in your life or work are you not getting the results you desire? An ever-changing world demands new solutions – new creative solutions! Is your creativity muscle up to the task?
Where have you been doing the same old thing, and if you are honest, your effectiveness has dwindled? Because life is always changing, what worked yesterday might not work today. That’s why taking the time to reflect and evaluate is so necessary. It brings to the surface some amazing opportunities for you to get abundantly creative!
It’s time to mix it up; bring the usual to a halt and imagine afresh! How would infusing more creativity into all aspects of your life and work benefit you?
What do you need to let go of in order to free up space in your schedule for some of those creative pursuits described above? You might be surprised at how those seemingly just for fun activities enable you to be brilliantly creative at work!
How will you switch things up; deviate from the norm as you seek to get better results? Again, the world is constantly changing. Are you changing in ways to keep up?
What shift in perspective do you need to tackle the challenges you currently face? One of the may bonuses to working with a coach is being challenged to consider your life, work, and challenges from new perspectives.
With creativity you SHINE and THRIVE!