You are creative. You are. Repeat after me, you are creative. If you think you are not, you are incorrect. If you think that you have to be some kind of an artist in order to be “a creative,” you are incorrect. If you think creativity has passed you by, you are incorrect. You ARE creative. You are.
Now say it out loud, “I am creative.” And again. Acceptance is important. You might think you aren’t and that is fine, normal even, but it just isn’t true. Sure you could be more creative but that is a different point. First you have to recognize how creative you already are and then work build from there. You are at your creative baseline as you read this but this is merely a starting point.
From the outset, you also have to recognize the importance of creativity and then you have to try. It is a fallacy that creativity can’t be taught so open yourself up to the being a student. Life is an endless adventure where things happen to and around you constantly and, like any good pupil, filling your mind with these experiences and observations will help you become more creative.
But taking life in more intentionally isn’t enough. You have to be able to utilize it or risk losing it all. It is important to channel life to spark your personal creativity. but if you can make a mind map. No really any, it is easy. Sure mind maps can look like this…
but they can also look like this…
….and anyone can do this. But mind maps are not for everyone. Sure they could help you organize your thoughts and give you direction but that alone won’t make you a creative. The key though is not that you mind map but that you find a way to harness your creativity and it starts with a tool that works for you.
For example you can employ the CPS technique, follow one of many critical thinking strategies, follow the Artist’s Way or you can simply put yourself in situations where you can think. This last one might not sound like some deep solution but it absolutely is. Thinking is the key to the castle, the cat’s pajamas and the brain, heart and courage all rolled into one.
Think about it (pun intended), when is the last time you were alone with your thoughts. Running through a mental to-do list does not count. Neither does not watching tv alone or playing Angry birds while on the toilet. Time alone means when you allow your thoughts to wander. It is in these precious, fleeting moments that you are at your most creative. The ideas that bounce around your squishy brain could be life saving or could simply be a great new mix for a cocktail but you’ll never know it unless you allow yourself time to think.
The challenge is to find this time in the business that is life in 2013. It is damn hard to be alone with yourself when you have the demands of work, an addiction to Facebook and a fascination with your iPad. Reading can be a gateway to thought, as can movies or music, but only if you have the ability to get lost in them. Give yourself the gift of aimless, seemingly pointless thought is the best gift you can give yourself and it will help you be more creative and free.
But that isn’t it. Once free, it is vital that you write down these wonderfully creative ideas you think up. If not, you risk losing all the potential that idea had or could have had. Writing it down allows you to come back to it later and actually give yourself an opportunity to act. It sounds oh so simple but it isn’t. Being prepared at all times to jot down a quick thought, especially in those rare alone moments, is challenging. Getting used to having, and using, some sort of “idea pad”is an absolute must. A must must MUST!
So that’s it. Embrace the life you lead as you observe and participate in as much of life as you can, give yourself time alone to reflect on everything and make sure to write your ideas down. The more you get out there, be it through different experiences, meaningful conversations or books, the more ideas you’ll have and you might be surprised at the idea factory that is churning away within you. And remember, you are already creative so free yourself and allow yourself to be the creative powerhouse you always were!