There are many conversations taking place right now about creativity -- how our future depends on it, how our kids are losing it, how most schools are killing it, and how parents ought to be nurturing and encouraging it.
A creative life can inspire and motivate us to do more of what we love. It’s easy to get caught up in the hamster wheel of life and shut off our creativity, hobby and vocation. Settling for second best and putting ourselves last can lead to negative feelings and resentment towards what is happening and manifesting on a daily basis. Finding what ignites us and provides our imagination with the ability to flourish, can very positively impact our state and quality of life.
The link between creativity and better mental and physical health is well established by research. Creating helps make people happier, less anxious, more resilient and better equipped to problem-solve in the face of hardship. Not only that, but creative works allow us to express our emotions in a positive way, and further, if shared with others we can foster deeper connection. Confucius once said that if you choose a job you love, you will never work a day in your life. Confucius must have known then what science now confirms: Passion protects us physiologically, allowing us to work longer and harder than we would be able to toiling away at a job we hate.
Creativity is derived, at it’s core, from a childlike playfulness and curiosity. While young, we want to know how everything works, why it’s here (the dreaded and eternal ‘but why?’), and then turn that musty old cardboard box into a 5-story princess castle. As we get older we slip into habits and learn to ‘accept the way things are.’ While this is a safe road, we do not get to experience our full selves here and showcase our uniqueness in all that we do.
We’ve come to think of creativity as something reserved merely for artists, musicians, writers, and you either have it or you don’t. To me, creativity is synonymous with innovation. It’s going beyond the routine and conventional, and it gives you the same kind of pleasure that is associated with the creation of works by artists, musicians, writers. Creativity and innovation is what furthers our society; it’s our own magic universe juice. Creativity, therefore, can- and should- be found everywhere, and in every occupation; It just requires you to gain different perspectives, ask better questions such as: ‘Could this be improved?’ ‘Why do we do x this way’ ‘What would be the opposite of the way we do x?’
Brainstorming sessions are fantastic for cultivating creativity in any aspect of our lives. By leaving all options open to consideration in this part of the creation process, we are able to mute the conscious, rational, and frankly up-tight part of ourselves that is prone to inserting the whims and desires of ‘Fear’ and the ‘Ego’, and allow our playful, carefree, childlike creativity damon to do it’s best work.
A few quick pointers on reigniting your creativity include playing with children, watching how they allow their imaginations go; creative artwork; placing motivational creative quotes around the house; socialising with creative others; listening to the inner voice and following your truth; believing in yourself and your vision; redefining failure and success; having fun; extending your friendships to all ages and genders; exploring other cultures.
A fantastic book to read is 'Big Magic' by Elizabeth Gilbert. She also has 'Big Magic' podcasts that are quick, easy and inspiring to listen to.