Creativity not just for artists
What is the role of creativity in our lives and is it just for artists? Despite the chaotic pace our world moves in, even while this pandemic has brought everything to a halt, the path to building resilience and practices that provide us with respite revolve around our ability to be creative.
- is defined as “the use of the imagination or original ideas”. When we nurture our creativity this enables us to open up to exploring new ways of thinking and helps us to become better at problem-solving, communicating and becoming more innovative.
- is more than just tapping into the power of imagination. It is the core skill and competency that is at the heart of resilience. It is not just for artists. It has an important role in business and life management. Einstein thought imagination was key to his success and claimed that listening to Mozart enhanced his creativity.
- comes in many forms, a unique piece of art, an outstanding musical score, a literary masterpiece, how you approach problem solving, an innovative design, a brilliant new product or service just to name a few. Is isn’t something that you have to be born with because it can be nurtured and learned.
- is an important skill to cultivate not only for budding and professional artists, and person expression but also to thrive in corporate settings. As published in the World Economic Forum, Future of Jobs Report, 2020, creativity is one of the top 3 skills, next to complex problem solving and critical thinking. If you want to be more productive – get more creative!
Creativity involves exercising our imagination muscle, a pivotal ingredient required for problem solving. When we are being creative, we explore and express ourselves, a key requirement for honing our communication skills. Without creativity, brainstorming would not deliver the coveted nuggets of brilliance, to create or invent something new that has not been done before.
In addition to building skills, incorporating creative outlets also has documented health benefits, such as supporting stress management and Improving our mental health. In 2015, psychologist and art therapist Dr. Cathy Malchiodi cited several studies confirming that being creative can increase our energizing emotions, lessen depressive symptoms, decrease anxiety, and even improve our immune system functioning. When we express ourselves we feel better!
Creativity and productivity – there is a link other than they are both 5 syllable words, and they rhyme. Creativity is about using our imagination and resourcefulness to come up with solutions, solve problems or design something new. It is the fuel that is required to make innovation happen not only for our own personal transformation but also within the corporate culture context.
In 2012, Adobe surveyed 1,000 professionals and found that “creativity is a critical competency that should be taught within all disciplines. This will drive the global economy and the career success of the next generation.”
In 2010 an IBM Global CEO Study titled “Capitalizing on Complexity”, based on conversations with over 1500 CEOs across all sectors worldwide found that the organizations that “masterfully” navigate change and are more innovative were those with creative leaders. Creativity was “noted as the single most important trait for navigating through the complexity of corporate data, technology, and regulations’. The study concluded with the recommendation that entire organizations, not just CEOs, should “be equipped to be a catalyst for creativity.”
Not only can we use creativity to help us to tap into innovative thoughts, but artistic expression can also be a way to help us to manage and regulate our emotions. We can all be creative, even if you feel that it doesn’t come natural to you, it is something you can develop – like a muscle the more your work at it the stronger and better it gets.
Here are some ways to foster more creativity:
- Conserve your physical and mental energy and build in time in your day to reflection, daydreaming and play
- Keep spirit of curiosity and inquisitiveness, be willing to look at things in fresh ways
- Develop discipline and practice that supports your creative outlet, spend time each day creating
- Explore other creative practices outside your usual for example learn new craft, expand on those creative muscles.
- Explore local art galleries
- Change of scenery, explore places you haven’t been to before, or re-visit familiar places with new perspective
- Listen to a wide variety of music –not just your go to default music
If you want to improve your ability to negotiate, get better at problem solving, or cultivate the ability to see things from a different perspective, start to incorporate more creativity in your life. Check out the 4 week WriteWell Program – Creative Resilience, An Artful Way to Bounce offered at Joshua Creek.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou