What is creativity? Is it something we are born with or is it something taught over time? Does everyone possess the ability to be creative or is it just a right-brain skill?
Understanding creativity can be a challenge. Many of us believe that being creative means painting a masterpiece, writing a top-ten hit, or composing a great American novel. While those endeavors are creative, so is making a new recipe, solving a puzzle, or designing a spreadsheet. Creativity is something we all have. It allows us to produce something new and valuable.
Creativity allows us to survive. Think back to history. Repeatedly, people have proven to be innovative in meeting their needs - from finding food, water, and shelter to finding a cure for a disease. Creativity is a useful tool that allows us to adapt and problem solve.
So why should we tap into our creative side?
Creativity helps us solve complex problems.
Creativity and problem solving go hand in hand! Sometimes a problem is simply too complex and unique that it can't be solved quickly or simply by watching a YouTube video. Rather than following steps we need to first figure out what the steps even are. Creativity uses a higher level of thinking that allows us to define the problem, generate original ideas and develop a solution.
Creativity prepares us for the unseen future.
It is a cliché to say the world is changing fast. There are jobs today that didn't exist a few years ago, and more new jobs will arise as invention and discovery leads to more inventions. Being creative allows us to flex and adapt to different surroundings. According to Forbes Magazine, “Human workers in the future will need to be creative to fully realize the benefits of all the new things for the future - new products, ways of working and technologies.” In fact, the article states that creativity is the number one skill needed in the future.
Creativity helps us change.
Creativity at a basic level is about making change, and sometimes that change is yourself! When we change by learning new things, sometimes even unlearning new things, we are in a place to respond to all situations. Again, in our fast changing world, knowing how to learn is crucial because it is nearly impossible to predict what you will need to know ten years from now.
Creativity improves our sense of wellbeing.
When we take concrete steps toward goals and can see the outcome of our creativity, there is a positive effect on well-being. A recent study in the Journal of Positive Psychology indicated that “engaging in a creative activity just once a day can lead to a more positive state of mind.” So, are you feeling grumpy lately? Then try to incorporate something creative into your daily schedule.
Creativity gives our curiosity somewhere to go.
We are all curious about something, and that desire to know and learn requires creativity and problem solving. If we don't know how to solve complex problems, it may leave us simply wondering and never really knowing. What is something you are curious about? Or a problem you need to solve? Maybe your garden isn’t growing as expected or you need to create a new human resources policy at work - whatever problem you may face - use your creativity to solve it.
Over the next few weeks, we will dive into creativity and curiosity even more. How do you tap into creativity? How can we help our children embrace their creativity? At Curiosity 2 Create we believe that being curious and creative allows us to face challenges with confidence. That’s why we have created a program designed to encourage youth to discover and then develop their innate curiosity and creativity.
What’s your next step? How will you use your creativity today?