3 Things to Know About Creativity
There’s been a lot written on the topic of creativity, and to attempt to sum it up in three bullet points is, well, it’s just plain stupid. So, here we go…
1. Creativity is a natural ability that can be strengthened
That’s right, you already possess creativity. Since creativity is defined as having the ability to create, anyone can do it.
2. Creativity takes time and effort
Now, not everyone does it well, to be sure. Doing anything well, takes time, effort, training and persistence. Likewise with creating, at least creating effectively. We’ve all seen the outcome of people who claim to be “artistic” and/or “creative”, but haven’t really focused and honed their skills.
Quick and dirty, here’s the workout that strengthens your creative muscles:
- Clarify your goal. There is absolutely no way you will achieve your purpose if you don’t know exactly what that purpose is. When you do know, then you can aim straight. It’s the difference between “I want to be more creative” and “I want to develop my drawing skills to sketch realistic portraits of people” or “My aim is to increase the sales in my department by 20%.” Here’s where asking “why?” can be one of your most powerful tools.
- Identify your constraints, and embrace them. When you know that the project you are working on has a specific budget, timeline, and location, then you can start to come up with creative ways to accomplish the project within those constraints. Complaining about them only burns energy and motivation.
- Reframe the problem. Is your budget too low? Forget the money angle and ask “What are the needed resources? How else might I obtain them? What might be suitable, or even better substitutes?”
- Take action on a specific strategy. Include timelines and milestones: Flute lessons start tomorrow. Able to play Bach piece in 4 months. Milestones include breath control, fingering and scales by week 4.
- Review, adjust and learn. Here’s where the old “try, try again” comes in. Don’t get discouraged, get back up!
3. Creativity is a blast
Despite the time and effort (or, more likely because of it), exercising our creative nature is incredibly satisfying. We learn to do things we never did before. We learn about ourselves and the incredible power we have inside us. We learn to learn. There are few things as motivating as looking back on something that we never dreamed we would be able to do, and being able to say “I did it!”
4. There is a lot more to know about it
But, I’m already over my 3-point limit. Let’s learn more about this together. Join the Linkedin group “The Functional Creative” and lend your voice to the discussion. I can’t wait to hear from you!