Expanding Definitions

How creative are you? If your answer is, “Not very,” don’t be so sure. Let’s knock the mystique out of creativity today.

If you find yourself in a discussion about creativity, perhaps with family, friends or co-workers, most likely the talk is about some piece of music, sculpture or painting. The conversation is about “the arts” and you find that the group winds up defining creativity by the works of the Masters (Michelangelo, da Vinci, and so on), or some piece of time-honored literature. This is a fairly narrow definition of creativity, and one that most of us won’t be joining.

However, by merely expanding that definition, so much more is possible. What about a delicious meal, with food that is both nutritious and appealing to the eye? What of a home that is a picture of warm colors and casual comfort, a welcome haven for a weary spirit? Everywhere you look there are unique experiences that speak to creativity, from a blooming rose garden to a walk on a beach.

Here’s the thing: being creative just means bringing something new into the world. It could be an object or an idea, simple or complex, as long-lasting as the pyramids of Giza, a moment in time that touches the heart of a loved one and is burned in memory forever, or as transient as a sandcastle on an incoming tide.

One of the world’s most creative thinkers, Albert Einstein, once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” So, if you want to be more creative, exercise your imagination as you might exercise your dog. Take it out for a good run every day. Let it off the leash and see where it goes. Practice “What if” thinking and break up your routines.

To help out, get yourself a journal – any blank book – and fill up those empty pages with your thoughts, doodles, ideas, wonderings – anything that your active mind brings to the surface when you give it the space and time to do so. Affirm your creative spirit, and watch it bloom! All it needs is the opportunity.