Cultivating Creativity

Yesterday, we talked about the perceptions some folks have about the quality of creativity. Having a sense of personal creativity is as valuable as any quality, and it is not limited to those we think of as having an “artistic” flair. All of us are creative, in one manner or another. In order to realize our innate creativity, consider these six conditions that allow creativity to flourish.

First – Aloneness. Not withdrawal or painful solitude, but the sense of being apart from the rest of the world around us. This allows us to inhabit a different perspective, even if for only a little while.

Second – Inactivity. Not loafing or goofing off, but a break in the busy routine and plenty of space to do…

… daydreaming or woolgathering (#3). In daydreams, we make mental excursions into fantasy and these excursions breed creative activity.

Fourth – Mental replay of past creative efforts and resolution of past traumatic conflicts. Like a painter cleaning brushes or a sculptor sweeping away marble dust and chips, you are clearing a space for creativity to thrive.

Fifth – Gullibility. That’s right, gullibility. This is the willingness to suspend belief and accept what comes from inside without insisting on rationality or logic. In other words, let it go and let it flow – just get out of your own way for a few moments.

Sixth – Alertness and discipline. Although they are necessary for productivity in any endeavor, these qualities have a special meaning in creativity. The saying that creativity is “10% inspiration and 90% perspiration” means that creativity is accomplished by perseverance and focused work.

While most of these six conditions require loosening of control and an openness to the inner self, the last and most important is our willingness to put what we discover into action. Without this commitment to action, our creativity may never bubble over. Our creativity sits there as potential, unrealized.