A Different Take On Creativity

When you think of creativity, do you think it’s all about being artistic in some way? If someone asked you if you were creative, how would you respond?

I hear from a lot of people that they don’t consider themselves to be creative. And I wonder if it has anything to do with a common myth about the definition of creativity.

Creativity is not just about being a visual artist, a musician or writer.

Working on the floor

creativity is more than making art

Creativity is life. Life is creativity.

Whenever you make something happen, whenever you express yourself, no matter what it is, it means you’re being creative.

We create a birthday party for a loved one.

We create an experience whilst we go hiking in the hills.

We create our lives.

We sift through and decide what experiences we want to have in our lives and we go ahead and create them.

On the flip side, there is being reactive – reacting to life and the events that occur. Reacting to what other people do, what shows up, how we experience our day to day life. Living life on auto-pilot or by default.

Creativity is the proactive and deliberate creation of what we want. According to Sir Ken Robinson, “Creativity is applied imagination”.

In the “Discover & Develop Your Creativity” Workshop that I ran for JCI Edinburgh in April this year, I identified two strands to creativity. These two strands overlap and are inter-related, but for the purpose of explanation I have separated them:

1. Creative Outlet – this is self expression in terms of a creative activity such as drawing, painting, writing, making music, etc.
2. Creative Approach – this is using your ability to create a life you love, for example. Or solving a problem by coming up with (unusual/new) solutions, inventing something the world needs.

JCI Workshop Flip Chart Notes

brainstorming notes from workshop – where do you find creativity?

To me, creativity is a way of living your life on your terms, expressing yourself in your own unique way in every area of your life. It’s about discovering and knowing who you are, and being connected to your authentic self in every thing you do. This is an on-going process, and there is no ‘destination’ to arrive at.

To me it’s all about the experience of the journey, the adventure of it, and who you continue to be(come). It means taking responsibility for your life and for yourself, recognising you always have a choice, even if the only choice you feel you have is how you respond to life.

Do you consider yourself to be creative? If not, why not? Let me know in the comments below, I’m curious to hear your thoughts!


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