I have a confession to make… I used to think creativity was lost on me. It took me two years of in-depth study, looking at creativity in all its amazing facets, and working on an M.S. with an emphasis in creative problem solving, creativity and change leadership for me to finally be able to proclaim: I am creative! And I know that you can be creative too.
What is creativity? Creative thinking can take many different forms and appear in a myriad of ways. Many creativity descriptions exist, with no single agreed-upon definition. Steve Jobs believed that “creativity is just connecting things.” If this is true, it means creative thinking can be developed and does not have to be left to chance. That is the big secret about creativity… it just begins with you wanting to be deliberately creative.
How might one develop creativity? G.A. Davis (2004) in Creativity is Forever identified sixteen personality traits and associated them with creative behavior, the traits included: an awareness of creativity, having a need for alone time, originality, independence, thoroughness, being a risk-taker, artistic, energetic, perceptive, emotional, ethical, open-minded, having curiosity, a sense of humor, a capacity for fantasy, and an attraction to complexity. Learning about these attributes and being aware of them in yourself and others, can nurture the creative mindset.
Don’t have all of these? No problem! You don’t have to have all of these personality traits to be creative. Honing those characteristics you already have and developing those that you lack can open the flow of creativity. Martha Beck brings to life the power of igniting creativity: “If any one of us unleashes our creativity, our world will split open. We’ll find unprecedented ways of solving problems and expressing our souls, and our lives will be forever changed.” So decide to be creative today, nurture your creative traits, let your creativity flow, and then see where it takes you. Creativity lives inside each of us… you just have to ignite yours and give it a chance to shine.