5 Myths Surrounding Creativity: Debunked
Creative energy is the currency of today’s economy. The extent of what you can achieve lies greatly in how much creativity you can bring to the table. Creative expressions (both in inventive as in drug and disease prevention inventions and innovative spheres like writing, painting and singing have taken over the world.
However, a lot of myths still surround creativity and this makes many lose out on the amazing benefits of practicing creativity.
Some of these myths include.
1. That Creativity is a talent
2. That Creativity is a stock
3. That Creativity cannot be boosted
4. That Creativity is logical reasoning
5. That Creativity belongs to a select few
Follow me as I debunk them one after the other.
1. Creativity is Not a Talent
“Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.” - John Cleese
Okay, I’ve got that look from you. Like "what’s he saying?" If creativity is not talent then, what is? Talent is an innate special ability to do something in a better way than others. That’s why you can be a talented writer, painter, musician or any other art, in fact, you can be a multitalented artist doing a bouquet of things in special ways. Creativity on the other hand is simply ability to challenge the norm and do something to better or even change it. Creativity is saying "why not like this instead?" One thing that makes a lot of people confuse creativity for talent is the fact that they’re both innate (you’re born with them) but unlike talent, creativity is open to everyone who activates it. There could be only a handful of talented painters in a community but there is an endless number of creative people (since people reproduce and everyone is born creative then the number of creative people is limitless). All that is needed is to activate, practice and utilise it daily.
2. Creativity is Not a Stock
"You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have." - Maya Angelou
Our physical muscles grow tired and their strength wane with age and perpetual use but our creative muscles are not like that. Creativity is not a stock that you can use up, the more of it you use, the more you have access to use. In fact, our creative muscles are made sharper with usage. The more you apply a creative process to create, the more creative processes you’d come up with and use. So hoarding or hiding your creativity is not the best for you. Perpetual usage gets you more. It is an endlessly refilling well where you can draw today, tomorrow and continuously throughout your lifespan without finishing it. You can never use up all the creative energy you have in you, so go ahead and use as much of it as you need.
3. Creativity is Not Static
“The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a creative mind to spot wrong questions.” — Antony Jay
Yeah you read that right. Not only are all people born creative, the ability can improve. In fact, some people have argued that children naturally have a higher level of creativity than adults baring their ignorance of fears that lead adults to associate some tasks with impossibility. It is true that humans own and utilise different creativity levels and can improve upon their current level (via usage when exercising of creative muscles) or dwindle it (via non-usage and lack of exercise for their creative muscles). I’d tell you more about that in a bit. One thing is certain creativity levels are not static. They can increase (or decrease) - don’t be deceived!
4. Creativity is not logic
"I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking"
- Albert Einstein
Logic tells us what about possible outcomes provided the current available variables are in place. In order words it measures possibilities. It looks into the problem rationally and comes up with solutions in same accord. However, creativity turns a problem inside out even eliminating some variables looking at the problem through different lenses (some of which doesn’t exist to logic and are thus impossible). This gives creativity an edge over rational thinking and all systems of logic. Ben Okri in defence of creativity had once said: "Politics is the art of the possible; creativity is the art of the impossible." . If at all you’d confuse creativity please let it not be with rational thinking or logical reasoning for these are limited to what is while creativity deals both with what is and what could be. Creativity refuses to just analyse, it also looks at the problem from different angles and spheres. So don’t limit it to logic and rational thinking.
5. Creativity is not racist
"Everyone is creative . . ". - Ayah Bdeir
Inasmuch as it is hard to believe, no special gender, ethnicity or race is born more creative than the other. Aside everyone being born creative it is imperative to know that creativity is not racist. Everyone is born creatively equal. The only thing that differentiates us is what happens after we’re born. Our environment cultures us into what people in it look and act like. If you’d take a new born baby from its place of origin to another place, it is most likely to be cultured by its new environment. This notion is very wrong and could hamper the creative growth and development of many people. Aside the environment of upbringing, only the amount of usage of your creative muscles can and does differentiates different people’s creativity levels. Yes, you too can come up with mind blowing creative solutions to everyday problems just as the people you regard to be more creative are doing. So don’t be misled, you have just as much creative potential as everyone else in the world.
There you have it. 5 myths surrounding creativity now debunked. There’s no need to fear them anymore (since you know the truth about them). So go ahead and practice your creativity.
I’d end by quoting Mary Lou Cook who once said:
"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” - Mary Lou Cook
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