Why Creativity Shouldn’t Just Be For “Creatives”

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, creativity is defined as: “The ability to make new things or think of new ideas”.

Nowhere in that definition is it ever stated that creativity needs to include drawing, writing, or any form of art at all. The notion of creativity has been hijacked by those in the artistic fields and it has subsequently created a culture of intimidation where few feel they have “what it takes” to think creatively.

Part of this problem is that there is a misconception that creativity is something that you are either born with or without. Growing up, there are kids who have an immediately apparent artistic talent like the ability to draw or paint. These children are celebrated as being creative while other children who don’t have these specific talents develop a form of learned helplessness, dismissing any notion of creativity within themselves.

The truth is that creativity is more of a thought process than an innate talent. There are mathematicians that implement the creative process to help them solve complex math equations and research analysts who tack magazine pages to their bedroom walls in order to stay sharp on the job. Neither one has a “creative” talent but both are creative individuals.

Creativity is no different than any other skill you might practice throughout your lifetime. Like any other skill, practice makes perfect. The more you practice creativity, the better you become at it. This can include something as elaborate as taking a creative writing class or as simple as collecting pictures and quotes that give you inspiration.

Like all skills, some people will be better at it than others. Some may immediately see a noticeable difference in they way they think while for others, it may take a while to note even a small change. I’m not promising that creative thinking will turn you into the next Michelangelo, but given enough time it will have a noticeable effect on how you go about your day.

Take a few of these insights to heart and learn that you are much more creative than you had every thought.