Watch any child in the midst of doing something they enjoy and you will bear witness to sheer, unbridled joy. Something as simple as blowing bubbles is a new and exciting opportunity for enjoyment and enthusiasm.
As we mature, we settle into the patterns of expected social behavior. We attend school or university; where we listen, take notes and study. We frantically cram what we have learned into our memory banks and then pour it back out into essays, tests and exams. The joy of the learning experience is muted. We are given affirmation for the right answers and the wrong answers downgrade our marks. Often we attach this process to our value as people.
This is not to say that education is wasted or pointless yet we tend to lose our childish sense of wonder and creativity in the process. As we start to question what makes us happy beyond academics or when we are trying to come up with something different at work, we begin to awaken our creative side. This part of ourselves is asking questions and eager to experiment.
Often, it can be as simple as finding what brings you joy again. A past time or a hobby that is without assessment or limits. There isn’t any right or wrong answer. You can be as messy or as tidy as you like. You can strip down to the basics where it is just you experiencing the flow of creativity that comes with pursuing something that brings you joy.
Once we take a step towards nurturing our creative side and breaking away from the binary of right and wrong, mistakes and perfection; we embrace a different side of ourselves that has been forgotten.
Research has shown that making mistakes is essential to growing and evolving throughout our lives. Making mistakes is how we refine our craft and no famous artist or author got it perfectly on their first try.
Changing our mindset can be a difficult process, especially when we have years of conditioning behind us. However, it is essential to give ourselves permission to be imperfect. The world has changed to cater better to creative pursuits in the form of online communities and other spaces in which to create whatever we want. The opportunity is there to be creative if we are curious enough to explore it.
Amy is the Founder of Dreamwriters, a self-publishing platform for young creative writers and artists. The platform is currently under development. Join the community for updates and receive a free picture book, “The Knight’s Friend”, written & illustrated by a pair of talented students from Hong Kong.
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.