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‘Creativity’ means different things to different people. Some think of it as something like playfulness, while to others, it is the source of all innovation and productivity.
That is a huge range of application! A great many people think of creativity as being an inherent trait, gifted at birth. You either have it or you don’t, and if you don’t, too bad.
This misunderstanding is responsible for too many people not using, or even attempting to use, their creative talents. They rationalize it away by saying they are ‘left-brained’, or ‘rational thinkers’.
Well here’s the juice. As this report explains, creativity is a process, one which requires both sides of the brain for maximum effectiveness. Creativity is not a gift, it is a skill that can be learned and developed to a high degree.
Reading this report will help you understand what creativity really is, and how limitless it can be. It will lay out in simple steps how you can improve your creativity and take huge steps forward in your life because of it.
You will also learn the qualities that are common to most creatives. Like creativity itself, these qualities can be developed and strengthened also.
Creativity is a lot of things in one word. According to Mary Lou Cook, “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
But what it is ultimately, is a process. There is no creativity without action. You can be bursting at the seams with ideas, but unless you act on those ideas, no creativity can take place.
Anyone willing to go through the process of creating something, no matter how messy, imperfect, or whether it leads to failure, can only expect something new to arrive in return.
It can either be a new way of thinking, product, or solution, but these are all possible outcomes of creativity at work.
For businesses, creativity is very necessary to remain relevant in today’s dynamic, fast-changing business environment. Over recent decades, the surge of demand for creativity in business has grown more evident.
Constant technological development and the shift to digitization has led to increasingly rapid modernization in businesses. Today, businesses no longer just operate and compete within their immediate locality. This is a double-edged sword!
As much as technology has given businesses greater exposure and potential for growth through marketing to a global audience, it has also intensified competition, leaving owners and managers with no choice but to innovate and to turn to creativity for new ideas.
Businesses that fail to conform to the demand of today’s modern business climate, refusing to adapt and innovate, will, unfortunately, find themselves at a loss to compete in the global market scene.
Those who succeed will those who move at an agile pace and are aggressively stepping up their game, made possible by greater use of creativity.
We may not think this way about creativity, but being creative is a quality every human possesses. It is something that anyone is capable of cultivating within themselves, with enough willingness to journey and experiment on ideas, even if it doesn’t necessarily lead to a particular outcome, tangible product, or immediate success.
Creativity is an instinctive ability in every individual; it is our birthright, in fact. We are driven by our natural desire to create and be able to contribute something to the world.
Working on our creativity and giving birth to new forms of thought or ideas, conceiving products, services, or whatever the result our creativity leads us to, can be the offering of our talents and gifts to the world.
Indeed, the fulfillment of creativity on our part can serve as our legacy. Creativity enables us to build something from our lives that can be a means of contribution.
However, the idea of creativity still leaves a lot of people reluctant. Many people have ideas but never pursue them in fear of great uncertainty and potential failure.
Pursuing creativity can require tremendous courage and only those brave enough can possibly take advantage of its benefits in return.
As long as you have desires in your heart for success, unlocking the creativity within yourself is the ticket to making things happen. If you have ideas, work on making those ideas become a reality.
If yours is a vision of the future, open yourself to limitless ways of creativity to build what you have in mind.
If what you desire is to grow in your career, never stop applying creativity in everything you do. Be noticed and stand out, doing what you do best.
Creativity is limitless and is a journey that ultimately, only you can choose to take.
Here are perfect examples of products borne out of ideas and creativity at work:
The cellphone you are using; the shoes you are wearing, the bag you are holding, the blog you are reading, the store you are buying your favorite products from, and more. Everything around us is a product of creativity.
Someone had a vision in mind, put in the work, and took action to make an idea become real. You are not meant only to consume; you have the potential to create something original that people can find great use for, too!
There is no limit to creativity and the great wonders that the mind can conceive and achieve.
“Think left and think right and think low and think high.
Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”
– Dr. Seuss
Remember – thought put into action is key to creativity. The equation is never complete without action. And when you set those ideas in motion, there’s power in that.
So go out and put those ideas of yours to work. Make and do something! You will never know success unless you try.
There are a few misconceptions about creativity, which leads many people to believe how limited their own creativity is. This means they end up putting it in a box, assuming that it’s not for everyone, but for a select few people only, who are innately born with such admirable creative abilities.
A haphazard view of creativity exists, but it is limiting and could miss an important point about the real process that goes into applying creativity in one’s life.
This oblique way of looking at creativity implies that there is a lack of structure in the process of creativity and makes some people convinced that they are either born with or without it.
There is a common notion revolving around the idea that a person can either only be left-brained or right-brained. Being left-brained means one is more logical and objective. This type of person might be great at numbers, can be organized, but lacks creativity.
Meanwhile, a right-brained person is believed to be the one inclined towards creative expression, can be disorganized and messy, but highly artistic. Thus, people who are designated or diagnosed as being left-brained often give on the thought of creativity, and subsequently, any attempt to allow their great ideas any chance to germinate.
These long-held beliefs about creativity might be challenged by a theory pioneered by Graham Wallas’ 1926 book “Art of Thought.” As one of the pioneers on the concept of creativity as an individual capability, Wallas theorized that the creative thinking process involves at least four stages.
Here are the four stages of the creative process, that says creativity is far from being solely attributable to being either a right-brained or left-brained person.
The first stage of the creative process begins way before the common belief that ideas stimulate the whole process of creative thought. Many of us believe that creativity begins with one idea that simply needs to be allowed the space to develop, but nobody really investigates where this idea had come from.
According to Wallas, creative ideas don’t simply come from a vacuum. The initial step in creativity is simmering the brain in information, feeding it materials to work with, and ultimately involves trying to learn many things at a conscious level.
This stage utilizes reasoning, planning, and attention, most of which are considered left-brain functionalities.
The second stage of creativity is the process of incubation. This is believed to be a very important stage that can’t be missed in the creative process. In the incubation stage, you let the idea go, as ironic as that sounds, by letting your mind wander aimlessly.
When you incubate ideas in this step, you stop pressing for answers and stop consciously forcing your brain to deliver more ideas. You can let your mind relax by going for a walk and doing other activities.
The key is to allow your ideas to roam freely and let it stretch beyond the confines of your conscious mind. You let go, allowing the idea to grow subconsciously.
The third stage in creativity is known as illumination.
Having allowed your conscious mind to absorb the information it needs to work with, and your subconscious mind to work its magic while you were asleep, at rest, doing other productive activities with other people, and forgetting it consciously for a while, the illumination stage is where results arrive in the form of connections made between the synapses of your brain.
In the illumination stage, you may potentially experience eureka moments.
When answers, solutions, and creative ideas come to you effortlessly as a part of your creative discovery, you will begin to understand that your subconscious had its role in whatever the ideas you now have developed.
When subconscious thoughts collide and reach the surface of your conscious mind, great ideas just come. This is your intuition and gut becoming involved and giving you the signs.
The fourth and final stage of the creative process is known as verification. Verification is receiving the ideas you gathered from step 3, then polishing it with critical thought and logic.
Many people think that creativity ends only in the ‘aha’ moment. But it actually goes beyond that right-brain thought process in steps 2 and 3.
Wallas believed that in order for creativity to make sense to many people, it needs to be widely understood. To do this, the need to involve the left-brain is vital in the process.
The logical, digital brain is more adept at organizing ideas in a cohesive and more structured format, that people with dominant left-brain thought processes will understand and accept.
For creativity to be effective, you need to think about the end consumer. Ultimately, creativity has to be communicated, and it has to be crafted with the audience in mind, more than the creator.
Steve Jobs clearly understood this paradigm in his design process of the Apple brand.
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs
The four stages of creativity challenge the notion of the actual creative process as lacking in structure and solely relying on the right-brain functionalities.
Tapping into both sides of the brain when coming up with a more powerful product, concept or idea, is ultimately the best way to maximize your creativity.
Being a creative person is a highly coveted trait. Admittedly, most people believe that creativity is an inborn trait in a person; that you either have it or you don’t.
Being creative entails more than being gifted with this quality or being without it. Creativity is certainly a great skill to possess. It is not simply genetics that allows highly creative people to often sculpt a name in history, but their conscious hand involved all throughout their creative journey.
What is common amongst the highly creative achievers is their productivity.
Highly creative people possess within themselves not just a special gift. Beyond their eye and great sensitivity to their vision (among their other developed attributes), here are some of the strong traits that most creatives commonly possess and practice to cultivate their creative strength.
The most creative people usually show great value in independent thought. They could have strange, even unusual views sometimes and they are often never shy about them.
They tend to be opinionated and freely share their perspective with the people they come across and deal with.
They exude confidence and a firm conviction about what they believe in. Highly creative people have a well-developed sense of perspective. They are comfortable enough not to follow the norm and to forge their own path. Many end up becoming thought leaders because of their conviction.
Many creative people have high energy levels, but instead of exhibiting this as restlessness, they are able to withstand several hours of deep work intensely focused on the subject and in what they are doing.
In a state of flow, the ego falls away. This is also commonly known as being “in the zone,” a deep mental state many highly creative people reach while being engaged with their work.
Highly creative people are attuned to their emotions. They tend to be more emotionally sensitive, being deeply involved with their mind’s processes. It’s common to find creative people putting their heart and soul into the creative process.
Often, what is their most proud work may not always be received as well by others, as people can tend to be highly critical and skeptical and not always supportive and accepting.
This makes many creative individuals vulnerable to criticism for their work. But most of the time, they can happily showcase their original work to others and aren’t shy about it.
Highly creative people have a childlike sense of wonder. This gives them the ability to see things from a perspective that many other adults don’t.
Their enthusiasm and excitement for their ideas may keep them working non-stop with their projects, but they maintain a playful perspective, which usually lightens up any tension at work.
Instead of stress, what highly creative people experience being deeply involved with their work is a kind of “play.” Work is play for many highly creative individuals. These people get utterly excited working on their ideas, and they aren’t easily satisfied.
Until they are, you will find these creatives deeply entrenched in their work. Other people may see creatives as less serious for their playfulness, but what these people experience is a joy from doing work they love and are passionate about.
It doesn’t mean they put in less work than most, because true creativity involves a lot of hard work. Even with such playfulness, highly creative folks have a dogged determination and perseverance to finish their projects.
They quite often work non-stop until reaching a level they are proud of.
Creative people are imaginative daydreamers. Imagination is very important to them; it is the lifeblood of their creative nature. You will never likely meet a highly creative individual who doesn’t get a sense of high emotion from their vision.
They “see” things and they imagine them until they become a reality. True creatives don’t stop at the imagination process, however. Instead, this keeps them going like fuel.
They are realistic dreamers who dream and do; otherwise they wouldn’t be productive enough, giving people more products and innovations to revel at.
Throughout history, creative geniuses have given the world discoveries and masterpieces to wonder upon. The greatest creators sculpted their names in history by taking a leap into the unknown, showing the world the reality of what once was only in their imagination.
One of the greatest creative geniuses who ever lived, Albert Einstein, once said: “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”
Einstein is well-known for his theory of relativity, which revolutionized quantum physics and laid the foundations of science philosophy.
What is common amongst creative geniuses like him is evident excellence at work, all while being intensely challenging to pin down as ‘common’ or ‘normal’. Successful creatives like Einstein are impossible to pigeon-hole.
Creative geniuses are the so-called ‘one of its kind’ type of people who see and do things their way. Their eccentricity, abilities (to a genius level), and philosophies are distinctly unique.
In Apple founder Steve Jobs’s famous words, “we are here to put a dent in the universe.”
Let’s try to pick some of their brains and understand the underlying philosophy of some of the greatest creative geniuses who ever walked the earth. Here are some of the qualities they commonly shared.
Creative geniuses are non-conformists. They tend to have unusual, unique views about the world and its workings and are not afraid to seem like they’re rebelling from the norm.
One great example was the aforementioned Albert Einstein, who constantly challenged the status quo and common notions people held of things around them. He was a great lover of learning and reached revolutionary new ideas with the help of his imagination.
“Logic will get you from point A to point B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
- Albert Einstein
Several years before Disney became a household name and Mickey Mouse became an icon, and way before the touted happiest place on earth – Disneyland – came to be possible, there was just Walt Disney, an American TV producer, and showman, who refused to succumb to failure several times.
He tried non-stop to build a career around his greatest passion – animated films. Walt Disney was not an overnight success, but thanks to his persistence, Disneyland became real.
A creative genius does not solely rely on his imagination to make great work happen, whether it’s a masterpiece in the works or a scientific discovery. They work hard, persist through unimaginable odds, and never give up until their dreams are real.
“If you can visualize it, if you can dream it, there’s some way to do it.”
- Walt Disney
Marie Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is an icon in science for being the only woman to win a Nobel Prize twice and in two different fields. A creative genius and scientist, Marie Curie never ceased to be inspired by her curiosities.
Creative genius’ ideas supply them with the energy they need to arrive at answers. The woman scientist admitted to being ceaselessly amazed by nature. She was led both by curiosity and a remarkably intense focus.
“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.”
- Marie Curie
Creative geniuses rarely follow the crowd. Steve Jobs, a visionary, challenged the standards of technology by creating his iconic brand, Apple. In his lifetime, Steve Jobs was able to change the way people use technology through his innovative products and designs.
One of the greatest innovators of all time, he also funded the creation of Pixar, massively creating a dent in the industries he actively played pioneer roles in.
“We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise, why else even be here?”
- Steve Jobs
Instrumental in the scientific revolution, and most famous for formulating the theory of gravitation out of observation of the widely famous apple tree, Sir Isaac Newton was no ordinary scientist and mathematician – he was highly creative.
He was a creative genius who admittedly found great inspiration from his home life. He laid the foundation for differential and integral calculus and made scientific discoveries that made him one of the greatest scientists of all time.
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
- Sir Isaac Newton
Creative geniuses are very productive people. They get things done as though they have more than 24 hours in a day. How else could you explain the creative genius and polymath that was Leonardo da Vinci, the true epitome of the Renaissance Man?
He made a great name for himself being a sculptor, scientist, mathematician, inventor, architect, anatomist, engineer, and writer, all on top of being one of the greatest painters of all time.
One thing that can be attributed to Leonardo da Vinci’s creative genius was his unbridled love for learning.
“Learning never exhausts the mind.”
- Leonardo da Vinci
There is no doubt that in today’s modern, technology-driven society, both creativity, and innovation are held to a much higher standard.
Creativity has become a key element of growth, and innovation is considered essential for increased productivity and efficiency in most organizations.
Creativity and innovation are two concepts that often get used interchangeably, but in fact, they’re two different things.
They may simply be as equally relevant today, wherein relying on both has become crucial and strategic for everyone’s drive towards sustainability and profitability.
As technology continues to drive the need for innovation in our highly-connected world, ensuring one’s relevance in an increasingly complex market has become a top priority.
But in order to successfully innovate and apply creativity, one also needs to understand how both concepts differ, and in what ways they rely on each other to be possible in their own right.
Creativity involves the act of creating something new. It may either be the creation of possibilities, new products, systems, and solutions. It involves imagining things and is essentially an imaginative process that cannot be simply quantified.
Creativity is thinking new things and ideas that could potentially give birth to new products or new ways of doing things. That’s what makes creativity an indispensable part of innovation. Innovation cannot exist without the creative process behind it.
Creativity is important to many people and groups, especially in organizations that want to endure. For many of those in business, this has proven rather challenging due to the nature of competition.
In many ways, creativity also helps to improve the arduous process of solving problems, that is why it is important not only in business but in other aspects of life as well.
Society turns to creativity in many ways to solve different types of problems. And on a personal level, applying creativity to our lives can also be very helpful and essential for our personal and relationship growth.
Whereas creativity is largely based on the act of imagining new things and generating new ideas that could potentially lead to new systems, products, and processes, innovation, put simply, is the implementation act.
Innovation involves the creation of new products/ services/ systems that have proven to be most valuable and productive than the other available options.
For innovation to take place and become possible at all, there has to be a status quo to measure up against. Innovation demands a kind of establishment or a benchmark to base its foundations on. In the process of quantifying between ideas, innovation is born from selection.
The innovation process is measurable and enables not just new things, but improvements on current things that are potentially more productive to be realized.
Innovation is a multidimensional process, too. It necessitates creativity, but creativity is only one aspect to take into consideration when running ideas through an innovation process.
There are several metrics and competencies to base innovation processes and efficiencies on.
Creativity and innovation are both vitally important today. They are the driving forces behind the successes of many organizations and people. In crowded and easily accessible markets, these factors are largely what mean the difference between struggle and achievement.
Creativity and innovation both necessitate effort, resources, and experimentation even to be possible and successful.
Creativity may enable people to generate new ideas out of the blue, but it requires discipline for organizations to be able to capture those ideas as they come from their most creative employees.
Innovation needs to be supported by the organization that wants to reap the possibility of success out of implementing it.
Even though creativity is just one aspect of innovation, it is a very important component, since innovation simply cannot exist without creativity. On the other hand, innovation involves filtering through several other competencies for it to be successful.
Creativity is a very natural process. Everyone is capable of being creative and generating new ideas that could potentially lead to improved ways of doing things in businesses and even in their lives. It doesn’t take a genius to be creative, but a conducive environment for creativity could amplify it greatly.
By bringing innovation into the picture, creativity gains its highest potential. Creativity and innovation may keep businesses thriving, but they’re just as necessary in improving our lives as a people and society, too.
It is exciting to realize that creativity is much more available than you probably thought. You may have previously thought of yourself as being too practical, methodical, or rational to exercise any creativity.
It is liberating to grasp the concept that utilizing those left-brained attributes are essential to real creativity, and the fulness of creative genius cannot be exercised without it.
There is no part of your life that cannot be improved, in some cases massively, by the application of improved creativity.
Follow the suggestions given in the report and open your life up to previously undreamt possibilities!