What You Don’t Know About Creativity

Turns out there’s more to creativity than just having a great light bulb moment.

In a world as mundane as ours, we all search for those magical moments when we witness a product of creativity, whether that be a piece of artwork, a person’s cool outfit, a film, or simply a new solution to a problem we hadn’t thought of before. You see, while there are numerous ways to be creative, they all affect us the same way, leaving us with a sense of awe at how the human mind works and how far our imagination can take us. 

However, although so many strive to become more creative in life, either through whatever they create or through changing the way they think and becoming more innovative, not everyone finds the journey easy. In fact, countless people give up just as they’re starting to get somewhere. But why? Maybe that’s because we all hold these conceptions about creativity and what every creative process should look like. But what if these conceptions are wrong? What if there is more to creativity than just coming up with a new, ground-breaking idea? 

Here are some hard truths about creativity and the creative process that not everyone knows of.

 

To Be Creative, You Must Do

While it might seem very obvious, you’d be surprised at the number of people who have great ideas and do nothing to try and make them more than just thoughts. There are several reasons for this. For starters, many fear failing, finding that not trying at all, consequently removing the risk of failing, is better than experiencing all the unpleasant emotions that come with failure. But what they don’t realize is that failing is inevitable and inescapable. After all, isn’t it human nature to make mistakes and then some? What matters here is trying to learn something from those mistakes, utilizing that failure to make yourself and your work even more creative.

Another reason why many don’t act on their creative ideas or stop just as they’re getting started is that they feel that what they want to create and what they do create are very different. In their minds, their idea is great but they can’t produce it with the same quality they imagined, so they just stop trying. But let me tell you a secret: your work will be terrible… but only in the beginning. As you practice more, create more, and put in the effort, you’ll discover that as your quantity of work increases, so will the quality. And so, creativity requires you to do, to move past failure and continue creating.

 

You Will Most Probably Not Have That Light Bulb Moment 

Have you noticed that in movies or stories about great inventors, artists, or visionaries, there is usually that one scene that sparks their entire journey (an ‘aha’ moment, if you will)? And while we all search for that our entire life, that light bulb moment might just not exist. For starters, you will definitely come up with an infinite number of ideas throughout your life. Some will be bad, some okay, some good, and some might even be great if you’re lucky. 

However, if you find that at this point in your life you haven’t experienced any great ideas, that doesn’t mean that you have no creativity. Work with the ones you already have and try to make them better by combining several together or altering them to make them more relevant and doable. Moreover, even if you do happen to come up with great ideas, it’s important to understand that they might change as you pursue them and that you have to give them and yourself the freedom to do so.

Another misconception about having ideas and thinking creatively is that ideas will just drop from the sky straight to your head. That is rarely the case. Instead, many find that their creative juices only start flowing after they’ve put in effort and time to make room for them. This could be by going on a walk to clear their heads and let their minds wander or appointing a set time in their schedules for journaling. 

 

You Need to Give Yourself a Chance to Rest

Yes, I know in the first point made, I emphasized the importance of actually doing the work and putting in the time, but like with everything in life, to allow your creativity to truly flush, you must obtain balance in your creative process. Learn to spend time away from the project you’re working on or the problem you’re trying to solve and just rest and reflect. This step will calm your mind, perhaps even allowing you to think of new ways to improve or add to your creative project. 

Resting can also be the key to ensuring you don’t experience burnout. You see, in our fast-paced world, it’s only normal that we constantly keep thinking of the next project, big thing, or problem. But that is not actually normal! We need time to recharge and can’t simply keep churning out ideas.

 

Conclusion

While we touched on some of the misconceptions regarding creativity, it seems that we’ve forgotten to mention the greatest one of all; the idea that some people are just born more creative than others. The reality, though, is farthest from that statement. Creativity isn’t something we are born with but rather a way of thinking and operating. And the only way to reach a creative mindset is to practice being innovative and running wild with your imagination. Some of these new ideas will fail, and projects will go terribly wrong, but sure enough, after giving yourself the chance to be creative every day, you’ll soon realize that you operate with creativity in every aspect of life.

 

Photo: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

 


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