Are you creative ?
I had always thought that I wasn’t… certainly not in an artistic way. If someone asked me to draw something, I would revert to the tried and true stick man ! (not quite like the attached image, but you get the idea). Seriously, a stick man… that’s as good as it got for me.
I think that I’m creative in other ways. From a young age I was able to apply some fairly creative methods for solving problems. Just ask my Dad, he has told me a few of the ways I would very creatively solve problems. I think that ability has served me well over the years, and certainly my career has benefited from being able to look at all/different angles and apply a certain amount of critical problem solving ability towards it. But artistic creativity… I never thought of myself as an artist. I looked at others and their artistic abilities and was envious. How can you create something, out apparently nothing ?
Recently I’ve taken up painting. I won’t make a living off of it, and nor would I want to. I do this purely for the enjoyment of creating something. Very rarely in my career do I truely feel like I’ve actually created something. Oh sure, if you want to count all those documents and spreadsheets… ah, ya ! You get what I’m talking about here… it’s tough to call that “creating”, or being “creative”.
Recently I watched a BBC documentary titled “What Makes a Genius?” A very interesting show. One part of the show focused on a particular individual named Tommy. Tommy’s story is that he has an insatiable need to create. Interestingly he has incredible focus as well. The fascinating concept discussed was that in Tommy’s world it was as if the dam was breached and that the information just kept flowing into his brain. The only way he channelled that energy was to create. What happens with most of us is that we have this Latent Inhibition. And its this “ability” that allows us to not only allow the flow of creative ideas, but to somewhat control it. Likely the same way that you can fall asleep in front of the TV. Even though there is a steady stream of information coming at you, you tend to filter it out and in fact even shut down. So how does this relate to creativity ?
I like to think that its one thing to be able to see something where nothing existed before, but it is something completely different to be able to focus on what it is that needs to be done to be able to see it through. The creative process is to not only have the idea, but then follow through with it. To me these are two pieces are in complete contrast to each other. But maybe this is what we do every day. I know that in order to come up with something as simple as this blog entry. I needed the idea first, then I needed to know how to rationalize it, and scribe it out. Taking precautions not to just do a brain dump of various thoughts, and to actually formulate coherent thoughts and articulate those thoughts into a logical stream. We may be more creative than we think. It may be a case where our creative thoughts emerge, but we actually don’t give them credit, nor do we foster the environment in which they can flourish.
One concept of a genius is that, not only does the person possess exceptional intelligence, but is also creatively applying that intelligence. I think that we all possess intelligence, but it’s all in our ability in how we utilize that intelligence and how we creatively apply it. What do you think you can do where you can creatively apply your gifts ?
I think that I’ll be looking at this a bit further to see where it is that I can take my creativity next.