In today’s world of global competition and complex problems, creativity and innovative capacity are rapidly becoming requirements for personal and professional success. Businesses increasingly value workers who can come up with customized solutions to complicated problems.
Also, improvisation is a key skill for people who want a career of their own design instead of one dictated by the corporate sector. (Raise your hand if you thought of Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective – the only one in the world. No? Just me? Okay.)
Your creativity is what makes your life fun; it’s what gets you out of bed in the morning and excited about the day ahead. It makes you love your work and turns it into your passion.
Creativity allows you to push yourself beyond your limits and above your boundaries. You have fun doing your work, and it keeps you constantly thinking and trying to figure out a new and better way to do it.
But people who lack creative thinking will not truly understand the significance of any of the above.
So, let me put it this way: without creativity, there would be no innovation. Forget about the smartphone you’re reading this on or the movie you watched last weekend; without creativity, we would still be cavemen
Creativity is one of the greatest qualities anyone could be blessed with, yet many never allow their true creativity to be expressed.
This is because, as we grow up, we are conditioned by the society to think and function in a specific way.
Let’s have a look at the various ways in which society strangles our creativity and stomps on it till it dies!
a) By perpetuating the myth that creativity is a talent that only a few special people possess, and the stereotype that projects creativity as something that relates only to certain disciplines such as art, design or advertising.
These are such absurd notions, they are almost funny. Yet many people believe them.
The truth is, we are all born with great creative skills and imagination. Every kid shows creativity in some way, whether it’s by playing with building blocks or daydreaming through a school lesson.
b) Through school. Schools have twelve years to sculpt your mind, and they end up convincing kids that they’re not creative. “Realistic” concerns and conformity displace playfulness and originality as kids mature.
Creativity requires qualities that schools tend to discourage, such as daydreaming, uninhibited curiosity, hands-on experimentation and an unstructured, permissive environment.
c) By placing a lot of importance on “settling down” (whatever the hell that means). Wherever you look, that seems to be the ultimate aim of people – to settle down with a stable job, a big house, a loving spouse, and two-point-five kids.
It’s because of this goal that we discourage children from taking up bold and adventurous careers. Instead, we should give kids the freedom to discover something they truly love, while making sure they know it takes a ton of hard work to succeed at their passion.
d) By allowing no room for mistakes. Promising stern consequences if your kids don’t do exactly as you say is akin to shouting “Death to creativity! Death to imagination!”
Kids become more self-aware as they mature, and more eager to conform to social norms. They’d rather avoid something difficult than risk the embarrassment – or, even punishment – that might come from failing at it.
e) Discouraging daydreaming. Since creativity often happens when people connect seemingly disparate ideas, daydreaming plays a major role in it. For example, the Wright Brothers got the idea for an airplane by wondering if a bicycle could fly.
We can start by tolerating, even encouraging, the kind of daydreaming and intellectual meandering that we readily label attention-deficit disorder, as if it’s a defect. Sometimes, it’s not.
f) By mocking excitement. How many times have you made fun of a friend or a sibling, or asked them to just calm the hell down when they get too excited about something they love? Next time, don’t.
Enthusiasm and excitement are fuels for creativity. And quite honestly, it’s rather fascinating to watch someone get all hyped up about their passions; why would you want them to stop?
Some people may make a more obvious difference to the world than others through the products of their creativity – like great actors, cooks, writers or scientists. But creativity is often more about the process, rather than the final product.
You are full of creativity, so go out there and don’t be afraid to show it to the world. It’s time to live up to your potential, fellas!
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