Creative Mondays: 5 Misconceptions on Creativity
#Creativity is an act of genius
Creativity is part of who we are. It is like the air we breathe, so it is a core part of our existence. Creativity is like a muscle that if you don’t exercise atrophies. So it needs intentionality and regularity to nurture and grow it.
As a child you never needed a manual to be creative. No one told you what you should do neither. You simply lived it as creative being by nature. Unfortunately as we grow older we let this core part of our being fall away and atrophy into oblivion. In fact research has proven that the level of creativity drastically drops off as we grow older.
Again, Creativity is not an act of genius, rather we are born with it and it is up to us to nourish and nurture it.
#Creativity is time consuming
Most of us have this false notion that to be creative or creativity requires oodles of time. Certainly to break the mould after a long period of slump will require some time and effort. Just as it is in getting a car back to motion, this will require some significant effort, but once in motion very little is required to sustain the same. The same is generally true for creativity – it may be difficult to establish creative habits, but once in full motion the effort to sustain is much less in comparison. We will talk about some of the creative habits to have for a creative life in a future post.
The currency of creativity is thoughts and ideas; these are not necessarily time hogs. Try setting aside 10 or 15 minutes every day for example – this will go a long way in yielding great creative output in the long term. It doesn’t have to be too long. Beyond the creative process, realizing tangible output may often require more time given the challenges of manifesting an idea. The creative process however doesn’t have to be such a time consuming exercise.
#Creativity is difficult
This is linked to the creative habits mentioned above. Creativity is the product of thought and intuitive processes and don’t necessary have to be difficult. Again, it may be difficult at the beginning, but eases as you get into the flow. In some instances creativity is spontaneous and even quick. Think for example how long it takes to create a picture. In this case creativity could just be a snapshot away!
Unfortunately the perception generally that has been created about creativity is a misplaced and misleading one. Schools and society in general have not helped either in advanced the cause of creativity through thinking for example. In some cases, thinking is not encouraged at all!
In the end creativity takes a bad rap as a result of this. Thinking is a skill like any other that can be improved with indulgence and focus. It doesn’t however mean it should be difficult.
#Creativity is dependent on inspiration
Inspiration is important to creativity, it certainly is an amazing thing desirable to get creativity on wheels. It does not mean however that creativity should stall when there’s no inspiration. In fact Thomas Edison put it so perfectly;
Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration!
This is how we should perceive inspiration. Certainly it has a role to play, but the greater part of the load is lifted through focused effort. In fact inspiration is something that follows or catches on along the way. So get to work and don’t wait for inspiration to stop by for you to be creative!
Remember inspiration is often overrated when it comes to creativity.
#Creativity has to result in unique outcome
This is a big misconception that often kills so many a creative potential. We often have similar ideas and there is rarely something really ‘unique’ that somebody has never thought about. The difference always comes to the execution of such ideas. So ease the pressure and go about creating with no much ado. Waste no time or effort worrying whether your idea is unique or fretting whether it is the next big thing. Great ideas are not necessarily the most unique, much as this is an important ingredient. They however rely on time to market (speed of execution), timing and excellence in execution.
So don’t fuss too much if somebody else seems to have a similar idea as yours. The taste is in the pudding!
Wishing you a super Creative Monday!
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