Before my hiatus of sorts, I wrote a post titled Redefining Art in which I argued for a definition of art as anything we engage in that both demands some degree of skill and is of aesthetic value, and further that it’s our only option if we would live a life of meaning.
But you can hardly talk about art without talking about creativity. And the paradox of creativity, particularly in this knowledge age, is that it’s one thing everyone talks about that few people seem to actually have.
I never thought of myself as creative, either, before my early twenties. I’ve appreciated creativity since my childhood, from those first attempts at copying Spiderman and Voltron, but I just never felt like I could call myself creative.
Until two things happened that changed me forever.
I’ll talk about one of them here. It was a line from a book by the man who coined the phrase “lateral thinking”, Edward de Bono, in book called Six Thinking Hats. He said something like this: creative people are not really any different from anyone else, except that they put more effort than others into trying to be creative.
That statement set me free. For the first time, I realised that being creative is not so much about the kind of person you are (or think you are) as the mere fact that you give it a shot. And another. And another again. And if there’s one thing I knew even then that I did, it was that I was always trying to be creative.
The question of whether creative people are born or made is irrelevant. The question of whether you are a creative is equally irrelevant. Of course, there will always be those to whom it seems to come effortlessly, but that’s not the point, either. What does matter is this: you can be more creative than you are right now. It starts with the simple question of: how can I do this differently?
So what are you waiting for?
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