Everyone is Creative

During the month of May, we’ll be looking at creativity. A Creative Outlet is one of the six strategies outlined in The Unmarked Path: Finding Your Way Through Change.

It may sound frivolous to be looking for a creative outlet when you’re struggling with where to put your foot down next, but it can help you on every level.

Creativity is fundamentally about changing your perceptions, changing the way you look at things. Ask any artist. Learning to draw is learning to see.

If you want to experiment, try approaching a problem from your dog’s perspective, or a from a different person’s viewpoint (i.e. how would Steve Jobs handle this? or your grandmother? etc.) Shifting perspectives allows your imagination to embrace a broader perspective that can now connect different dots.

I had a film student friend of mine share that her professor told her class that only about 10% of humans are actually creative and that the rest of creative endeavor was hogwash. After a bit of an exchange, we determined that it was semantics, he meant “talent.” Only about 10% are talented. I’m still not sure I agree with that dismal conclusion.

But I do know that everyone is naturally creative; it just doesn’t look the same so it can go unrecognized.  Creativity is about changing perspectives and connecting different dots.

We think creativity manifests only through art or music or writing or dance, but it can just as easily show up in the evening meal, in a woodworking shop, or in the design of a lab experiment or a marketing analysis.

There is a strong connection between creative expression and overall wellbeing. Maybe the natural curiosity of the creative mind, the novelty-seeking and perseverance that are such common traits, allows for a broader perspective. Those traits are also good predictors of life satisfaction.

Creativity can also be associated with self-reflection, and it is speculated that tendency to ruminate can lead to depression. But creativity is also the path toward recovery.

Doing something creative, expressing your feelings, is a time-honored way to handle the blues. You don’t have to grab a microphone or paintbrush, just write your feelings in your journal, express what you need to express. If it is more than the blues, if you’re in depression, get help. As the fog lifts, creativity soars.

When you choose A Creative Outlet as a strategy along your Unmarked Path, it means that you are willing to ramp up your curiosity and your risk taking. It means that for the next 28 days, you will seek new experiences and put yourself in circumstances that challenge you. You might even scare yourself.

How are you challenging yourself this week? This month? Where will you push your curiosity?


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