What’s it really mean to be creative?

One simple word that can sometimes strike fear in people’s minds.

When asking people their thoughts on what creativity means to them, the answer that usually comes back is related to something in the art space. 

Oh, I’m not very creative because I can’t draw, or write, or paint, or even act.”

People assume that being creative is limited to designers, or animators, or advertising folks. Something visual that you can see.

It is strange to see how immediately this very right brained connotation is dismissed from their life. Especially if they are more left-brain thinkers. Logical, process-orientated and structured.

I personally believe that everyone is capable of creativity and, more to the point, creative thinking. I think we use it in everyday life when faced with a new problem or challenge that needs to be overcome. Fixing problems in the work environment, dealing with the challenges that our kids, colleagues or family present us with on a continual basis.

So how can you stimulate your creativity?

The first is to recognise and accept that we are all creative in our own way. The second is to acknowledge when we feel we might be stuck in our traditional thinking and need to do things differently to stimulate our creativity.

For me personally, I like to shift my day to day thinking and also the environment that surrounds me. 

On a recent business trip back to Melbourne (a city I lived in for 10 years) I took the opportunity to challenge how I would normally approach it. Instead of booking client meetings back to back as I usually do, I booked them all 1 hour apart. This gave me the ability to walk between meetings. I also stopped myself from looking at my phone. When I sat down at the end of 3 days the following happened. 

  1. I walked nearly 40kms over the 4 days. – great for the body and mind (yes the weather was good)
  2. I was able to take in the surroundings as I walked. I’m a lover of street art so taking this in gave me visual stimulation.
  3. My client meetings actually all started with a discussion about what was around me and them and gave us something to break the ice with.
  4. I was able to process some key challenges that I am working through at the moment in a different way
  5. Most importantly, by not looking at my phone I removed myself from the instant nature of the information that we all get sucked into via device overload.

All of this gave me time to reflect, think, understand and be creative in a different way. It was still a busy trip, but I came back to Perth feeling refreshed, energised and focused on some challenges in a different light.

So, mix things up for yourself, accept you can be creative, look around for a while and do something different (with purpose) to challenge your own status quo.

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Got something interesting that you want to discuss, then get in touch and let’s start challenging the status quo together.