Creativity

Life is a furnace for creativity
Life is a furnace for creativity

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Everyone is creative; some people just look more creative than others.

Most will agree that the transition from blank page to novel or artwork involves creativity.  Yet, even a terrible story or bad painting requires some creativity by the author or artist.

This is because any modification we make to our environment, be it our home, our career, even ourselves, draws upon our human capacity for creativity.

Surely, then, learning more about creativity will have a wide ranging, and positive, impact on our lives.

Now let me clarify, I’m not saying everyone has to learn how to write or paint.  Instead, I am suggesting that we should learn about the processes we describe as writing, painting, working with clay, designing and building furniture, architecture … the list goes on.  The processes that underpin these creative pursuits are surprisingly transferable to other areas of our lives.

For example, during 2012, I noticed that things I learnt in the pottery studio helped me stay on track with my resolution to eat more efficiently.  It wasn’t the specific techniques of pottery that were helpful.  Instead, while reflecting on why something hadn’t work, while comparing it with my previous attempt which had worked … I realised that a similar patient determination would be a useful approach to bring into the kitchen.

An interesting article I read recently claimed that creativity is the very core of the learning process.  When we explore new subject matter, our beginner’s mind constructs what will be our personal knowledge of that subject.  To do this, we deploy some of creativity’s key features:

  • openness to new experience
  • active observation
  • willingness to be surprised

I’m finding that these key features of creativity are turning up more and more in an increasing number of things I do.  It compounds.

Related posts

For a short series on the neuroscience behind creative insight, check out the following:


References and related articles:

Kaufmann, J C & Beghetto, R A, 2009, “Beyond big and little: the four C model of creativity”, Review of General Psychology, 13, 1, pp1-12. (Link)

Frank, L, 2010, “Exploring creativity”, Quantum 2010, University of New Mexico. (Link)

Health Report, 2012, “Behaviour Change”, ABC Radio National, broadcast 10/12/2012. (Link)

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