Creativity! The buzz word we often hear in media and conferences and at schools and at training rooms in offices. We are taught to be creative at home, office and at personal level and we are preached about the value of right brain thinking.
I wonder, why a basic human trait had to be taught! You don't teach a grown adult, how to walk, then why with creative thinking! We were creative when we were young. We found new use for anything and everything. We created our own song and sang them like no one listens. We found elephants and camels in the clouds. We drew. we painted. We didn't care for the quality of paper or pencil, all we cared was how to get our ideas on to that paper, a little piece of paper.
WHAT HAPPENED TO US?!
To me creativity is not being repetitive and finding a new and better way of doing something! Don't ask me to repeat my work, I'll cry, cringe and feel bored. When we design our project we sit down and create a blueprint of our design and the most important thing we consider, "Never repeat the design", even though it was successful. It's always "Is there a better way to do this!". When you find a successful design or method, your mind looks for the safer route, which is, why not use the one which was successful. It might look right, easy and the logical way in but in the long run it'll kill your creative ability. You would then scourge online for inspiration instead of searching inside you for inspirations. That to me is scary! It's like you no longer exists!
Where did we loose it?
Creativity is a gift but it can be taken away too. Education system is the main culprit which kills the creativity and we parents parade it. The current education system around the world was developed during the industrial revolution which were meant to create resources for industries, some one who can do math, who can do science, who can stick with schedules.
When kids are in kindergarten, kids are often asked 'A' question, "what do you want to become?" Kids reply "Hmmm, I want to be a doctor, I want to be a engineer, I want to be a lawyer" and people smile and say "wow! just like your dad/mom" and there are other kids who say these "I like to draw, so painter", "I love to dance, so dancer", "I love to sing, so singer". The strange thing that happens is that we put the kids who wanted to be a painter, dancer, singer in the same group of kids who wanted to become a doctor, engineer and lawyer and ask them to become a doctor, engineer or lawyer, in very rare case let them pursue their passion but only after the "formal" education! And we tell the creative kids to paint, dance and sing "ONLY" after they finish their homework or probably during summer holidays with a sub-clause "if time permits"! That's cruelty, it's like chaining our kids with a invisible vibranium chain!
How to be creative?
- To be creative you need to put your imagination at work. Don't be afraid to imagine, don't say "this is the only way it can be done!". There are infinite number of solutions to a problem so don't be afraid to imagine, no one is going to charge you for that! Let your imagination roll.
- Be prepared to be wrong. You need to be prepared to be wrong if not you won't come up with anything original. So take that risk and enjoy the thrill it entails on you. The results can be surprising.
- Choose the environment. The environment you are in should aid your creative process not undermine it. I can't work in a cubicle and an environment that ask me to be creative from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (sick).
- Have a culture that encourages creativity. Have creative people around you, better better than you.
- Sometimes creativity is mystical. My partner goes to sleep and at early morning hours, she can be seen designing, designs that she visualized during her sleep. I don't have that power, but it's very powerful, it's like someone gave them the question paper even before the exam dates were announced, they are detailed and powerful. So sleep on it!