Sunday, July 1, 2012 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

To be creative

The ability to create things of beauty is one of the most essential parts of being human. No matter who we are, everyone enjoys a splash of creativity in their life. Human creative expression takes as many paths as there are humans, from music, to writing, imaging, math, food,  physical expression and every other possible aspect of life.

Creativity breeds happiness. The joy of bringing something new and beautiful into the world is powerful. To shape your thoughts and give them form in real life is exhilarating. Yet, too many people look at creativity as the domain of 'other people'. The people with talent and skills that they can't match. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Creativity belongs to all of us. It's part of who we all are. In fact, the more each one of us embrace our creative sides, the more we will all benefit. Creativity is not just the stuff of fine artists, it's where our ideas are born. The more great ideas we have, the further we will come. But how do we blast up our creative output? Act like a child.

You were born a creative genius. When we are children we are extremely creative. In brains without impulse control ideas run free. Children can easily turn three chairs and a couple of blankets into a fort that is the scene for the most epic battles imaginable. They spend their days inventing new games, drawing new creatures, and making new discoveries.

As we grow up and the responsible world puts more and more requirements on us we can no longer live like children. We have to make room in our schedule for buying groceries, washing clothes that our children have messed up while being creative, and going to work. Some of us find their ways into work and lives that still require a great deal of creativity, others end down a path where acting like a child would be unthinkable. No matter what you do, being able to step out of your adult onset mind can only benefit you.

So how do you go about acting like a child? To behave like a child takes a certain amount of disregard for what people might think of you. I often try to approach the physical world as if I was still 8 years old. I love balancing on the edge of the side walk, jump a low bench while imagining I'm riding a motorcycle and balance on top of the retaining wall along the street we live on rather than use the sidewalk. These things are not creative in itself, but when you look at the world with this type of mindset, it starts to look different and you think about objects in a different way.

I also strive to retain the curiosity of the world that I had as a kid. I take extra time to look at things, even things that I know very well, and try to pretend I see them for the first time. This way I marvel at the spiderweb being spun inside my mailbox and how amazingly intricate the parts of the hibiscus flower in my yard are. When I drive to work I often get into deep wondering about how miraculous cars are. The amount of power I wield and the breathtaking pace I am moving at. When you approach everyday objects with a curious mind you see that we are surrounded by amazing miracles every single day.

When thinking about the world in these terms, it is not a long step to start thinking of new uses for existing things and new idea all together. I probably annoy my coworkers and family with most of my idle thought experiments and unrealistic ideas to improve the world, but that doesn't worry me so much. Not every idea will be earth shattering, but at least I am not stuck thinking the same things over and over.

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