If you love nature, you likely have well-developed five senses, intuition, environmental awareness, and reflexes. The concept of green also signifies a sense of community and sharing, Being consciously aware of surrounding nature is one of the ingredients to developing a creative environment. It allows us to create by captivating the eyes, mind, and heart.
But creativity also takes a leap of faith and the conscious awareness not to fear the unknown. In other words, what lies beyond the immediate environment? And how do we get beyond the immediate environment?
Creativity means turning new ideas into reality – we think, therefore, we imagine, and then produce. And we create by examining opportunities, relationships, and motivational practices. We ask ourselves, “what if?” and the world is at our disposal. It sounds simple enough because the fundamental underlying value of creativity is that it can be learned, sought out, and supported by trusting ourselves. Yet, the other facet of creativity – its polar opposite – is that we unlearn how to be creative as we grow up. We seem to lose our ability or forget how to let our minds expand. The discipline of creativity goes by the wayside with predictable and repetitive thinking.
Learning to be creative is similar to learning a sport, using the right muscles. Creativity means stretching the mind and mastering a way of thinking that is experimental, exploratory, questioning, and synthesizing information. Often, we need a supportive environment to be creative and a mindset that tells us that being wrong is not the worst thing that has ever happened to us.
We are all born artists. A child proceeds to imagine without censoring thought. However, as we grow up and mature, we develop more fears. We loathe being wrong or out of step. Unfortunately, our schools aid and abet this diminishing capacity to imagine without limitations. We have to get the answers precisely correct on our tests. Creativity, diversity, and dynamic and interactive interchanges are not valued in most schools.
The riches in our human experience tap into our learning experience: everything we’ve ever done informs how we learn. And it often stops there because we are not developing a willingness to be curious. We focus on what people expect of us. As a result, innovation in our society suffers. We don’t look for new ways of thinking so that we can find new solutions. The mental gridlock of ideas leaves us bereft of creative skills.
Last year, IBM weighed in with a massive study interviewing over 1,500 CEOs worldwide to discover the essential talent they look for in an employee. Hands down, the response was employee creativity. It isn’t just the creative employees responsible for innovation; management is responsible for being in lockstep with those who generate new and exciting ideas. Everyone works together in the company to hone in and shepherd the final vision. Every aspect of a business needs creative people, from marketing to customer service, knowledge building, design, and advertising. It is the responsibility of every member of the entire company to share and reflect creative ideas for innovation to occur. Encouraging personal relationships, networking, and downtime (playtime) is crucial to realizing a company’s vision.
Take time to reflect on creativity’s role in your life and workplace.
Think about how you loved to express your creativity as a child.
Revisiting some of those activities will spark renewed energy and fresh insights to enrich you today.
Joan Frances Moran is a creative thought leader exploding with the potential of now. A lifelong learner with an unrelenting curiosity, Joan started teaching yoga at 60 and unlocked the key to cultivating daily happiness. Her signature headstand is not the only thing that leaves audiences in awe.