By Jean-Paul Cortes
"Instead of pouring knowledge into people's heads, we need to help
them grind a new set of eyeglasses so that we can see the world in a new
-- J S Brown.
Is creativity something reserved for artists and geniuses?
A lot of people believe that to be true. And so, they make it true.
The fact is, that we are all born with a creative genius, the problem is, at some point we lock the door on it and throw away the key. Pretty soon our creative juices dry up like a prune.
Just think back at when you were a child (we were all one at some point in time), we pretty much could craft a toy out of anything - an old box, a bottle top, an old shoe.
We liked to play dress up, draw up makeshift treasure maps and play under the covers. There was no limitation to what our imaginations could conjure up.
Why then, is it so hard for many adults to turn on their creative switches?
It's as if when we're asked to come up with something creative, the light bulb has been removed, or at least reduced to a flickering flame.
There are many theories to why this is happens, it's sensible to assume that the way we're being taught to approach knowledge, may play a big part into our creative genius' demise.
Think about it, from the time we enter school we're taught to do things in a certain way - paint inside the lines, elephants are not pink, imaginary friends don’t exist.
We go through this process of indoctrination all the way to adulthood, and then we're asked to be creative, does that make any sense at all?
The traditional education system was clearly set up to pay predominant attention to logical and mathematical skills for the most part, and the arts take a faraway second place.
This is not to say that we should do away with learning the traditional subjects, but we need to start paying more attention to what we can change in order to be successful.
Creators in the arts, be they in dance, music, literature, cinema, or the fine arts of painting and sculpture are so successful at change because they introduce new ideas, skills and practices.
Rarely do they wield the theories, ideas and concepts that scientists employ. They seemingly are in a constant state of flow when it comes to creativity.
How do we solve this dilemma? For the one part, there's a great deal of mind opening that we need to do, curiosity may have killed the cat, but it's just what we need to awaken what you had as a kid, and that you still have today, even if you've put it in the back of your mind.
Learning how to listen and observe and primarily to ask questions are the ingredients to rediscovering creativity.
Many people make a lot of assumptions when faced with a problem. The natural way we were taught was to look at a problem and try to find a solution.
What many people don't realize is that this may be exactly what we need to avoid. There are a myriad of solutions to any given problem, it just depends on how you look at things, and on what you're focusing on.
It's pretty hard to "think outside of the box" when we've been breathing, seeing and living all our lives within a box. We need to step out of a linear way of thinking and approach problems in a completely different manner.
An interesting and valuable approach is what's called the "Sphere of Creativity."
Think of it this way, a long time ago we thought the world was flat, it just didn't occur to the great majority of people, that it could be anything else, let alone a sphere.
They were limited by the way they looked at things.
When we discovered that the world was in fact sphere shaped, many doors were opened and things took on different meaning. We could go North, South, East, West and approach places from an unlimited number of directions.
That's the power of the Sphere of Creativity, that you can take a problem and view it from many different viewpoints, an unlimited number in fact.
There's another point to this, rarely does a solution pop up from us looking for it.
"Looking" for a solution is one of the hardest things to do, we're usually more concerned at coming up with a right solution or not taking a wrong approach.
An easier way to do this, is to start asking questions.
Within the questions lies the answer. So instead of breaking our heads trying to find a solution we just ask questions, there is never a shortage of questions.
Here's where it gets interesting, once you've come up with as many questions as possible, and after you've given yourself permission to view your problem from any vantage point, just step away from the problem.
You may ask, well how is this going to solve anything?
Have you ever thought about how our minds work?
If you have, you probably recognize that a lot of what we do is primarily non-conscious, there's only so much that our brains keep at the conscious level, it just takes too much energy to focus on everything in our environment.
It's begun to dawn on us that not only do our non-conscious minds process a lot more information that we thought, but that it's the workhorse of our everything we do.
Our non-conscious minds are powered by an unlimited capacity to think and produce our perceived reality, and we've only begun to scratch the surface of its potential.
So, learn to step away. Rest assured that part of your mind is processing the information and it will come up with a solution.
Just be ready when it comes, and pay close attention to how it manifests, because it mostly takes on the voice of intuition.
How many times have you told yourself: "If only I had listened to myself", this is your intuition speaking, turn up the volume and your creativity will explode.
This way of thinking is not an accident. Creativity is not an accident. We're all born with it, and the ability to explore and take advantage of this is infinite.
It is in our genetic makeup, we just need to not be afraid to use it.
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