Many people view creativity as an exclusive attribute of the arts. Painting, acting, writing, singing, and similar artistic expressions, are viewed as entirely imaginative, and therefore, creative. This, of course, is correct. However, there is a common tendency to turn that central assumption into a limitation: believing that since artistic professions are creative, other professions – engineering, medicine, accounting – are not. Therefore, people who do not show artistic tendencies tend to think they are not creative. This is incorrect.
Every human being is innately creative. We are all born with a natural curiosity and the ability to think. Coupled together, these two things fuel another natural human tendency called, “Imagination.”
As we all know, the ability to create something stems from the ability to think of something – the ability to imagine. Put differently, at the root of every creation is an idea, and the generation of ideas is through thought, and thought fuels the process of imagination. It is true that the expression of creativity differs among individuals, but that is a necessary component of life, and of evolution. After all, even within the so-called Creative Arts, there are very many differing forms.
But why is this important? Knowing we are all creative opens us up to being able to harness that quality, and to apply it to our various lives. The power of creativity is such that it enables us to view things differently, and therefore create positive changes in our spheres of influence – including the work place. Creativity at work can turn careers around, make dull jobs exciting job, and turn dead-ends into opportunities.
Not sure where to begin? Here are a few ways you can tap into your creativity, and start making positive changes in your workplace:
- Ask more questions.
Question everything. Do not do things just because that’s how they’ve been done for ages. Ask questions to find out why, what purpose is served, and start to ask if there are more efficient ways to carry out those same tasks. Asking more questions will also help you be more patient, because instead of getting frustrated when things don’t work, you’ll start thinking about how you can be part of the solution.
- Widen your interests.
Don’t limit yourself to what you know only, instead, go out of your way to widen your interests and try new things! All you do in your spare time is watch football? Well, why not try a cooking class? Or learn a new language? Different activities stimulate different pars of the brain, which means that the more varied your interests are, the more engaged and stimulated your brain will be.
Of all the interests you can pick up, and of all the ways you can tap into your creativity, perhaps the most important is reading. A lot of people feel like reading is tedious or boring, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to start with complicated financial books, or lengthy self-improvement journals – even reading simple fiction can go a long way to expand your mind, and it will expose you to more ideas and experiences than you would otherwise encounter. And of course, more ideas means more fuel for creative imagination.
- Learn from others.
Don’t be too proud to ask other people for help, advice or information! As mentioned earlier, every human being is uniquely creative, and so the way you see things will be different from the way they do.
In the workplace, learning from others could mean trying your hands at new projects, volunteering to be part of projects outside your comfort zone, or understudying a superior. Studying other people and asking for help is one of the easiest ways to expand your thinking and engage your creative side.
The quality of creativity is greatly admired and even envied by most. History has repeatedly shown that creative people are the innovators in their respective fields. Tap into your creative side, get those creative juices flowing and watch your career prospects skyrocket.