It seems the longer I live the more I realise the impact of 'attitude' on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than eduction, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than success, than what other people think, say or do. It is more important than appearance, gift, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is that we all have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...I believe that my life is made up of 10% of what happens to me, and 90% of how I react to what happens to me.
Creative artists who make no attempt to better the world we live in are in danger of both betraying themselves, and their art... So what makes a person creative? And why do creative people drive other people crazy? Isn't everyone creative?
A concept of 'creative flow' is that this kind of peak performance is 'autotelic', meaning it is enjoyable for its own sake. So one way of defining the 'creative person' is simply someone who enjoys creativity, and therefore does a lot of it. I believe there are basically three differences between 'creative people' and everyone else.
1. Creative people think of themselves as 'creative' - many people are capable of coming up with original ideas but they block themselves by saying, 'I'm not creative', even when it gets pointed out to them that they have done something creative, they resist the label, and clearly feel uncomfortable with it. The 'creatives' on the other hand, are quite happy to think themselves as creative, therefore they don't create this kind of internal obstacle to their natural creativity.
2. Creative people LOVE doing creative work, and because they enjoy creative work more than most people, they tend to spend more time doing it, which means they get better at it, which means they enjoy it even more, which means they do even more of it, and so on. This is not to say creative people don't enjoy money, status, recognition, or other rewards. It just means these are not as important to them as the pleasures of creativity itself.
3. Creative people put themselves into environments where creativity is encouraged. Creative people gravitate towards situations where creativity is not only encouraged, but also expected of them - art schools, ad agencies, design studios, film sets, and many other 'clusters' of creative businesses. By surrounding yourself with others engaged in creative work you immerse yourself in the latest ideas and developments in their fields - and some of that creativity rubs off.
These three factors help to develop raw creative talent into accomplished skills. That is not to deny that some people are 'naturally gifted' with more talent than others, but this is a matter of degree rather than kind - and talent is nothing unless you put it to work.
So, here's to becoming a more creative person...
1. Assume you are creative - don't worry about labelling yourself. Just assume creativity is humanly possible, and you are human, therefore it is possible.
2. Follow your heart - your passion for creativity is your guide to developing your talent. When your curiosity is aroused, when you feel yourself becoming absorbed, fascinated and excited by a creative task - that's your talent telling you you're getting warm. It is saying, 'Do more of this.' Creativity can be hard work, and it requires dedication and commitment to keep going, but if you apply yourself and follow your heart, sooner or later you will taste creative flow. That point where your motivation, talent and experience all blend together.
3. Hang out with all the creative people - anywhere and everywhere - Anyone can be creative and 'creatives' don't put any limits on their creativity, which makes them very exciting to work with. They are not essentially any different from other people, but they are doing the three things listed above, consistently, which means they are enjoying their work more and producing better and better creative results, working towards the possibility of creating something extraordinary.
And if you want to, so can you xxx