Have you ever heard someone (or yourself) say, “I am just not very creative” or “I use to be more creative than I am now”? When I hear someone tell me this, I call BS on it immediately. No matter what “type” of person someone claims to be, everyone has a creative bone inside of them.
Think back to when you were a child. You can probably recall countless creative endeavors that were embarked on such as, drawing pictures for your parents to hang up on their fridge or playing some form of “make-believe” games with your friends. You may not have been the next Picasso or Shakespeare, but at that age, these two artists were also likely not the creative forces they later became. Notwithstanding the genetic “genius” of the relative few, the difference when it comes to creativity, in many cases, may be nothing more than the fact that those who are considered creatively gifted kept honing and practicing their craft into adulthood, while you didn’t.
The 10,000-hour rule is true. Studies have shown it takes roughly that amount of time to master a given skill. Many who are regarded as great, in whatever field they are in, likely weren’t born with incredible talent. Instead, they put in countless hours of work before they became masters of their craft. Maybe they recognized it sooner than most, but they still had to perfect their talents once realized.
I am going to briefly boast about my business partner and Lucid Cause co-founder, Shaffer Nickel because he is too humble to do so himself. For those of you who don’t know Shaffer, he is a very creative person. His video capture and edit style is unique and captivating. It is truly phenomenal how he is able to produce such amazing work so quickly and brilliantly. He would be the first to tell you this skill has taken many years and countless hours of video production to get him to where he is now. There is no fast track to any form of creative work.
Knowing a creative skill won't manifest itself overnight, there are a few simple things one can implement to harness their creative energy.
1. Practice something foreign
Whether it is learning a new instrument or cooking a new recipe, try to incorporate something in your life that forces you to become a “beginner”. Having to focus your mental capabilities in ways you haven’t before can help you see things in a new light.
2. Write in a Journal
Writing allows us to think deeper about a given event or feeling. Through the act of putting our thoughts on paper, we begin to learn things we hadn’t realized before and start to make connections previously not seen.
3. Find time for Stillness
The final but hardest characteristic to accomplish is finding time to block out tasks, events, chores, and reminders in order to cultivate moments of complete mental stillness. We all live busy lives, but if we’re able to make space for pure relaxation, our overall well being will only increase. The mind will be more capable of thinking clearly without the distraction and urgency of daily life.
Living creatively isn’t simply a “nice-to-have” skillset. It is a necessity! The world around us is evolving at an ever-faster rate. If we don’t cultivate the inherent creativity within us then we will be left in the dust.