The notion of creativity is often linked to what we would
consider exceptional achievements, like the art of Picasso, the invention
of the laptop or the sleek design of the space shuttle. But for most of
us, creativity brings its greatest rewards when it expresses quietly and
much closer to home.
The dictionary defines 'creativity' as the act of causing to
exist; to bring into being, give rise to, bring about. The very nature of
the word itself implies bringing into existence that which does not
already exist. And yet for most of us, our daily lives are filled with the
repetitive and the habituated. We move through the basic routine of
getting up, getting ready and going to work with one sequence of habits
after another, rarely if ever noticing that we are engaging this
repetitive process, day after day after day after ...
We find ourselves lamenting the state of our lives, looking
around us and trying to figure out what's 'wrong' with our lives; with
our work; with our friends and family. Yet maybe there's nothing 'wrong'
at all. Maybe what's missing is a creative outlook - a different perspective
or new world view - on what's already there.
Creativity has its roots in curiosity. Without curiosity,
there would never be the questions to which we seek answers. Or the
daydreams that call out to be fulfilled. Or the change and innovation that
we often intensely pine for. Without curiosity, there would be no reason
for us to go anywhere new or meet new people or think a new thought. And
yet, how many of us have become stuck in the habituated way of living our
lives, applying our greatest creative expression to finding a variety of
ways to explain and describe why we can't have the life we want!
Imagine what your life could become if you got curious -
about yourself, about your world-view and about your motivation for making
the choices you make. Suddenly, life would be filled with astute
observations and their corresponding, life-expanding insights. The next
time you find yourself in that same old __________ (you fill in the
blanks: conversation, relationship, job, problem, etc.), instead of
looking around for someone to blame for keeping you there, get curious!
Let yourself notice you, for a change, and ask yourself the following
questions: Isn't that interesting! Every time x happens, I do/say/respond
with y. How come that seems like an intelligent response? How does it
serve me to continue to do that? When was the last time that I actually
chose my response instead of just acting out of habit? What is it that
always doing x allows me to continue to not pay attention to? What would
happen to the quality of my life if I did something else instead? Who
would support me and who would be angry/sad/disappointed/frustrated with
me? How much more of my life do I want to live like this? What am I
waiting for to be able to choose differently? Whose permission do I need
to be able to begin to live my life in a way that leaves me feeling alive,
dynamic and energetic? Who do I need to become to allow myself to claim a
The answers to these questions may not come easily, and you
certainly won't find them in anyone else's mind. These questions may even
lead to those dark moments of the soul, where uncertainty can sometimes
feel like that great gasp for breath - the one that will expand you into a
new level of expression. And as Ilya Prigogine - one of the finest minds
in theoretical physics - once said: "The future is uncertain...but this
uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity."