Creating Creativity

I wrote about why reading is important to personal growth and the styles of reading we can use to gain information.

Now I want to talk about what we do with this information. We are in a position to be caught up in new ideas and concepts. It’s easy to agree with the last thing we’ve read when begin to read more, yet we have a responsibility to ourselves to question what we read and how we creatively apply this information to our goals.

Thinking about creativity

Creativity doesn’t happen one morning we decide to be creative. Sometimes I sit looking at a blank screen and have no idea what topics I want to write about. I’m still learning how to ask the right questions so I can move closer towards my goals.

I’ve learned that creativity builds on what we learn and experience.

Creating something allows us to connect the past to the future by looking at past ideas and experiences then reordering them with new information into something different and better. By doing this we can continually grow and develop the future we want for ourselves.

Creating creativity

As I mentioned above, creativity doesn’t happen in a vacuum, meaning there needs to be a starting point. Something that helps us create the news from pieces of the old.

The starting point

The starting point is us, we all have the potential to be creative. As children we would draw odd objects with different colors, this is the core of creativity. We were able to take old ideas, mix them with new ones and come up with something different.

To get back to that point we have to give ourselves permission to fail.

Once we give ourselves permission to fail we give ourselves permission to explore and take chances. This might mean that you learn about topics that may not add value now but might later.

It’ll take time, yet each small amount of information added can create a snowball effect becoming greater over time.

We should strive to continue learning and developing ourselves within the framework of our personal vision and goals.

The catalyst

A catalyst is something that helps speed up events or helps an event occur. Our ability to learn across different topics and apply what we’ve learned is important to creativity.

I think are at a turning point in learning, having so much information in our hands with near instant access yet we still learn by trying to get as much detailed information (i.e. MS degree) and specialization (i.e. Ph.D.) as possible.

I’m not saying these degrees aren’t important, they have a place and function. Yet, I think this is changing.

Learning about different topics across systems may not be about specialization but it may be the future of how we work. The future may need people that are able to learn across different systems or topics and apply thoughts and concepts to different fields.

For example, artificial intelligence (“AI”) is a popular upcoming field yet people are thinking about biology and physics when thinking about AI. Learning about how biological systems work, learning about how we learn and how we know things or why we think we know things, or how bridges and arches don’t fall can help us change how we think and helps us look at problems from a different perspective. This, I think is the future.

Creativity comes with time

Creativity takes time and discipline, it’s up to us to give ourselves time to create. It takes time to read new topics and develop perspectives based on new and changing information.

Scheduling time to learn and think about things is important to the creative process. Being creative also takes a lot of practice with learning how to read based on your reading goals and knowing how to question information presented.

Generating creative thoughts is something hoping and wishing won’t accomplish, we have to put the time in and do the work.

Evaluating results

The path we’ve taken began with reading new and different information, we practice questioning things we read in the context of what we believe so we can get a true vision of ourselves.

Creativity is the next step is by applying what we know and learn.

I’ve been reading philosophy on how we know things. It’s interesting to question what I think I know and why I think I know things. It’s also interesting to see how much I really don’t know.

Yet, what good is this to me if I don’t apply this kind of thinking towards my personal vision. To ask why I want to have the kind of life I’m working towards. I see this as an application of my learning, taking action and seeing what happens. To be creative we must take action.

The actions we take should move us closer to our personal vision. The way we see if these works are by making goals and by making goals we need to finish what we’ve started. If we don’t finish anything then how do we know we’re growing? What we try may or may not work but that’s alright, the point is to be growing.

I write here to share my experiences in failure. What I write isn’t perfect and I know there are mistakes that I’ll see later and I’ll cringe yet I see my posts as successes because I’m growing my creativity and reaching my goals.

Finishing and evaluating a task is one way we can do an honest assessment of our progress. We shouldn’t be overly critical of the results but we should be honest. I know that with each post I become a better writer and things will improve with time and learning.

Final thoughts

The power of creativity starts with us and our ability to give ourselves permission to explore and fail. Creativity, like self-improvement and learning, takes time.  Disappointments are sure to happen yet we should view this as a path to success and not the destination. The point of finishing something and being better the next time is a reward in itself. We have to remember that doing something is better than doing nothing.