I have to admit that I found Elizabeth Gilbert’s Ted Talk and the article “Fear is Boring and Other Tips for Living a Creative Life” on Ted.com to be far more insightful than I found her book “Eat, Pray, Love”. Perhaps that is because although I admired, even envied, her personal journey to Italy, India and Bali, her Ted Talk seemed bursting with truth.
I have often debated with highly technical or mathematical thinkers that although they do not think of themselves as creative, they are in fact creative thinkers even if they don’t recognize it. These aren’t individuals of low self-esteem. Instead, they simply see their strengths defined differently. My entire life I have been enthusiastically described as “creative”. I suppose after enough reinforcement it is natural for anyone to begin to believe the often repeated about themselves even if it is often inadvisable. Still, I can objectively recognize brilliant, innovative thinking. Brilliant, innovative thinkers are clearly “creative” in my mind no matter what industry they exercise their mind in. Whether chef, physicist or illustrator, creativity is often rampant.
Calculating a method or experiment to measure the speed of light can demonstrate creativity just as spectacularly as inventing imagery to convince someone to buy a product or vote for a candidate. Both include some a set of variables and a goal to be achieved. Both demand imagination. The need for skill, intelligence and ingenuity is common to them both. The distinctive journey to the solution is a creative one for the brain.
Regardless of your strengths or the industry you work in, the next time you are trying to hammer out a solution that seems elusive, don’t lose hope. Remember that we all have a vein of curiosity inside of us and as a result the potential to be “creative” is forever present.
Source: “Fear is Boring and Other Tips for Living a Creative Life” and featured image from FreeImages.com/Spring Johnson
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