The Dirty Secret of Creativity

Some Creativity experts purport that in order to be deemed “Creative” one must be an expert in one’s domain, and then innovate something in that field. Other Creativity teachers push the idea that either angels or magic are behind our inspiration. This concept is nothing new; it came from Greek times when Plato taught that creative genius came from “the muse” and “divine madness.” My research has taught me that Creativity is not for the select few—but just the opposite. Creativity is for everyone and it’s as readily available as the air we breathe. There is absolutely no need to ration our interaction with it because there’s plenty to go around. That should be a relief for those who’ve assumed that the Creativity fairy had passed them by.

Understanding the phenomenon of Creativity is beneficial not only for posts on Pinterest, but as the key to our own individual happiness. If you think Creativity is for the specific population who pours over screenplays at Starbucks, or the gutsy group who pirouette across the Canyon Theater Stage, or if you feel relegated to the monthly paint-by-number league (cheers for the wine!) then maybe it’s time to explore what true Creativity is.

I have a friend who works at the largest entertainment corporation in the world. She’s around Creative people 9:00-5:00 year-round. She’s surrounded by painters, animators and writers. The other day she was introduced as “the non-creative administrative type” and her heart sank. She was sick of being excluded from the Creativity Club. During coffee one day, we processed the scope of her job requirements and couldn’t quantify the amount of Creativity warranted by her position as manager of people and producer of programs. Creativity exuded from her all day, every day, but because she didn’t see herself as “one of them” she had been sullied with an underlying disappointment. After challenging that long-held belief, she was met with fresh joy and inspiration.

It takes a Creative act to change our thinking, but that’s exactly how we transform anything in our lives. One thought at a time. Creativity invites everyone to engage, not just the artsy-fartsy talented elite. Once we discover just how Creative we are as nurses and homemakers and problem-solvers and managers, we realize we are drawing from the huge well of human Creativity—the same source that inspired the discovery of life-saving penicillin and that produced the Mona Lisa.

Scientists even believe that human Creativity is intrinsically the same as Creativity in nature—the stuff that makes the stars shine and rivers run. When we understand what Creativity is (and what it’s not), we see that we are a part something greater than ourselves; then we can slough off that muddy disappointment. We can begin to see Creativity in everything we do and everywhere we go. I guess that’s why they called it magic way back when. But the dirty secret behind every magic trick is the power of belief. And as for Creativity—well, it’s NO secret.