Creativity is something that we all have. We, as human beings, are a creation and therefore we have creativity in our bones. There’s no denying it! It’s a wonderful thing because creativity allows us to live a bright, bold and influential life. And in order to squeeze every potential morsel out of it, we must give it a chance to grow by using it constantly. Much like exercise, we must move and stretch our muscles in order to maintain a healthy and active life. We can’t gain strength by sitting around and doing nothing.
Creativity involves nurturing ideas, giving them life and letting them thrive even if the outcome is unknown. It involves taking risks, facing fears, sharing, experimenting and believing. A creative life produces a fulfilling and interesting life. It’s a better and brighter life.
Let's dive into the six essential things needed to live a more creative life.
1. Be Curious
Curiosity and creativity feed on one another. It’s very difficult to be creative if we aren’t curious. That’s because creating involves figuring things out, trying, re-trying and working our way through a process. Being curious prompts us to ask questions, explore and learn. It’s something that brings color to life and expands our potential. A lack of curiosity, essentially, is a lack of life.
Curiosity calls for us to have an open and willing mind. It encourages us to take chances, stretch a little and go after the things we love. And when we do these things, we give life to creativity. As we see and learn about things, we take an interest in them and accumulate creative juices. And the good news is, anyone is capable of doing this!
2. Notice the world around you
This seems fairly easy, right? But so many of us have become tunnel visioned when it comes to living our lives. We wake up, get ready, go to work, come home, go to sleep. This is a sad reality of the world we live in today and it’s crushing our souls. We must snap out of it and start to notice the things around us. When we are able to this, we start to realize that everything, big and small, is an amazing creation.
Notice the grass, the buildings, the people, the trash cans, the sky, the cars, the sidewalks, the blooming flowers, the smells, the breeze, everything. Notice it! We may see these things everyday, but when we really start to notice them, we can recognize that even the most mundane of things, was created at some point. Noticing these ordinary things will spark inspiration in our lives that will lead to creativity. An openness occurs that allows us to not only appreciate the creative process, but to contribute to it as well.
3. Do it for you
It’s easy to be intimidated, scared or fearful of the creative process. There are so many people out there doing extraordinary things and make it look so easy. But the thing is, creativity comes from inside, it comes from you! Therefore, do it for you! It doesn't matter what the idea is, or how it looks or how it compares to others. The only way you will retain the original treasures in your creations, is by doing it for yourself. Be patient with yourself and your ideas.
4. Make Time
Creating takes time. It’s a process and it needs to unfurl naturally. For some people, creativity comes easier than others, so we must intentionally carve time out of the day in order to make time to create. This time is valuable. The time when we create is deeply personal since it comes from inside. Therefore, it’s not only time to create, it’s time for ourselves.
This can be very difficult to do when we’re running around doing other things, when we have responsibilities and obligations lined up. Life happens and there is no stopping it. However, we can choose to control it and prioritize it. If we are serious about activating our creativity, then we must make time to create. It’s critical to grab hold of the things that are important to us and push back on the distractions. Once we’ve made the time, give permission to get messy and don’t hold back. Work at it and remember that creating is a process so don’t expect the finished product to manifest all at once. Don’t force it.
5. Make Space
It’s really hard to make anything if we don’t create a space to do it. Not only a physical space, but also a mental space. We must clear away clutter and make room for our ideas to form and expand.
In the physical space, this means finding a desk, a floor, a countertop...whatever feels most comfortable and clear it off completely. Bring only the essentials to this creative space. A journal, pen, paper, whatever it may be. If we are constantly trying to work around stuff that has nothing to do with our creative process, it makes it very difficult to stay focused and effective. Ideally, finding a room where we can close the door, or a quiet space outside to just have time to ourself and our work is the best option. You will be amazed how good this feels.
In the mental space, our thoughts, schedules and responsibilities all linger together and can hinder our creative process. Taking a moment every morning to get these things on paper (we call this a “brain dump”), will work wonders for minimizing any distracting thoughts.
6. Embrace the process
The best thing about being a creative soul? The process. We create for the process, not the final outcome. There is so much beauty, struggle, friction and growing that occurs throughout the process of creating. Just like life, it’s about how we evolve as a person and as a creative being that is so remarkable. And we can’t rush this. Sure, the final outcome is a satisfying thing, but it wouldn’t happen without the process.
When we think of it this way, creating becomes a lot less intimidating and daunting. We will make mistakes, we will learn as you go and we will want to continually explore new possibilities. Therefore, there is no harm in starting. There is no harm in claiming that we are creative beings with lots to offer. We don’t have to feel pressured to be the best because that doesn’t exists. If we can let go of fear, grab hold of the process and trust it, then we’re well on your way to strengthening our creative muscles!