What does it mean to be creative?
I received an email the other day, addressed to the creatives in the group. My immediate reaction? “Well, that doesn’t include me.” I’ve never considered myself to be creative. But it made me stop to think, what does that really mean?
Sure, someone who paints mesmerizing landscapes or composes beautiful melodies, they’re creative. The person who designs websites and brochures, banners and business cards, they’re creative. Interior decorators and landscape architects are creative. Innovators and inventors are creative.
But me? I’m not artistic. I don’t have a great design sense. I don’t have fabulous, brand-spanking new ideas about the next great American novel, or space travel to the next galaxy, or even a better way to mop the floor.
And, to be honest, that has been a little distressing for me… like there was something wrong with me. And then I realized that creativity (and being creative) isn’t only about art and invention, color and design, music and dance.
We are each creative in our own way, in the work we choose and the way we live our lives.
I am creative in my work when I consider alternative ways to perform a task.
I am creative in my life when I change habits and routines that no longer work for me.
And maybe this creativity is not shared with the world. That doesn’t make it any less creative. And truth is, if you’ve created something that positively impacts your life and work, it will in turn impact the lives of those around you.
And, to me, that’s what being a creative is all about. No question that we are impacted by the obvious creativity in literature and art and music. Let’s not forget to acknowledge that we are also impacted by the quiet, behind-the-scenes creativity of efficiency and attitude and decisiveness.
Let’s all embrace ourselves as creatives in whatever form that shows up!