Five Secrets to Your Most Creative Self

If you are at all curious about creativity, you can find many famous and not so famous quotes about creativity. What you may not know is that those quotes can teach you secrets to creativity. Below are quotes that reveal five secrets to your most creative self.

image of a light bulb with a colorful flare behind it titled five secrets to your most creative self.

1. Allow Yourself to Feel

Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks.

Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma reveals a big secret in his words above. The only way to be your most creative self, is to find your passion. Sit quietly or meditate. Discover what stirs you. What makes you “lose time?” Makes you forget to eat or drink or even to use the bathroom.

What are the things you most treasure? Books? Art work? Metal work? Cooking? Knitting… the list goes on and on.

Whatever absorbs you is at least one of your passions. It doesn’t matter if it’s a “real” art or not. Remember, you don’t have to be an artist to be creative. Follow your passion. See where it leads. If you have multiple passions, focus on one for a few months. Try as many as you like. (Some people can pursue more than one, but if that’s your choice understand it may take you on a longer journey than focusing on one.)

Rational thoughts never drive people’s creativity the way emotions do.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

2. Know Your Art

Critical thinking and curiosity are the key to creativity.

Amala Akkineni

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.

Edward de Bono

There are two schools of thought about learning the techniques or the skills of your art.

Some suggest that one should create for a while before learning the “rules.” They believe you are more creative before you learn the rules. If you have a strong “perfection” drive, this path may help you.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

Scott Adams

If one creates without knowing the rules, you can be incredibly creative, or you might meet failures. These failures, according to those who don’t ascribe to the don’t learn first thinking, may have been mitigated or even prevented.

Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.

William Plomer

The other school of thought contends that learning the “rules” and applying them as guidelines actually increases creativity.

Creativity comes from a conflict of ideas.

Donatella Versace

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.

Charles Mingus

You may choose to learn the commonalities of good art in a formal or informal setting. Find a mentor, a class, study your art independently. You might find value in doing each of those.

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.

Steve Jobs

Neither method is wrong. Do what helps you most.

3. Be Child Like—Play

The creative adult is the child who survived.

Ursula Le Guin

The third of the five secrets to your most creative self is to play. To be creative, to connect things in ways others find surprising or interesting, tap your inner child. Be a child. Be curious.

Creativity is intelligence having fun.

Albert Einstein

Have fun. If it isn’t fun, take a step back. What would make it fun? Play.

If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.

John Cleese

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.

Mary Lou Cook

4. Allow Yourself to Fail

Image of a lion's face on a black background with the quote "creativity takes courage by Henri Matisse

Creativity takes courage.

Henri Matisse

You may think of failure with capital letters, as if it is a bad thing. All creatives fail sometimes, often many times.

Look at each failure as an opportunity to learn. Examine it. Document it. What you learn may surprise you. The biggest surprises are the attempts you thought failed, and someone else believes is great art.

An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.

Edwin Land

5. Allow Yourself to Create

You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club. Jack London

Being creative, especially when it takes more time and money than you’d planned, can seem wasteful. Perhaps it appears more wasteful to a partner or family member than it does to you. That’s one time when creativity is hard.

Creativity doesn’t wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones. Bruce Garrabrandt

If you don’t give yourself permission to create, you’ll postpone it. You’ll defer to other people’s desires or needs. Don’t wait. Most especially, don’t wait for inspiration or for the perfect conditions. Go for it. The only way it will get done is if you allow yourself to create.

Five Secrets to Your Most Creative Self

To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.

Kurt Vonnegut

You can use these five secrets to your most creative self and in following your passion, you’ll find the real secret isn’t a secret. Do it. Follow your passion, whatever it is. Make your soul grow. And in the comments below, please share what your passion is.

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