Undo the Brainwashing-Be Creative

Do you confuse being creative with being original? You might confuse being original with being unique. And do you think there’s no way you can be creative because your life is so ordinary? Society has brainwashed you. Undo the brainwashing: Be creative.


According to Merriam-Webster creative means one is marked by the ability or power to create given to creating, having the quality of something created rather than imitated.

Original means the source or cause from which something arises; that from which a copy, reproduction, or translation is made; a work composed firsthand; a person of fresh initiative or inventive capacity; or a unique or eccentric person.

It’s easy to see why original and creative get confused. If one is the source or cause from which something arises that thing is an original created by someone who is creative. 

A creative person can create something original (never having been in existence before). But a creative person can also “create” a variation on something in existence.

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

— Kurt Vonnegut
Image of a light bulb plugging itself in-undo the brainwashing: be creative.


Sometimes creativity needs rest, solitude, and meditation. Give your creativity time.  

If you have struggled with meditation in the past, try looking at it a different way. Meditation means engaging in contemplation or reflection. Yes, it can also mean to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness. But the first definition is what’s important. You must take take time to contemplate what it is that you wish to do creatively. Step out of your busy, busy schedule and schedule some time to think. 

Trust Yourself

Schools and some parents and some persons in authority squash creativity. They justify themselves that they must do that to ‘control’ the classroom/work situation or to “make” a child/adult follow the rules. Some rules are important for health and safety. Group activities require some common behaviors, in other words, rules. But creativity needs nurturing. Under the pressure of all those rules, creativity can grow quiet and weak. You must listen carefully to hear your creative voice. And you must trust it. Trust that it doesn’t matter if there are failures. Most things you can do over. In the words of Neil Gaiman, make glorious mistakes. For it’s in those mistakes you’ll find your creativity.

Be a Vessel

Chance favors the prepared mind.

— Louis Pasteur

Give yourself what you need to undo the brainwashing: Be creative. Soak up as much information and inspiration as you can. But know what speaks to you. How do you know what will spark inspiration? Look for things in your learning/thinking style.

  • Visual—you learn best from pictures, images, and spacial relationships. Feed your creativity with trips to museums, art and craft shows, or other visual feasts. 
  • Aural—You prefer using sound and music. Music, rhythms tapped on your desk, and lectures or webinars will probably feed your creativity.
  • Verbal—you learn best using words (speech, writing, and reading). Reading, audiobooks, and/or journaling may work for feeding your creative self.
  • Physical (kinesthetic)—you prefer using your body, hands, or sense of touch to learn. Perhaps you would get inspiration during a power walk or a run. Gather a list of inspirational activities—a touch museum or zoo, working with clay or tools, or keeping your hands busy knitting or sewing as a way of feeding your creative self.
  • Mathematical (Logical)—Logic and reasoning systems are your preferred method of learning.Try numbering your ideas or create a systematic routine—try several—to spark your creativity. 
  • Social—you love to learn in a group setting with other people. Your inspiration may be at a party, in a large classroom, or in other social settings.
  • Solitary—you work best alone and learn best when you use self-directed-study. Carving time out of your day to be alone to think or study will be key for feeding your creativity.

Don’t know what your learning or thinking style is? Experiment with the suggestions above. I’ll be you find one that works better than the others.

Be Creative

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

 — Bruce Garrabrandt

Remember, you don’t have to be an artist to be creative. Undo the brainwashing: be creative. Give yourself permission to be creative. Fill your creative well and your soul and your happiness will grow. 

You Don’t Have to be an Artist

Sadly, many people seem to think they aren’t creative because they don’t make art. You don’t have to be an artist to be creative. 

Illustration of a brain with lightning coming out of it--You don't have to be an artist to be creative.

Creativity is not just for artists. It’s for business people looking for a new way to close a sale; it’s for engineers trying to solve a problem; it’s for parents who want their children to see the world in more than one way. 

Twyla Tharp


Merriam-Webster dictionary defines creativity as the ability to create and the quality of being creative. 

Notice, it does not define what you create. You don’t have to be an artist or do any particular craft. If you create a comfortable home—that’s a type of creativity. You can create a recipe by substituting one ingredient for another. Creativity comes in all sizes, shapes, and colors.

Creativity runs across many categories in life, from the arts-and-crafts project a mum or dad does with their kids, to the bestselling author’s manuscript, to the designs of the hairdresser, to the creations of the computer programming genius.

Tabatha Coffey

You Don’t Have to be Good

Unfortunately, some of us have been taught that creative mistakes were “bad” or creative play was “a waste of time.” And some of us were taught that if you don’t excel at something, you aren’t creative.

But you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t even have to be good. Let go of that. You are creative. 

What is Creativity?

Creativity comes from curiosity, from taking two ideas and rubbing them together to get something different. 

Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm.

Earl Nightingale

It’s the bedtime story you make up to please your child. 

The fact is that creativity is everywhere. It’s just about the way that you look at things.

Ginevra Elkann
image of paint brushes with different colors of paint on them, you don't have to be an artist

It’s the way you fixed the broken chair or even in the lie you told to get out of going to your mother-in-law’s for dinner. (No, I’m not condoning telling lies, I’m pointing out that it takes some creativity to put together a convincing lie—or even an unconvincing one.)

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

Mary Lou Cook

It’s the color scheme in your home or the model added something to when you built it or its the crazy lego house you built with your niece or nephew.

Image & Quote "True Play is creativity." John Lasseter image is of dad holding little girl while he holds a sparkler--you don't have to be an artist

There is a Fountain of Youth: It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.

Sophia Loren

You Are Creative

Still feeling uncreative? Read my post “Do Things from Your Soul” to help you find your passion and enthusiasm. And be here next week to read more about the care and feeding of creativity.

Remember, you don’t have to be an artist to be creative. You don’t have to be perfect or even good. You ARE creative. Recognize your creativity. Honor it. And you’ll learn how creative you are.