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.

Definitions

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.

Contemplate

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. 

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