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Creativity - and The One Thing

Updated: May 2

The One Thing you have that nobody else has is you.

Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision.

So write and draw and build and play and dance

and live as only you can."

                                                                                     - Neil Gaiman

Creativity: What is it? What is its value? How do you recognize it? This has been a persistent drumbeat throughout my adult life. I’m perplexed that many people believe that only certain people are creative, e.g.: artists and musicians; and that so many people believe they can never be creative – often backed up with the statement “I can’t draw a straight line.”

Likewise, the people who believe you can’t be creative in a business or other environment that is perceived to be non-creative in nature.  A colleague once told me that she needed to move to California in order to be her creative self. And a number of people have mentioned that it’s impossible to be creative in certain locations, businesses, etc.

I’m a firm believer that everyone is creative to a certain degree and that all children demonstrate immense amounts of creativity almost from birth. Unfortunately, our creative tendencies are often stifled by beliefs instilled in childhood, or by our own fear of trying something new and not succeeding immediately. Creativity is not binary – an all-or-nothing, yes-or-no condition. Like most things, it’s a spectrum. Often people are more creative than they perceive themselves to be. That creativity can reveal itself in works of art or craft, or in less obvious ways - such as the ability to creatively solve problems, by resourcefulness, and by innovative problem-solving abilities.

We would love to hear about your experiences and beliefs about creativity, and to start a conversation on the subject. Meanwhile, the following are just a few sources of information and perspective on the immensely broad subject of creativity.


On personality characteristic of creatives and the creative process, among others:

“Creativity - the ability to make or otherwise bring into existence something new, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device, or a new artistic object or form.”


On creativity and its contribution to happiness and fulfillment:

"The ability to think and act creatively is the most powerful antidote to depression, disillusionment, distancing, and destruction; research shows that participation in creative arts learning, problem-solving, and empathy result in wellbeing."


On creativity and the universe of work:            

"While there is no single definition of the creative economy, the United Nations Committee on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) says that it is the intersection of human creativity and technology or products that have economic value, including everything from content creation and art to architecture, research and manufacturing.”


On creativity and eccentricity: Oh yes – these characteristics rise together.

For anyone who has an interest in exploring the connection, I give you just as a starting point – my recent HugAnEccentric blog. It also includes a link to a Free personality profile for creatives who want to explore - Not “How creative are you?” – but “How are you creative?” … an important distinction.


Lastly, for anyone who has the time and desire to take a seriously deep philosophical dive into studies about the nature and definition of creativity, here’s a compelling look at creativity from Stanford:


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