Constraints make your creative

I don’t know what’s so special about being “creative.” I know that the idea of being a “creative person” has a certain aura to it. I know friends who literally drool when they meet someone who’s in a creative profession or just creative in general. But I’ve failed to understand what makes the creative, creative.

Here’s one aspect that I’m so sure about — each of us is creative. It’s inside of us all, waiting to be explored or unleashed rather. The challenge, however, is that we believe we cannot be creative. Or plainly think it’s not for us.

See, it’s a mindset issue. And in my experience, one can tap into that frame of mind if one is open to possibilities. That’s all creativity is all about. You want to test that? Try to work on a project where the stakes are high. Document your actions, bloopers, and the decisions you take (or have someone else do that for you) through the course of the project.

You’ll be surprised how creative you can get when your back is against the wall.

I know I work the best when stakes are really high or when I’m facing a situation that isn’t ideal or maybe getting in the way of my plans. Just yesterday, I took out time despite a stacked schedule to complete my “reading” of the chapter on Persistence from Think and Grow Rich. How? On the Audible app! I’d bookmarked the chapter 6 years ago! I tapped on the chapter and listened to it twice while driving my way to a meeting.

Alright, you can call that “cheating” but if the intent of reading the chapter every day was based on dousing my brain in the idea of building “persistence” the audio was as effective. Probably twice more since I heard the chapter twice!

What changed? My situation. I had constraints to work around and I figured out a way to get the job done in a different way. Now, that’s being creative! And if you’re thinking only artists and writers (not my kind) or musicians can be creative, you’re clearly missing the point.

And if you’re super-convinced that creativity is for the special snowflakes out there, I can now tell why you can’t ever be “creative” in this lifetime. Probably that’s why Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said that “most people die with their music still within them.”

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