Every part of our life is improved by exercising our creativity. For some our creativity is where we will end up making our living but the benefits for all of us of using that part of our brain cross into every area of our lives.
Sure, creativity can be about playing. It can be about doing something just for fun but it’s so much more than that.
Imagine if your right leg was really balanced, strong and coordinated. It could do whatever you wanted it to whenever you wanted it to. You worked it, exercised it and looked after it. You left leg, however, wasn’t. You ignored it – it wasn’t your strength. Your right leg led you where you thought you needed to go, and it had worked for you. Your body and life aren’t balanced – we need both to work well to get the best out of our body. They help and support each other, they complement each other.
The logical and creative sides of our brain are exactly the same. We need both. They do different things – they create a balanced and more competent brain together, but we need to exercise and work both of them. The joy of working the creative side of our brain is that it operates like a flywheel. The more you use it, the more creative you get and builds a momentum of its own propelling us towards our goals. Exercise the right side of your brain every day for the best results, even if its only for ten minutes.
It’s easy to access and use our logical brains because that is where we do a lot of our work, study and even running our households. Our creative sides don’t get as much airtime and because we have developed some odd ideas about creativity being ‘a waste of time’, ‘we can’t make money from it’, ‘we don’t have time for it’, ‘we’re not good at it’ or ‘we’re not good enough’ – we don’t allow time for it in our lives. We don’t prioritise it.
Life is busy and a lot of us have far too much on our plates. Our creativity is often pushed to the side but using it and our imagination can be incredibly powerful.
Every invention in the world came from someone daydreaming, imagining or dreaming. Wheels, fire, laptops, phones, planes, cars, books, language, music or art – they are all the imaginings of someone who dared to dream. Einstein, Jobs and Ford are just some of the figures who changed the way the world worked because of their creativity.
Einstein said, ‘Logic will get you from A to Z. Imagination will get you everything.’ He even went as far as to say that ‘imagination is more important than knowledge.’
Einstein is a great example of an excellent use of creative thinking. When he was struggling with the solution to a problem he would stop and do something else. He would often find the solution he was looking for by moving his brain by doing that. Most of us wouldn’t do that – we would stick at a problem until we found the answer but what if relaxing our brain or focusing our efforts elsewhere really works? It did for Einstein.
Building the creative side of our brain allows us to be more flexible and see problems from a different angle. We can see new and diverse perspectives making us much more effective. We become those people who can ‘think outside the box’ and in a world were progress and innovation are valued so highly, that is a major plus.
It makes decision making easier and those who have developed their creativity further are often more empathetic and able to determine the likely impact of our decisions on others. It gives us the vision and capacity to see the big picture, the context within which our decisions are made.
When we are dominated by our logical brains and surrounded by those who do the same, we can find ourselves operating in an echo chamber with the same voices and perspectives reflected back to us. That’s great if the solution is the right one, but if you are looking for different answers to difficult problems then you either need to develop your creative side or get people in who have already done that.
We grow up as creative beings who explore our capacity for music, art and other things in a way that isn’t self-conscious. We are naturally creative and imaginative yet at school we are required to use the logical side of our brain and develop it quickly to compete. Many of us find we are better able to work and achieve outcomes when we start to tap into the creative side of ourselves whether for pleasure or work.
Is there a business case for creativity?
We often think of creativity in terms of artistic pursuits, but you might be surprised to know that creativity is the most in demand skill globally after Cloud Computing. It’s certainly the most in demand of all of what we refer to as ‘soft skills’. A survey by IBM of 1500 CEOs indicated that ‘creativity was ranked as the number one factor for future business success – above management, discipline and integrity and even vision’.
Creativity is invaluable in the business world. Fundamentally it’s the capacity to move outside of the traditional or normal ways of doing things.
Creative people are great problem solvers. They can find original and unusual ways to deal with new problems. The vast majority of organisations were not prepared for 2020’s pandemic. Yet many were able to find innovative and unique solutions to the challenges of running their businesses in different ways and with many of their people working from home.
There is little question that people who are more creative are more successful. To be innovative, you must have the ideas and that’s where creative people come into their own.
Those with high levels of creativity are more likely to be comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. They thrive in situations of change. Many of us have witnessed this with organisations transformation. Not everyone finds change and uncertainty easy to deal with.
Companies that are more creative are objectively more successful. In a world where many procedural tasks are becoming automated it’s critical that what is left is done with innovation and creativity for companies and people to excel in their industries. Creativity is what is going to make companies stand out in saturated markets. Let’s use an analogy of an author. Stories are unlikely to ever successfully be automated, therefore the storytellers, authors and novelists need to bring their own unique perspective, voice and approach to their writing – that is what will set them apart. If writers simply recreated the perspective, voice and tone of those who had come before them, there would be no need for any more books. Imagine if J.K. Rowling had settled for that.
Exercising our creativity is fun and it makes us more competitive in our workplaces and businesses. There is literally no downside. So, what are you going to do to exercise your creative side?
If you’re not sure how to tap into your creative side then I have great news. Mel Sutton, a mediation and natural health expert is a guest speaker for those in my free online writing tribe on 10th February 2021 from 7-8pm. She will be taking us through a guided meditation to unleash our creativity. I have seen her in action and she is great.
This free event is available to all writing tribe members. You are very welcome to join us then here is the link https://bit.ly/writingtribe
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