“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced” — Vincent Van Gogh
Creativity defines the human species — it underpins our favourite technology, music, arts and every other tool or product we use everyday.
The human mind is naturally creative, constantly looking to make associations and connections between things and ideas. It wants to explore, to discover new aspects of the world, and to invent. Don’t stand in the way of your creativity.
Most people view “creativity” as a talent. But that spark of genius can be nurtured and triggered using a variety of techniques.
In “Beyond Talent”, John C. Maxwell asserts that a person’s natural abilities are overrated and frequently misunderstood. While talent is an undeniable advantage, it accomplishes nothing by itself.
If talent is not paired with the right mindset and decisions, it wastes away and eventually evaporates. Everyone has an area of giftedness — something they do exceptionally well. However, the pivotal choices you make in life — apart from the natural talent you possess — will set you apart from the masses of people trying to skate by on talent alone.
In Talent is Overrated, Colvin argues that deliberate, methodical, and sustained practice is the way to achieve true mastery.
“Deliberate practice is hard. It hurts. But it works. More of it equals better performance. Tons of it equals great performance.” Colvin writes.The biggest difference between you and Picasso or Einstein, or the most creative minds of our time is that they embraced the long road to mastery.
They spent more time in front of a canvas, or guitar, or computer, working away at applying their minds and souls to the one thing they wanted to do.Most of what we think of as natural talent is really just the result of having started practice early.
Creativity is a skill that can be learnt just like any other. Whether you’re an artist, writer or an entrepreneur looking for an innovative idea, practice and incorporating creativity into your every day life can help foster new ways of thinking in the search for that elusive Eureka moment.
Lose yourself to find yourself
As children we’re much less self-critical of our creativity. Kids will happily experiment with ideas, pictures, drawings and doodles without any fear that it’s not 100% perfect. Worrying yourself to death or painstakingly creating a concept before abandoning it — even for the smallest fault — can be a paralysing way to work. Larry Kim explains:
Suni Brown, author of The Doodle Revolution, notes that some of the greatest thinkers–from Henry Ford to Steve Jobs–used doodling to jump-start creativity.Doodling can enhance recall and activate unique neurological pathways, leading to new insights and cognitive breakthroughs. Some companies even encourage doodling during meetings!
By throwing yourself into every idea, you can work through and find solutions that you wouldn’t necessarily have thought of had you spent days agonising over a concept.
If you can accept some failures and don’t always strive for perfection, you really increase your chances of producing something amazing and will find yourself constantly learning new things.
Being prolific means going in at the deep end. If you refuse to get started before you’ve brainstormed your brainstorms, thinking through an idea from every possible angle, you can end up with nothing at all.
Perfection is your enemy
“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it” — Salvador Dali
Perfection is great. But you can’t afford it. Non of us can. Most people can’t show their most amazing work to the rest of us because they fear criticisms.They feel inadequate. They are scared people will think it’s not good enough and not perfect.
Others are living in their comfort zones because of fear. You don’t act because you are afraid of too many things that could go wrong. Don’t be afraid of the unknown, because everything is unknown.
You’ll suck at most things in the beginning. It takes time, persistence, and patience to create your most amazing work. Every magic happens outside your safe zone.