Most often when people think of creativity they think of music, art, photography etc., but there is a creative act that eclipses all of those. This creative act takes place everyday in every life on the planet and few recognise it for what it is. It is the creativity that fashions and shapes the life we live. Your life and what you make of it – that will be your most creative endeavor, and possibly your greatest legacy.
Everyday you use the creativity you were born with to shape your life, but because it comes so naturally you often don't recognise the amount of creativity that is released in your everyday life.
Everyday you are creative in hundreds of ways that feel so normal you don’t recognize the creativity in them. Researchers have recognized this and termed it “everyday creativity”. Everyday creativity is creativity we take for granted, the stuff we don’t even really think of as being creative.
The Mother who thinks up new ways to keep her children occupied, the entrepreneur who sees a need and fills it in the marketplace, teachers, shop assistants, chefs, office workers, engineers – they all use creativity every day in their jobs, home life, and undoubtedly in their relaxation as well, although they may not recognize it at the time.
Making our home a place where we feel comfortable, relaxed, and a place that expresses our personality is creativity – imagined, thought through, planned and applied. Whenever we’re creative we improve not only the world around us but also our inner life too. Our souls are fed by our creativity and our perceptions of beauty. It may be something we’ve created or something created by someone else, but if we consider it pleasing, then a part of us gets fed by that.
Creativity is at work in your life everyday
One of the ways we use creativity is in problem solving. Problem solving is actually everyday creativity applied to whatever we are facing. Creativity is the source of all the answers to the problems we face in life. In fact no problem is ever solved simply by logic; it takes creativity to even start the process of logical thinking. The very act of thinking starts with, and uses, creative processing. If you've ever solved a problem then it was your creativity at work solving it.
A creative process kicks into gear when we look at a problem in order to find a solution to it. As that happens our brain suggests options as answers. Most of us instinctively take the first answer that presents itself for expediency’s sake. Yet that first answer may not be the best answer. Try to look at your problems from different angles, to come up with different solutions, and if possible, give your self some time to do so. A lot of our problems aren’t as urgent as we initially think, and we would find better answers to them if we allowed ourselves time to think about them.
Creating your life
Creativity is the basis and key to all progress in life and society, to all problem solving, and to the creating and expression of culture – personal, family, and society’s culture. It’s a way of living life; it’s the way we create our life. What you make of your life will be your most creative act of all.
As Christians we realize that creating our life is actually a co-creating with God. He is ever present in the decisions we make and while Scripture tells us that Jesus came to give us “life in all its fullness” (John 10:10) and that He will guide us (Psalm 48:14; 73:24; John 16:13), it also tells us that we shouldn’t just make our plans without involving Him in the decision making process.
“Now listen you who say, today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money…Instead you ought to say, ”if it is the Lords’ will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
Every day you make decisions that form your life and in doing so you create that life. The problem is that most of us never take time to actively co-dream and create with God the type of life we want to live. We too often let life happen to us and we sometimes end up living a life that is a million miles away from the dream we once had. Yes there will be circumstances that happen that we didn’t plan, or are beyond our control, but the truth is that we have a lot more control over how our life turns out than we realize. God isn’t into micro managing, and He is not a puppet-master.
As children we naturally functioned in a high level of curiosity and creativity but as we grew up education, and in many cases even family dynamics, told us to stop asking so many questions. And so for many people curiosity, and subsequently creativity, died a slow but definite death.
So we plod through life, living from day to day trying to earn enough in order to pay the bills, and the sameness of our daily life swallows up creativity. Some people are afraid to be too curious. Why? Because curiosity may give rise to discontent, and discontent means having to think about the kind of life we’re living. And if we think about it we may find that we hate it – we hate the sameness, the dullness of living day to day. Maybe we don’t want to face that, because it would mean that we have to do something about it, and that is too fraught with risk.
Usually it is the fear of the unknown that stops us taking a risk, yet it’s precisely in facing that fear that we make discovery – the discovery that there is more to us than we knew, and more to life than we’ve dared to live. We discover that we have the creative power within us to change our world, to make something new of our life.
Dare to replace your fear of the unknown with curiosity again. Fear will bind you up, shut you down, cause you to turn inward and be trapped within yourself but curiosity will take you into a lifetime of grand adventures. Adventures may not always be safe, they may not always be filled with ease, but they are always an adventure, and it’s in that place of adventure that we discover new things.
Don’t let life set your course by default. Commit your way to the Lord, dream with Him about where your life could go and what you could achieve, and ask for His strategy to begin to co-create that life with Him.
Curiosity and creativity
Being curious is a big part of sparking and growing creativity. Allow yourself to be curious. Curiosity is one of the foundations of creativity. A man or woman without curiosity is someone whose life has ceased to be alive with hope. It’s the life of someone who is just going through the motions, waiting until the time they die or until someone rescues them from their prison of sameness.
Keep curiosity alive in your life. Curious people are the discoverers, the pioneers of new frontiers in our world. Curiosity leads to discovery, discovery leads to creativity and creativity leads to invention. Ask yourself, "What makes things work?" "Why are things so?" "Could they be improved on?" "How?"
Growing up I thought Walt Disney was one of the most amazing people alive. My childhood was filled with watching Mickey Mouse on TV and reading Donald Duck comics. I dreamed of being able to go to Disneyland and see this amazing place that imagination built. I longed to be like Walt, to bring happiness to people and make dreams live. Now as an adult I realize that Walt was a man who was innately curious about life, who had a dream and refused to let it go. He surrounded himself with people like himself - creative people who dared to dream, be curious and explore.
Your curiosity and your creativity are some of your most important attributes; feed them often, dare to dream, dare to take risks and to live outside of society’s prescribed boxes. The future belongs to you; let your creativity shape it until it is one that makes you feel alive – joyously, supremely, audaciously alive.
This blog post is an excerpt from my book "Co-creating with God". If you want to discover more about your amazing creative abilities and how they can be used in your life, or if you want to develop your creativity more, then head on over to our store and grab a copy of the book. It's full of great teaching, activations and journaling exercises that will help you use the creative genius you were born with. In it you'll learn how to let your creativity loose in every area of your life and you'll find keys and activations to help you develop your creativity even further.
Here's the link to the store - https://www.robandlyn.org/store/