I recently revisited an article titled "We're All Born Creative Geniuses, Until School System Stifles It." The results of a study on student creativity shows that, as students age through the school years, their creative capacity greatly diminishes.
Could this be a result of the school system? Perhaps it could be to some extent, but that is definitely not the only source. After many school visits, it is very evident that the schools in Canada have come a long way. S
The natural evolution of the mind is to form more belief systems (judgments that we believe are truths), which begin to limit our perspective over the years into tunnel vision. If we aren’t consciously working to open up our minds, question what is possible, use our imaginations, and expand our perspective, it is inevitable for the magic of creativity to close off towards dormancy. Unless, that is, we are exercising our creative muscles on a regular basis.
The right brained functions of creativity, imagination, and intuition all require nurturing through regular practice. As children, we are so connected to these skills and this truth, without question. As we form and compound many layers of beliefs, we begin to doubt these skills, which shuts down the magic. Unless these skills are encouraged and nurtured, with the importance of said skills being emphasized and demonstrated, the left brained structure of society and the mind tends to eventually win over.
We form beliefs based on our experiences - everything from home environments, to school environment, to friend experiences, and so on -- which begin to shape what young minds believe to be true. We form beliefs as we learn about the world in order to help keep us safe and to form an understanding of how the world works. The problem is that beliefs and judgments create linear thinking processes of A leads to B leads to C, whereas creative thinking may take A to number 14 or to a purple elephant with space shoes.
Well, linear thinking very much restricts our ability to think outside-the-box, or to imagine new possibilities. When we are stuck in linear thinking, all we can do is come up with linear solutions. I'm guessing now you can see the potential pitfalls of tunnel vision thinking, also known as stuck thinking or fixed mindset.
So why is creativity important?
In embarking on my own creative process of self publishing, I had a whole bunch of limiting beliefs pop up about why creativity is NOT important, which all stemmed from my own experiences in my youth, which led me to form opinions (ahem, beliefs) about creativity. Here goes: 1) Creativity doesn’t pay the bills. 2) Creativity should only be a hobby you do once in a while - otherwise you're just wasting your time. 3) Creativity not a practical life skill. (Oh, boy!)
ALL OF WHICH ARE SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH!
Creativity is important for more reasons than I will be able to even imagine. Without creative thinking, we can’t imagine new possibilities, new solutions, or new dreams. Creativity leads to new inventions, ideas, ingenuity, and brilliant never-before-imagined solutions, products, and services. Creativity is what moves the world forward.
If you look around the room you’re in and took away everything that was created from creative ingenuity, you would be sitting on the floor in an empty room with no music, no decor, no lights, no art, no electronics, no entertainment, and no furniture. It is mind-blowing to consider the things we take for granted when considering the creative bravery and drive that was required to bring these items to life.
Have you ever watched a young child come up with an original story?
It is absolutely mesmerizing to witness the completely spacious thought processes that allow for a unicorn to live on the moon, eating watermelon for breakfast, after which he proceeds to take his pet chameleon on a trip to the beach. No big deal. How magical is that?!
Now imagine that, as adults, we had the ability to think outside the box at the drop of a hat? What possibilities could unfold then? I can tell you it would for sure be a lot more expansive and exciting than A -> B -> C.
Creativity is what makes the world go round, it really is. And those who nurture that ability within themselves and are brave enough to follow it, will be the ones who create incredible, impactful change in the world, that the rest of the population may only hope to dream of.
How can you fuel creative thinking today?
About the Author:
Kristin Pierce loves chai lattes, inspirational quotes, hunting down incredible kids books, and writing in rhyme. She is a Children's Book Author, Self-Awareness Educator, and Momma of two who is on a mission to spread empowering and inspiring messages about following your passion, thinking outside-the-box, and believing in your big dreams. She is the author of Your Inner Compass That Could and, coming soon, Mayva O'Meere, Creationeer.
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