How to Become More Creative–Part 1: Benefits of Creativity

Do you ever feel like you want to be more creative with something, but you aren’t sure where to begin?

Maybe you feel bored in certain areas of your life, and some new ideas would be great–but where do you get them?

When I was working in a job for years that didn’t really suit me, I felt this way a lot.  I wanted many areas of my life to be more interesting, but I felt trapped.

But when I started to pursue my interests and ending up teaching English as a Second Language, suddenly I could let me creative juices flow…. and the enjoyment of my life went up exponentially.

So how can you “stir the pot” and start getting those creative juices flowing in different areas of your life?

 

First, I want to list some benefits to adding more creativity to our lives:

1. Creativity adds JOY to our lives:

One of the hallmarks of Communism in Europe is the grey buildings that were built en mass.  Looking at them just gives me feelings  of boredom and depression.  But if you go to Chicago and take a tour of their various creative architecture, it can fill you with awe and even joy.

Doing things in new and creative ways rather than always the same old, same old, can truly bring enjoyment to different areas of our lives!

 

2. Creativity helps us find SOLUTIONS for our personal lives when we feel stuck.

Often we can feel trapped in a situation and think that things are impossible to change.

But usually that isn’t true at all.

We often just haven’t thought of (and especially taken action on) the solution.

It’s easy to get stuck in a way of thinking about and doing things that feels comfortable to us… and doesn’t bring the results we want.

But creative activities such as prayerfully brainstorming or mind mapping can help get good ideas on paper and inspire us to new solutions that will actually get us where we want to go (more on that in the next blog post).

 

3.  Creativity can CHANGE the world for the better (and bring joy to others).

All the good ideas in the world had to start somewhere, but they probably didn’t with those who wanted to keep things the way they always were.

Someone sometime had to say, “I don’t like the way things are being done now. I want to try to find a better way.”  If everyone was always content with the status quo, there would be no wheel, no spaceships, and no Cirque de Soliel.

Even better, creativity can help bring solutions to the difficult problems in our world.

When we ask the question, “How can we improve….?”, and prayerfully keep asking and thinking until we’ve received some good ideas, it’s amazing the answers that we can find!

 

Me?  Creative?  Yes, you are!

You may not feel like you are very creative, but I guarantee you are.

Sometimes we limit the definition of creativity to artistic abilities.

It is true that some people have more artistic talent that others, but that’s not the full meaning of the word creativity.

Creativity just means thinking of and doing things in new ways–not always the “traditional” way.

With your talents, gifts, and ideas, you can be creative in many areas of life, not just with art (although, that too, if you like).

Tradition = Boring? (Not Necessarily.)

At the same time, not all tradition is bad.

Tradition can pass valuable meaning from generation to generation or bind family or friends together over meaningful and enjoyable activities.  

They can bring comfort and peacefulness to our life, since they are predictable and hopefully hold good memories.  Traditions and routine certainly can bring joy to our lives.

But when tradition starts feeling dull and meaningless…. like a bog in which the water stagnates, it’s time to start thinking of other ideas that DO bring meaning and life and joy.

 

It’s time to spice things up a bit!

For example, when your Christmas holiday seems to be so much the same every year that it’s beginning to feel bland and not very meaningful, how can you come up with ideas to spice it up (and the courage to implement some of them)?

Or maybe Saturday morning chores seem to be one big fight in your family; perhaps there are some ways to make them more fun… such as an ice cream cone outing at the end and/or a competition to see who can do the most (well) in a certain amount of time?

Or maybe you want to spice up dinner time (literally) by trying out some out-of-the-box recipes from other countries…

Sometimes people desperately want to hang  onto old routines and traditions–even the bland ones– so it might be tricky to introduce change.  You might have to use wisdom about what to change a little bit (or a lot), or perhaps change a different aspect that is more under your control.

But there is usually some way that you can bring more creativity to a boring task or tradition.

So, again, you don’t have to change everything you are doing all the time, but if you feel bored or if some area of your life just doesn’t seem to be working, some creative solutions could be just around the corner!

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Next week, I’ll list some steps and strategies to help you stretch your creative muscles in order to come up with some enjoyable and effective solutions for areas of your life in which you feel stuck.

 

For now, what benefits have you seen to creativity?  How about tradition?

What areas of your life could use some creative solutions?  Go ahead and comment below 🙂

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