There is almost nobody out there actively trying to supress creativity, except a few foreign dictators. But there are more than a few people claiming that our education and daily lives either leaves us uncreative as an unintended side effect (despite good intentions), or simply neglects creativity altogether.  Whatever the reason, creativity tends to be approved of, and is necessary for looking after ourselves in new situations.

 

An old saying is that we should think outside of the box. The box refers to the general patterns we think in, probably the ones we have been educated/trained into. Education has encouraged us to think analytically, or logically, or in a linear fashion. And none of this is wrong. But there are other options. If we continue to conventional in our thinking we may still come up with some ideas; only these ideas will follow the conventions we already have. They are progress along the same direction we were already travelling, but they are not changing direction. Creativity involves not being conventional.

 

Myths to abandon

There is only one right answer.

Life is more ambiguous than this. There may be only one correct password for an account, but there are an infinite number of potential passwords. There are many ways to tell a story; there are many solutions to many problems.

Logical thinking

Our minds created logic to explain cause and effect. The act of inventing logic is an act of creation, but it is a very narrow way of thinking. Life does not usually fit into neat little formulas. Don’t limit yourself to logic. Embrace metaphors.

To entertain an idea is to accept it

Entertain as many ideas that might be even slightly relavent. You can choose the good ones later on.

The convention was never creative

Somebody invented the convention we presently follow, or more likely it developed as the result of many minds over many years. It actually was creative the first time it appeared. But following the convention means we follow somebody else’s creativity. Consider the possibility of developing a new convention.

Don’t break rules

Well, never do anything unsafe or immoral. Other than that, consider all the options. If the rule is just a human convention, it might be breakable. If it’s the true laws of physics, we have to accept it. Many things we accept as laws are really conventions.

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson spent time in the wilderness and (amongst other things) realized that the society we created and lived in was only one of many possibilities. Other nations did things differently. Consider all the endless possibilities, and realize there may be better options.

 

Creativity is healthy. Embrace it where possible.

A little Healthy Creativity