How We Use Creativity

By: LeonardoTrait
I have spent some time recently thinking about "being creative," and about "creative people." I've also spent quite a bit of time thinking about how creativity functions in our lives and how we use creativity even in the simplest of problem-solving situations, like figuring out how to unlock the passenger-side door from the driver's side of the car without walking around the car on an icy parking lot.

I don't know that what I've come up with is really all that groundbreaking, but I hope it's an interesting look at how we use our creativity.

**"Creative" vs. "Noncreative" People**

There seems to be a widespread belief that there are "creative" people and "noncreative" people, and that only the former use creativity on a daily basis, while the rest of the world exists in some kind of creativity-free zone where nothing creative happens.

I just don't believe that.

Not only do I not believe it, I know it is not true.

I know this because I happen to know some people who don't fall into the category of "creative" as most people see it. Let's take my husband as an example. He's about as left-brained as you can get. He's a computer programmer by trade. Most people don't think of computer programming as being a creative profession.

But it is, if you think about it.

I realized this some time ago when I asked him to design a database for me. I couldn't figure out what to put in it or how to organize it. Watching him, I realized that he was literally designing, creating, this database. There was nothing, and then there was a computer database holding all my data exactly the way I wanted it. It was really amazing.

There are people whose work is more overtly creative, or who do more obviously creative things, than other people. And yes, it makes sense to call these people "creative." But I don't like the term "non-creative" for other people. How about "less obviously creative" instead?

Works for me.

**What is Creativity?**

My favorite definition of creativity comes from Dictionary.com:

"Characterized by originality and expressiveness; imaginative"

I think it's important, in talking about how we use creativity, to focus on the originality and expressiveness of creativity.

In this sense, a computer program can be as original as an oil painting.

I deeply believe that auto mechanics are some of the most creative people alive, because they can hear a description of a problem and *imagine* what might be causing it. Heck, I can't even imitate the noise right, let alone know that it's coming from my rocker plate, or whatever.

If we broaden our definition of creativity so that it includes not just "traditional" creativity, but all types of originality, expressiveness, and imaginativeness, we can begin to see that everyone, every day, uses their creative genius to accomplish their goals, or at least to pursue those goals, whether it be the artist working on a new landscape or the toddler trying to reach the cookie jar.

[End of Part 1]
Self Improvement and Motivation
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