Finding your life's balance: Creativity
Nina Grunfeld, April 12, 2017
In a new regular feature Nina Grunfeld presents a wellbeing series for HR professionals. It's time to focus on yourself
Welcome to spring! Nature gets creative in the spring and so will you. Have another go at the Balance Chart before you read on and check whether your score has changed. Remember that ‘10’ means you’re feeling really satisfied with an area.
At Life Clubs we often come across people who say they’re not creative but we look at their amazing haircut or stunning outfit and wonder what their definition of creativity is. Somehow the word ‘creativity’ can make us feel we’re not Mozart or Tracey Emin, and so how can we be creative?
There’s a wonderful quote by the author Henry Van Dyke: ‘Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best’, which to us sums it up. We are all creative. Being creative isn’t a talent that belongs exclusively to artistic people and it isn’t about being the best. Whether we are aware of it or not, all of us possess an innate creativity that can be expressed in an infinite number of ways.
Remember yourself as a child or watch a child now. Children are naturally creative – they continually use their imagination to invent games, make things, and explore the world around them. They don’t immediately find fault with what they’re doing. They are spontaneous, curious and open to life. They exist in the world of possibilities. That was you once and can easily be again.
Some of us have retained our creativity as we’ve matured into adulthood and still make beautiful pieces of art, poetry or music. Others of us feel we’ve lost touch with our creative side as we focus on making our way in the world.
So how do we relearn creativity? It means being open to new perspectives so that you are continually questioning your beliefs and ideas and willing to change your mind rather than getting entrenched in a point of view. It means being flexible, brainstorming solutions, being prepared to be ‘silly’, to get things ‘wrong’, to laugh. It means recognising that what you do, whether cooking or gardening or sewing, is creative even if you don’t feel very good at it. Being creative isn’t about being original, it’s about adopting a relaxed, open and confident mindset and seeing what happens. It’s also about trust. Trusting that you’re creative and that solutions will come to you.
Three tasks to enable you to feel (even) more creative:
1. Get lost physically
Go for a walk and every time you get to a crossing take the road you know less well. Explore your area. See things for the first time. Lose yourself – in all ways.
2. Get lost mentally
Walt Disney used to read Reader’s Digest to get creative ideas. Pick up a book or magazine you wouldn’t normally read and enjoy it. Notice what it’s making you think. Or, if you’d prefer, go to a museum, art gallery or concert that you’d not usually go to.
Write down a problem you don’t seem to be able to find a solution to, let yourself know that you’ll find the answer to it, and then ignore it. Casually bring it back into focus every now and again, especially when you go for a walk or have a bath. Notice how the solution emerges when you least expect it to.
Nina Grunfeld is a self-help and wellbeing guru, author, and founder of self-improvement workshops Life Clubs