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Easy Way to Approach Creativity

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I would gladly sacrifice one of my little toes for the secret of creativity. Is there a secret? I do know that some people are much more c...

I would gladly sacrifice one of my little toes for the secret of creativity.

Is there a secret? I do know that some people are much more creative than others. And some of those creative people have better ideas than the others. Despite that, I do not believe there is a secret to creativity. If you look at websites and blogs about creativity, the advice they give makes it clear they have not found any secret. Much of the advice has a random quality about them, long lists of things you can do that supposedly will make you more creative. Most of the ideas I find on these websites and blogs will only make you more creative if you are already a creative person.

Instead of a secret, I think creativity is a process. Creative people are willing, even eager, to see the world in a different way. Not everyone is like that. Many people, perhaps most, learn some rules of thumb or facts about how to do certain things and blindly follow those rules when possible. This is not a bad way to go about one's business as long as the rules and facts are valid and do not change. The downside though is that being fixed on the status quo means never advancing. So while there is nothing wrong with not being a creative person, those who are creative and are willing to break those rules are doing everyone a great service because it is they who will discover new and better ways to do things. (They are also more likely to break things, but I digress.)

I think the process of creativity has two parts. One part is the questioning of the status quo, the willingness to see the world in a different way. This first part is actually the easy part, and it is where some stop their creative efforts. They simply scramble the normal ways of doing things, call it creativity, and end it there. But it is also essential to put your creative efforts to some type of test. This does not have to be a science, so rigorous experiments are not necessary, but it is helpful to put a new idea through a few paces. Try it out in different situations, perhaps even extreme situations. If it works for all situations, then you are on to something. If not, use that creativity to change the original idea and try something else.

Perhaps there is one secret to creativity, although I am not really sure it is much of a secret. It is the simple idea of trial and error.

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Consider this:

We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin. -Andre Berthiaume, novelist (b. 1938)

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