‘I’m not creative!’ That’s what people tell me about themselves. I’ve heard it over and over. From church leaders, business people, pastors and even musicians. I’ve heard it from all sorts of people. The problem is, it seems to me that there’s at least some creativity in us all and there’s hidden creative genius in everyone.
Before I go too much further I should clarify what I mean. When I say we’re all creative, I’m not implying that everyone is artistic. That’s clearly not the case. If that’s what people mean when they tell me they’re not creative, then they’re probably right. But, being artistic isn’t the only form of creativity. Not by a long shot!
Creativity, at least by one definition, is simply the ability to create ideas. To put it another way, creativity is the ability to produce options.
Everyone can do that!
God has allowed us all to see one thing and come up with another way of doing it – an alternative, a different option. Granted, that one alternate idea may not be all that great, but it is an alternative all the same. Come up with enough bad ideas and eventually you come up with something memorable.
While everyone has this innate ability, not all of us realise it or utilise it to its full capacity. Sometimes we settle for what has always been, or the way things are, instead of choosing to expand our capacity and create something new. Often we do this because we don’t see ourselves as creative.
We can overcome this way of thinking and become more creative by applying the three ideas below. We can begin to rethink the everyday and start to create new and better realities for ourselves and those around us.
Three ideas for becoming more creative;
1. Expand Your Outlook
If you’re going to grow your ability to create ideas and produce options, then you’ll need to continually expand your view of the world. God has created a expansive, beautifully detailed world around us. Don’t limit yourself to the things you’ve already experienced. Instead, choose to expand your horizons and take in more of the incredible things around us.
Always be collecting thoughts, pictures and anything that captures your attention. It doesn’t matter what genre, or niche you live in, always be adding the things you collect to your expanding pool of inspiration. Over time you’ll soon discover that the things you’ve seen and experienced will become launching pads for your own new ideas. You’ll realise you’ve got options for your way forward, no matter what your life looks like, or what you need to achieve.
Note: when you’re doing this, don;t forget the Bible as a primary place for inspiration. If you’re going to be able to see the way forward in life, to know the best options for your journey, you need to be ever increasing your knowledge and understanding in this area too.
2. Discipline Your Mind
Idea generation doesn’t just happen, it takes effort. The effort is in the discipline of renewing your mind. Instead of telling yourself that you’re not creative, start to think about and study what being made in the image of the Creator means then apply this to the area of your own personal creativity. As a starting place have a read of my post called ‘The Creator Creates Creatives’.
After that begin to discipline your thinking about all the regular activities you encounter everyday. Instead of going for your usual options, choose different ones. By training yourself to create options when you don’t have to, you’ll soon find you can do it when you do need to. Write the options down. You don’t have to actually do them, it’s the discipline of the process of generating new ideas that will help you.
3. Surrender Your Time
Like any task worth doing, becoming more creative takes time. Look to any successful person and you’ll soon discover that they’ve invested a lot of time into their craft. There’s no getting away from it. If you want to develop the ability to generate ideas then you’re going to have to put time into expanding your outlook and developing discipline with your mind.
Most people want to be better at coming up with ideas. It seems that very few want to put the time in the actually develop their outlook and discipline their thinking enough to really achieve a high standard in this area.
Ideas are valuable and creating options is highly useful in building not only our own lives, but the lives of others. We need to see ourselves as creative and take seriously the need to serve God well and wisely in this and every area of our lives.
Stay tuned for more on the topic of creativity in coming posts…
Over to you…
Have you ever thought of creativity as the ability to create options? How do you come up with ideas? Click here to add your thoughts and comments.