YOU WILL READ ABOUT (5 min reading)
Concept of creativity
5 steps to adopt a creative posture in practice
The word CREATIVITY comes from the Latin creatus, which means to create, from the infinitive verb creare. And, according to the Houaiss dictionary, creativity can be defined as “the quality or characteristic of who … is creative, inventiveness, intelligence and talent, born or acquired, to create, invent, innovate.” The Aurélio dictionary defines creativity as “creative ability, ingenuity, inventiveness, ability that has a native speaker to create and understand an unlimited number of sentences in their language.”
Creativity for many is to find methods or objects to perform tasks in a new or different way than usual, with the intention of fulfilling a purpose. It gives the very common connection between creativity and inventiveness, which is nothing more than an original thought, divergent thinking or constructive imagination. Both concepts imply the act of inventing something new (that is, resort to ingenuity), the ability to find original solutions and the will to change the world.
When we talk or read about creativity the first image we have is that some people are creative and others are not. That some were born with this “gift,” with this “feature,” almost as if it were something genetic within our chromosomes. But, contrary to what the vast majority imagine, creativity is a something that WE ALL have! Regardless of age, origin, level of education, nationality, ethnicity. Creativity is born with us, some keeps it, others gradually “unlearn” to be creative and putting “locks” throughout life: for criticism, fear, school, profession or any other reason – we are going to talk about this “locks” t in a post, in the not too distant future. But the good news is that we can take out these locks on and recover, remember, re-learn our creative capabilities through processes, work, readings, and learning.
Today I’m going to give you 5 initial steps to adopt a posture, a lifestyle or a creative organization. These are simple, important steps, but not necessarily easy steps. But, in his place, I would not stop trying and practicing! Here we go:
- YOU NEED TO FORGET THINGS: forgetting is something that suffers from a lot of prejudice on our part, is always associated with something bad, negative, something that should not be practiced. No wonder Dante put forgetting into one of his hells: to enter Dante’s hell, there is a river called Late – which literally means forgetfulness. In Greek mythology, anyone drinking from the water or just touching the riverbed would experience complete oblivion. In the second part of Dante’s Comedy, Purgatory, the Late River appears as the river whose water the sinners have to drink to erase from their memories their sins and thus enter into Heaven or Paradise. For know that to change the way of thinking is not enough to add new things, we have to remove things. such as a cellphone or computer update that needs to work better by taking away the old systems, the old algorithms and structures to function differently
- HAVE A FLEXIBLE MIND – we usually become half-plastered, fixed in the way of thinking, of seeing the world, of understanding things and people. We became addicted to these lenses, these connections. so many call or say that such people have the “rigid mind.” When I was studying Biology at Queen’s Peace College in São Paulo, I learned in Professor Massao’s lectures on Darwin’s theory of evolution. They deceive those who believe that he claimed to be the strongest species to win the battle for life and evolution. According to the original phrase from the book “The Origin of Species” of 1859: It is not the strongest that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one that adapts better to the changes. A species, but adaptable can have greater resilience to the changes and is staying in the world! – another concept well worked out in Biology classes. So be flexible, change your ideas, the way you see the world, your beliefs. be flexible in order to see the world, find ways, think of solutions, find opportunities for your company, your business and your personal life. Only then the chances of you finding new ways for your challenges, solutions and opportunities will change, you will be more creative and innovative. Think about it on the other side: when was the last time you changed your mind? When was the last time you changed your mind?
- PRACTICE THE DETACHMENT: which is very connected to the previous step. Let go your ideas, conceptions, visions of the world, your lived or planned stories. i would like to share a personal experience with you. I remember that when I finished Law School in Brazil during last century I was totally focused on Rio Branco Institute which is the Brazilian diplomat’s school to start a career in Foreign Affair Ministry because I always liked to travel, to have international contacts, to know other cultures and to build bridges between Brazil and other regions. So, I decided to go to Brasilia (our federal capital) to talk with friends and acquaintances who were diplomats. To my surprise – and initial desperation – I found everything very boring, outdated, old. If I were attached to the original plan, tell me dear reader, what am I going to do with my professional plan and life? If I had not been open to other ways of thinking and doing, are you able to imagine the anxiety and worry I might have had? I knew that I wanted to work with something that connected me to the world, to allow me to visit and go to other places, people and see different cultures. Well, to make a long story short – despite of is an interesting one with a lot of adventures – this “detachment” with the original plan that was in my mind helped me a lot because some time later, I started working on a cooperation project with Italy focused in the Guarapiranga Reservoir (in the South area of São Paulo city, where I spent my adolescence) that opened the doors to international cooperation projects that connected me with NGOs and the Third Sector and which allowed me to recieve a scholarship for a Rockefeller Foundation international program that took me to incredible places like Nigeria, Pakistan, India, and the Amazon, and, until this day connects me to a network of more than 3,000 people in more than 100 countries. Conclusion: do not stick around and cling to your ideas, conceptions, visions, and plans as if you were an invaluable object and you can not just let go. Be open to other people, other ideas and other visions.
- LEAVE YOUR PREDUJICES: when you think about prejudice the most common is to associate them with issues of race, social class, sexual orientation, religion, politics. Yes, all of these areas and aspects of our lives are (unfortunately) part of prejudice. But it is also possible that you have prejudices about an idea or a concept. Just to give you some examples: self-help books, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Astrology, Therapy, Mediation, Hipies …. and the list may increase. So be careful not to have prejudices related to concepts or ideas! Remember that one of the important elements of the creative process is to connect references that we have and know, combine activities, make things in a new way. And prejudice is a barrier to knowledge. We avoid to know something or someone, which at least is, from my point of view a great loss of opportunities and potentialities. So let these new elements and references be part of your life and your mind!
- BE AWARE OF AND STAY IN YOUR DIFFERENTIATION ZONE: Most of us are very good at convincing ourselves about what we are good at, what we do well, what is easy for us to do or deal with. We like to stay in what most people call a comfort zone: that area we already know, we already aware of, that is “quiet” for us. For me this is a step towards stagnation – standing still, frozen, immutable as a statue. I prefer to use the term adopted by Murilo Gun (a Brazilian well knowned entrepreneur, comedian that teaches and studies creativity and has been invited to Singularty University) who define “stagnation zone” and “differentiation zone” – the latter being that area that can generate discomfort, but where we can do things different, learn, discover, explore.
- LEAVE YOUR PREJUDICES: when you think about prejudice the most common is to associate this with issues of race, social class, sexual orientation, religion, politics. Yes, all of these areas and aspects of our lives are (unfortunately) foci of prejudice. But it is also possible that you have prejudices about an idea or a concept. Want some examples? Self-Help, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Astrology, Therapy, Mediation, Hipies …. and the list may increase. So be careful not to have prejudices, or those related to concepts or ideas, remember that one of the important elements of the creative process and make connections about references that we have and know, combine our references in a new way. And prejudice is a barrier to knowledge. We stop knowing something or someone, which at least is, from my point of view a great loss of opportunities and potentialities. So let these new referrals come in!
- BE AWARE OF AND STAY IN YOUR AREA OF DIFFERENTIATION: Most of us are very good at convincing ourselves about what we are good at, what we do well, what is quiet for us. We like to stay in what most people call a comfort zone: that area we already know, we already know, that is “quiet” for us. For me this is a step towards stagnation – standing still, frozen, immutable as a statue. I prefer to use the term adopted by Murilo Gun (entrepreneur, comedian and teacher who teaches creativity) who speaks in a zone of stagnation and zone of differentiation – the latter being that area that can generate discomfort, but where we can do things different, learn, discover, explore.
By using, practicing, and working on each of these 5 initial steps, I assure you, your family, your team will start having creative moments much more often than you think. You do not have to believe me, test! And do not forget: Creativity requires the courage to leave certainties aside!