What comes to your mind when the above question is asked? Well, since it is an open ended question, there might be different understandings of the word and hence, different answers. Some of the common definitions would be imaginative thinking process, ability to create ideas into reality, traversing across novel and innovative pathways.
But honestly, creativity is the ability of a person to think differently with an exploratory perspective irrespective of the thoughts. To define creativity in a few words is not an easy task. It is not just a talent or a skill but the in the nature of a person, their outlook , mindset and way of perceiving things.
Often we confuse creativity with divergent thinking and conclude that creativity demands for you to have diverse answers to a question and not limit it to a single solution.
It is not totally correct because convergent thinking as well as divergent thinking come under the nature of creative thinking. So not separate but they’re two sides of the same coin. Creative thinking is an umbrella term which encompasses much more than the apparent understanding of the word. It has many layers to reveal.
Convergent thinking involves the thinker to reach a single solution for any problem, like in mathematical questions. But divergent thinking is more open ended in nature as it empowers the thinker to express freely by letting various mental windows open to more than one solution to a given problem.
To be very wise, out of the box thinking is quite often appreciated as it reaches out to others but without knowing what is inside the box , one would never know how to expand their world outside it. Just like learning the alphabets of a language is the first step to their proficiency in the language.
Often it so happens, that creative thinkers are expected to be letting their minds venture to something extraordinary and out of the world. But one important thing, the above statement is not a necessity for someone to be creative but just a situation that is probable to happen. Creativity can be identified even in our day to day activities in the smallest way possible.
As I said before, it is within a person. Creativity often begins with very simple incidents that lead to something praiseworthy. For instance , Newton had discovered gravity through the falling of an apple from the branch of a tree. There have been similar efforts by others, random if not purely coincidental or accidental.
Honestly, there are several ways creativity is observed. Although novelty and uniqueness are important, originality is something that forms the base of creative thinking. To be creative does not mean one has to deny all that is existing but to be capable of creating something with a little skill, effort and their power of mind.
When a painter or an artist looks at an artwork be it a painting or a sculpture, they not only see what is visible on the surface like the strokes, colours or the appearance but go way beyond that and perceive those at a different intensity.
Their interpretations might be way different than the reality. Similarly, a photographer captures many things within his camera, certain views, people, events, objects, sceneries, and a lot more. It is not just an instrument but equivalent to an organ like the eye or as important as one’s memory.
Why this is said is because he captures what he wants to see or show to the world. Visions cannot be remembered throughout one’s life but the camera acts as a very useful source in bringing back those visions, moments or memories from time to time or even better recreating them.
For writers or even thoughtful people, little things, simple and common make a lot of sense as they tend to derive meaning from whatever they’re exposed to. Often they are capable to see something unusual in the usual that happens almost regularly.
They can do wonders with their pen. They have really proved its might as they play with words, effortlessly create a world on paper, far from reality or even if ordinary present it in a way bound to be recognised. They bring to life several ideas that others can only think of.
For an artist; his artwork, for a photographer; his camera, and for a writer his words are very dear to them almost like a treasure trove because it stores their creativity within.
Some steps to empower creative thinking are mentioned below.
- People should be sensitive to their surroundings and be aware of what’s happening around. They should be able to see in a way not usually seen and be able to spot gaps, inadequacies that others are unable to. This requires wide reading, exposure to more information, and asking questions.
- They should try deliberately to find more and more solutions, suggestions to some question or a problem as this increases fluency and flexibility.
- Brainstorming would be helpful. This puts imagination before judgement. Letting the mind think and evaluating the worth of ideas later is the aim of this activity.
- Engaging in activities requiring a little more imagination is necessary like decorating the house or designing something.
- To never accept the first idea is another step as it doesn’t allow the mind to accept more ideas rather think about it.
- Taking a feedback from others is a wise step.
- Role taking or trying to view the situation from someone else’s point of view makes a person unbiased.
- One should be aware of their potential because during tough times they give up not knowing what they can achieve.
- Self confidence is of utmost importance.
- Ideas may cluster up in the mind which requires a person to organise them in the form of a diagram
- Being self dependent and solving issues without the interference of others reflects their motivation level.
- To resist the temptation of immediate solutions brings in thoughtfulness.
- Allowing thoughts to relax brings in peace of mind.
- Trying to find out cause behind things is also important.
- Creative thoughts might not be utopic but merging of previously known facts.
- So once and for all change your perception of creativity, and take into account the layers it reveals from time to time