I am writing for the Write Tribe Festival of Words #4

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There is too much going on in life these days for all of us. Caught between action and reaction, we live our working days and our Sunday rest busy doing so much that we seem to pirouette endlessly most often to reach nowhere!

So much so that people now need to be reminded to live life in the slow lane and pause every once in a while, to savour the moments, live a fuller life and cherish their time with their loved ones.

This is where there arises a need for an empty space, a kind of pause that allows us the opportunity to think and sift through our thoughts and musings and create something that is uniquely our own. Once we allocate a day a week for creative pursuits, it then becomes a vast empty space through which we can wander, without agenda. Eventually, all our journeys have to bring us home.

And we do not have to travel far to get creative. The places that move us most deeply are often the ones we recognize like long-lost friends; we come to them with a piercing sense of familiarity. That’s when we can truly say that we’ve come home.

The famous artist Picasso once said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist”. This is the essence of creativity. Each individual has a different baseline level of creativity that is not easy to identify and even so to evaluate as there are no measurable yardsticks for gauging the potential of creative talent. However the question that often comes up whenever people talk of creativity is – Can creativity be taught? The answer to this is a resounding YES!

Although our creativity levels are hard to change, to some degree, creativity can be taught. While personality traits such as intellectual curiosity, unconventionality and openness to experience does provide an ideal ground for creativity to flourish, often higher IQs and lower latent inhibition (the “inability” to suppress irrelevant or inappropriate thoughts) does provide the raw materials for creative ideas to come forth. In a sense, personality sets its’ limits on creativity although it can still be nurtured via deliberate interventions, especially over a long period of time. These include:

  •  Providing feedback
  •  Assigning people to tasks they love
  •  Training people in Creative thinking
  •  Helping people develop expertise

With a view to enhance creative performance, various exercises can be very effective when applied, namely, teaching people to detect novel ideas, take on challenging tasks, retrieve knowledge outside their main area of expertise, or combine unrelated things or ideas – all of which can boost creativity. One of the reasons for the incubators to be so effective is that they successfully combine many of these techniques  by disengaging people from their everyday activities and forcing them to pay attention to other issues, they push people to see things from different perspectives.

Even small changes in our everyday routine can have a positive impact on our creative output – for instance, taking a different route to work everyday, or taking on new hobbies and activities. A little creative output can work wonders for the human soul, inspiring not just one individual but many others within the larger canvas of life.

It is amazing to see how creativity and inspiration walk hand in hand. It may not always be visible to us when we look at life with myopic eyes and settle only for the immediate. Life and creativity need to be savoured a bit like fine wine…so that the flavour begins to play in the mind itself.

Shaping words from letters, my own journey towards creativity began with the tiny baby steps I took when I started a blog of my own a few months back. The satisfaction I derive from using my creativity is like the proverbial pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. It is this vibrancy of the seven coloured spectrum that beckons to me to create something beautiful everyday, inspiring and enlivening every waking minute of the day.

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