For many years, I've been fascinated with the concept of creativity. In my view, I see creativity as an essential skill that all of us should continuously foster and grow within ourselves. Admittedly, I'm more creative at some tasks and activities than others. Just the other day, I thought that I really wish that I was a better artist. I love to draw and sketch, but you'll never see any of my artwork on a gallery wall!
From those who say that there are no new ideas, creativity is about remaining open-minded about what's been done before but seeing those situations newly from a fresh perspective. Creativity is about building on what's been done before and bringing new ideas, concepts, or solutions to existing problems or challenges.
How can we inspire more creativity? The answer is that we start with our children – at the earliest ages. I like Education Scotland's philosophy, a national body for supporting quality and improvement in learning and teaching. Education Scotland has a unique view about the role of creativity in our lives. Under this educational system, creativity is identified as a core skill for learning, life, and work and is defined as a "process which generates ideas that have value to the individual. It involves looking at familiar things with a fresh eye, examining problems with an open mind, making connections, learning from mistakes, and using imagination to explore new possibilities."
Educators in Scotland see creativity as fertile ground for nurturing every aspect of learning, teaching, and continuous personal improvement. More specifically, teachers use creativity to promote curiosity, open-mindedness, imagination, and problem-solving, and this occurs across the curriculum – from reading, writing, and math to science and the arts (and even gym class!).
Like the philosophers of ancient Greece, Scottish educators view creativity as a process of personal discovery rather than focusing on the final product, such as a painting or sculpture. The process of creation is the real gift as it forces the creator to dig deep into his or her life experiences to recall moments of curiosity where inspiration and imagination were released. Once identified, the creator becomes lost in the process, and time seems to pass without acknowledgment. In this flow state, the creator is channeling his or her creative ideas to solve the problem at hand or to achieve the desired outcome.
Creativity is in all of us. We've all experienced the flow state – getting totally and completely lost in a task or hobby – and suddenly, we glance at the clock to see that three hours have passed.
As we begin a new year, it is my personal resolution to focus on the process of creativity. That is, I want to challenge myself to set aside time each day to daydream about launching a new podcast, a topic for a webinar, or just doodling to refine a new drawing technique.
While I'm challenging myself to let those creative juices flow, I also encourage you to do the same. You can 'get lost' in your own flow state writing, designing a new course, or refining an idea for a new podcast. And if you do these things, we are here to assist and support you.
Regardless of the ultimate outcome, tell yourself that it's time to get lost. You and the rest of us will be better off because you did!
Connect, Communicate, and Collaborate. That IS the 3C way.
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