Creativity: the Driver of Personal Development
From the moment we are born, we start to develop creativity, even if it may simply take the form of a survival reflex in an unknown and hostile world after nine months in the womb.
It is this creativity which drives us to communicate, asking for food, letting the world know we are in pain, or attracting the attention of an adult. In the first few months of life, this creative virtue manifests itself through crying.
In our first few years of education, and indeed through all of grade school, we use creativity to study, make friends, create games, interact with our classmates, and even make up excuses when we are unprepared for an exam.
Then come the years of higher studies, of labor development and career building. In my opinion, it is this stage of life when we become fully aware of the meaning of creativity. This is the period in which we come face-to-face with facets of life unconstrained by format or structure, where paths are developed almost on instinct.
As adults, we tend to say that we must be creative to find new paths, overcome obstacles, develop projects and even be better people. It is probably this last instance where creativity should aid our personal development. Here I will pause to delve further into my own concept of creativity, one that I have painstakingly developed over the course of my 53 years.
Creativity is a virtue we all possess, one that develops to the extent that we use it.
When I was young, and even as an older teenager, I thought that creativity was the exclusive realm of artists and advertisers. The rest of us mere mortals were excluded from this great myth of creativity.
As time went by and I was faced with many situations across my personal and professional lives, I began to understand that creativity is a virtue we all possess, one that develops to the extent that we use it. Hence, the myth of creativity as an exclusive club was overturned.
Creativity forced me to take paths I had only dreamed of, which became a key driver in my personal development as a son, brother, friend, husband, father, colleague, communicator, and professional. It was creative processes that allowed me to open new doors and pin down expectations that initially seemed far away or even downright alien.
In my experience, creativity is best exercised every day, even if, at least in my case, the results are not visible on a daily basis. In the beginning, I thought it necessary to create space for slower daily activity, devoting more time to thinking and being creative. I must confess that I totally failed. In my case, it didn’t work out that way in the end.
I now find creativity in activities that I enjoy, that drive me to do something different; for example, sharing time with family and friends, driving, swimming, searching for new frontiers, working, heading up teams and contributing to them, cooking, and leisure activities. These are all creative areas I would wholeheartedly recommend.
For myself, admiration is also fundamental in finding creativity. In my admiration of people, situations or landscapes, I can discover creative paths that help me find different perspectives on my daily routine, existing outside the constraints of problem solving. In this regard, I have always admired entrepreneurs, who seem to have pockets full of creativity and use it liberally every step they take.
Our socio-economic ecosystem is a major factor in determining how creative we should, or are allowed to, be.
Furthermore, many prodigious readers claim to find creative space in the lines of familiar books they take in almost reflexively, analogous to what I find in the activities I mentioned above. As you can see, there is more than one way to become absorbed in a creative process.
Lastly, the environment in which we live engenders greater or lesser creativity. Our socio-economic ecosystem is a major factor in determining how creative we should, or are allowed to, be. Additionally, individual situations and curiosity about new experiences are other prime factors shaping our creativity levels.
My final point is that creativity is a healthy driver of our personal development. Embracing creativity should help us to evolve into a better society, a fair society with a range of opportunities for every individual.