Creativity doesn’t just happen. It is not timebound and doesn’t come in an on-demand format. It’s hard fought-after and earned through painstaking hours, days, and weeks of preparation. In everyone you meet, there’s a lifetime of creative experience. Within all their lessons learned, adventures had, and successes won—there’s a system of small moments that creates the conditions necessary for inspiration to blossom and for genius to flourish. This is where creativity lives. It’s born within us, contained by our years of experience, and brought to life through our ability to grasp a moment by making something out of it.
To be clear, creativity is not artistry. Nor is it just insight. Rather, it is a derived skill that comes from Divergent Thinking, which leads us to become better problem solvers. This thought process is how we form many varied ideas for solving the same problem. It is how different perspectives are gained and troublesome obstacles are overcome. Inversely, Convergent Thinking is the thought-process responsible for narrowing and eliminating. It is how we analyze and subject ideas to the criterion that makes a solution workable, viable, and realistic. While uniquely different, these two processes work in tandem. The combination of divergent and convergent thinking is what turns those miraculously illuminated moments of inspiration into real and possible solutions. True creativity in that sense, is the connective spark that lights a path between imagination and reality.
The ongoing search for a hackable approach to harnessing the mind’s creativity has been a primary focus of artists for millennia. In the TED Talk, Your Elusive Creative Genius, Elizabeth Gilbert—author of Eat, Pray, Love—uncovers the painstaking responsibility associated with being labeled a Creative. Artists, much like the rest of us, find that creativity can easily die or become an unwanted, burdensome process when it’s placed under the rules of requirement and subject to undue stress. As such, in the new age of business where innovation and change demand a constantly adaptive creative approach, it’s helpful to understand that in your search for inventive ideas, you’re not alone. You have a genius.
This week is all about unlocking creativity. And for that reason, we’re recommending extra content that might just reveal the insight you’ve been looking for. Whether you’re naturally Convergent or Divergent in your thinking, there’s inspiration to draw from in your unique approach to the creative process. In either regard, allow yourself still moments for inspiration to blossom. It just might surprise you to discover How Boredom Leads to Brilliance.
“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking”
– Albert Einstein
Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider