"Creativity is intelligence having fun." -- Albert Einstein
When people think of creativity, they think of artists, writers or painters. But, what if I told you that creativity matters more than ever to the business world.
Being creative doesn’t mean artistry. Yes, creativity can be found in the arts, but it's also found in software engineering, mathematics, sales and start-ups.
What does it actually mean to be creative?
LinkedIn Learning Instructor Stefan Mumaw, who has authored six books on creativity, has this definition: “Creativity is problem-solving with relevance and novelty.”
- Relevancy: Relevancy means actually solving the problem. As in, it was relevant to the problem at hand, and provided an actual solution to it. A solution without relevancy is no solution at all
- Novelty: Novelty is harder to judge, but it’s when you are able to solve a problem in an original way. A way that isn’t what’s expected or has been done before.
Putting it together, creativity is really just solving problems in original ways.
Creativity is not an innate gift, it takes practice. If you are still unsure about releasing your creative flair here are all the ways creativity can add value to your life.
1. Boost endorphins
Research tells us that doing something creative gives us an instantaneous boost of positivity So if you're feeling a bit blue all you need to do is get your creative kick on and you should be smiling in no time. This can be painting, to problem-solving an ongoing project. When you have a creative breakthrough your endorphins go through the roof but research shows that the journey to your creative breakthrough gives you positive vibes too!
2. Brings us back to our childish routes
There is no right or wrong way to be creative. We have the freedom to let our minds wander. When we create, we engage with the world without judging ourselves or trying to conform to another way. It gives us the feeling of freedom we may have experienced during childhood. It gives us permission to take risks, try new things, and strip away inhibitions in a healthy way.
3. Defines our authenticity
When we create we access our thoughts, feelings and beliefs. When we take the time and energy to develop our own ideas, we learn to understand and trust our inner self. This allows us to better express ourselves. You may be surprised at the thoughts and ideas that you discover there.
4. Gives us confidence in our abilities
When we create, we start to value our work. We learn to trust our instincts and gain confidence from expressing them. When we break outside of the norm and come up with novel ideas, the only person we can trust is ourselves, because there are no other leaders making that same path.
5. Stress Relief
Being creative is meditative. Creativity is fun, and doing anything that brings joy reduces our stress levels and improves our quality of life. When we create we take our mind away from feelings of fear, or worry and focus on positive new things.
Last but by no means least - one of the most important benefits of creativity is that it enhances our problem-solving abilities.
There isn't a manual to being creative, and there isn't a manual for being alive. Obstacles and challenges are inevitable. However, when we make creativity a habit, we start to view problem-solving as an art.