Happiness Series: Creativity

In our modern consumer society, the majority of people have lost the creativity spark. A lack of creativity is, in my opinion, the biggest danger to our personal happiness. We consume things bought from a store, information and entertainment fed to us through books, TV, social media and the internet. What do we give back to the world? Don’t get me wrong, these things aren’t inherently bad. What is important, is to have balance between that which we consume and that which we create.

Most of my life I truly believed that I “had no creative ability”. It wasn’t until my mid twenties when my astonishingly artistic husband changed my perspective on the concept of creativity. I had always been envious of creative people; my sister with her photography, my grandmother with her painting and crafts. I was convinced that the creative gene skipped me on my family tree. I attempted creative endeavors; my grandmother tried to teach me to paint, sew, weave and bake. The only one of those that stuck was baking and I didn’t consider that creative because I was always following someone else’s recipes. I tried photography, which I really enjoyed but my pictures were never as good as my sisters, so I never considered photography my “thing”. I used to write short stories but was never brave enough to share them with anyone. Did I lack the ability to be creative? No, I lacked the self confidence to consider my creative talents valuable. I lacked the proper perspective of what qualified as creative. My husband passionately believed that I was a creative person who just needed to find my outlet. He ignored my protests that I wasn’t creatively inclined, and I am so grateful that he did. Writing (obviously), cooking, herbalism, photography, and jewelry making are just a few of the creative passions I have incorporated into my life. It wasn’t easy and it took years (and I’m still working at them) to feel confident in my creative talents. Don’t expect your creative talent to come naturally, learning and practicing is an essential part of the creative process. Learn more on my continued learning post.

Research has well documented the connection between creativity and better mental and physical health. Expressing our creativity quite simply makes us better, happier people. I would go so far as to say, to be creative is to truly live. I personally feel, we cannot create true happiness without creativity. Every person in the world has the ability to be creative. The only thing standing in anyone’s way is a lack of action. Find your creative spark and fan it into a life changing flame!

To create something, is creativity. Creativity can be a physical item, a visual creation, something audible or simply an idea. It doesn’t even have to be something completely new. Taking pieces or ideas that already exist and putting it together in your unique way is creativity. Your creativity cannot be compared to creations of others. It cannot be bad or less than. Creativity is an expression of you and your unique perspective of the world. Not everyone will appreciate your specific creativity, but it isn’t for them, it’s for you. Here are some examples and tips for how you can add creativity to your life.

Mental – Creative thinking is critical for problem solving. Identify a problem or situation that you care about. It can be as small as inefficiency at work or as large as world hunger. Choose something you care deeply about, where making a difference will bring you happiness. Look at the problem(s) you have chosen and use your imagination to see the problem from different angles. Brainstorm ideas of how to improve the situation or solve the problem; no idea is too crazy! You can’t rush this type of creativity. Work at it, step away and come back with fresh eyes, then work at it again. Once you come up with an idea that you feel excited about, take action! Get your idea out there and get others involved. Learn new skills to help you take steps in your idea, like software design for example. Start a fundraiser or a movement around your idea. Your idea can inspire others to take action and through that change is made!

Audible – We are all aware of the obvious audible creative talents of music through instruments or lyrical songs. Those are excellent forms of creativity and there are so many instruments and genres to start with! Music isn’t the only audible creativity outlet however. Comedy is a popular form of audible creativity. Creating jokes and sharing them to bring laughter to others can be quite rewarding. A big trend these days has opened a new door for audible creativity through ASMR sound tracks. Do you have special knowledge that you can share with others but aren’t big on writing?  Or maybe you really like to talk and have an entertaining personality. Starting a podcast can be an excellent form of creativity!

Visual – Art can inspire a deep emotional or thought provoking connection. Visually expressing your view of the world can be incredibly powerful, as well as deeply rewarding. Visual creativity can be drawing, painting, photography, writing, digital design, sculpting and so much more! Visual creativity is what most people think of first when they think of creativity. It is important to remember that no one else sees the world like you do. Don’t compare your art to others. Share your art or keep it for yourself, most importantly create it!

Visual – Art can inspire a deep emotional or thought provoking connection. Visually expressing your view of the world can be incredibly powerful, as well as deeply rewarding. Visual creativity can be drawing, painting, photography, writing, digital design, sculpting and so much more! Visual creativity is what most people think of first when they think of creativity. It is important to remember that no one else sees the world like you do. Don’t compare your art to others. Share your art or keep it for yourself, most importantly create it!

Physical – Anything you do can be creativity as long as you are creating something from your own point of view. Sports take creative thinking. Dancing is physical art! Creating something that can physically be used by you or others like, ceramics, interior design, sewing or any other craft you can imagine. Creating life through gardening and maybe taking that life further to creating soaps or beauty products. Experimenting with cooking and baking to create new and creatively delicious dishes! The possibilities are only limited by your own imagination!

Creativity is vital to creating happiness in our lives. Try new things to find what sparks for you! Once you find something that gives you that creative spark, fan it into flames and take action! You aren’t limited to any number of creative interests. My suggestions is never stop looking for those creative sparks!

What are your creative talents? I would love to see what you create!

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