Top 10 Myths About Creativity

We have a lot of misconceptions when it comes to creativity. Not only it is a valuable tool in our personal development but it also can improve our life tremendously if it is properly understood. Let’s clarify some of the myths out there about creativity.

1. Only special talented people are creative.

While it is true that it seems like people like Mozart or Picasso are more creative then others, if looked at closer, their creative genius will reveal a lot of very hard work, rather then innate talent. Usually people, who demonstrate higher then average creative abilities, also work much harder then the average person.

2. Being creative is hard.

Yes it is. Actually it isn’t being creative that is hard, it is working on developing that ability. Once we learn how to easily channel creativity, it becomes second nature to us, as easy as breathing.

3. Problems are in our life to make it more difficult.

Problems of any kind are the key to learning. No matter how unpleasant they might be, we learn from every problem we encounter in our life. By using creative problem solving, we not only find the solutions to the dilemma we are facing, but also develop our creativity in the process. Without problems in our life, we would not advance as a society. Problems force us to find solutions and improve our life as a result.

4. I am not creative.

There is no such thing as people who are not creative. If you feel that creativity comes to you with a lot of effort, it is more likely that your creative ability is in a dormant state. Creativity works similarly to muscles in our body. When we use them all the time, the muscles are toned and fit. As soon as we stop exercising, the muscles become flabby and our body accumulates fat around them for protection. To have creativity easily accessible to us, we should use it on a regular basis. The more we use it in our daily life the easier it will flow.

5. Innovation is the domain of geniuses.

It is true that many of people whom we call geniuses are highly creative as well. It seems that because it comes so easily to them, they are almost blessed with special abilities. Behind every great innovation however, are many years of hard work. We often do not see this, but if you talk to anybody who truly succeeded, you will find out that they did so after many hardships and struggles.

6. I have to have brand new ideas in order for me to be considered creative.

This is the greatest secret that no creative professional talks about. “There are no new ideas!” Most great ideas are a combination of old concepts presented in a fresh, new package that provides us with a sense of novelty. There are exceptions when an idea is truly unique. Those do happen, but majority of creative endeavors are improving upon concepts that already exist or putting several old concepts into a new combination.

7. Brainstorming is hard work.

Yes, brainstorming can be, but it also can be a lot of fun. If one brainstorming technique isn’t working, all we have to do is try another one. As a matter a fact there are as many techniques to spark creativity as there are people who use them. For some people structured techniques work better and others perform best in a free flow atmosphere. The trick is to find one that works for you.

8. Only artists need to be creative.

I am an artist by background, and I was trained to think in creative terms. But I use creativity in almost all aspects of my life. I use it in cooking. I use it when I can’t figure out how a new high tech gadget that I purchased works. I use it to try and keep the relationship with my significant other fresh and inventive. I use it to come up with new business ideas, dealing with people, exercising … Oh yeah I also use it when I do art.

9. Writers block is a greatest obstacle in the creative process.

It is one of the obstacles, but not the biggest one. The biggest obstacle is when we deny this part of us totally. When we pay no attention at all to our creative ability, we literarily put it to sleep. It becomes extremely difficult for us to be creative. Inaction is a far bigger obstacle in the creative process and a more difficult one to overcome. As soon as we kick start our creativity, the more we use it the easier it comes to us.

10. Using structured creative techniques will hinder my ability to be creative.

Some brainstorming techniques are pretty complex. If this isn’t what you are comfortable with, and it isn’t giving you the results that you are looking for, do not use it. Find some other technique that you respond better to. And if you do like using more structured techniques, go ahead and continue using them. Since everybody is different, you have to find what works for you. There is no difference in the quality of one technique over another, only in the personality of the person who is using it. All brainstorming techniques do the same thing – spark your creativity.

Copyright 2006
Alexander Tretjakov
Unconventional Thinking University
Author of MiWay Time Management System
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