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When you want to make a change in your life—really make a change—where do you start? Do you listen to a podcast? Read a self help book? Talk to a trusted friend? Are you a ponder, figure-it-out-yourself type? Or a leave-no-stone-unturned, talk-to-everyone type? No matter how you go about it, this post is for you. Because however you approach personal change, there is one thing you’re always, always going to need: creativity. And that, more than anything else, is why creativity matters.
What creativity is (and what it isn’t)
The Cambridge Dictionary defines creativity as “the ability to produce or use original and unusual ideas.”
That is quite a broad definition. When I explore the idea of creativity a little deeper, I come up with some more specifics about what creativity is and what it isn’t.
Creativity is not
Why creativity matters
With those ideas in mind, it’s a little easier for us to start to understand why creativity really matters. The way I see it, creativity matters for three big reasons: it helps you see things differently; it allows you to find wonder in the world; and it helps you express yourself in unique and powerful ways.
See things differently
At its heart, creativity is all about finding new and different ways to think. Creative thinking encourages:
The idea of “seeing things differently” can be applied everywhere. You can change the way you see your family, your job, your home, or yourself. It might lead you down paths you never thought you’d take. But no matter where it takes you, being able to see things differently is always going to benefit you.
Find wonder in the world
Another reason why creativity matters is that it helps you find wonder in the world.
I don’t know about you, but I find it pretty easy to be cynical these days.
All you have to do is open your news feed to see natural disasters, political battles, people treating each other poorly, economic strife, or someone’s personal tragedy. Not to mention all the stressors you have in your everyday life—financial, emotional, mental, and so on.
I don’t want to be a cynical person, but like I said, it’s way too easy.
But when I let myself be creative, the cynicism melts away and I see wonder in the world. I see the people who are working to further their causes just like I’m trying to further mine. I see people who love their families and do their jobs well and just want to make positive change in the world. And I see beauty all around me—in nature, in art, in my home.
Basically, creativity allows you to look past what is and think about what could be. It doesn’t mean that the problems of the world disappear; it just means that you’re able to mitigate worry with hope.
Express yourself in unique and powerful ways
The final big reason why creativity matters is because it allows you to express yourself in unique and powerful ways.
This is just a different way of saying that creativity allows you to do creative work that means something to you. Whether you are doing it just for yourself or sharing it with someone else, it is creativity that helps you bring your ideas to life.
Your creativity can help you come up with creative processes that work for you or encourage you to try new mediums to express yourself. It can help you refine your schedule, hone your talent, find a mentor, learn a new skill, strengthen your work ethic, and so much more. Basically, creativity applies to the work you do, but it can also apply to how you get the work done, no matter what that work is.