“All human beings have the capacity to generate novel, original, clever, or ingenious products, solutions, and techniques. Creative human beings develop that capacity… Creative people take risks and frequently push the boundaries of their perceived limits” (Art Costa).
“A mind that is stretched to a new idea never returns to its original dimensions”
(Oliver Wendell Holmes).
(Oliver Wendell Holmes).
Creativity can be hard to define. How do you describe the “Eureka!” moment when a person experiences a creative insight? Some researchers define creativity as combining existing elements in an innovative way that creates a new purpose (for example, motor + bicycle = motorcycle). Others see creativity as the art of generating novel ideas from taking a fresh look at how things are interrelated (for example, as Charles Cave writes, “…noting the regular diet of ladybugs inspired organic farmers to bring ladybugs in to consume crop-destroying aphids”).
Thinking about what is creative may call to mind images such as street buskers playing guitar and drummer banging out a complex rhythm at Waterfront Kuching or the designs for the Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Sarawak building. Creativity, however, encompasses much more than music and art. Creativity gives rise to innovative ideas and products that bring changes both great and small.
Consider the following examples of creative innovations that have had an impact; Art Fry and Spence Silver invented the Post-itTM in 1980, enabling people to save paper and protect documents by using removable notes; agricultural chemist George Washington Carver developed the revolutionary method of crop rotation – alternating soil-depleting crops with soil-enriching ones – allowing land to be used more efficiently; Jim Henson revolutionized children’s television and the way children learn about the world through his invention of the Muppets and development of Sesame Street (a TV program that I like very much when I was a kid); and more.
Creativity doesn’t just happen on these world-shifting levels. You too are a creative thinker. Every day you do some sort of creative works. Your everyday moments of creativity might include events similar to mine as following: Thinking of a new way to talk to co-worker about a problem, changing how I commute to office so that I can work or listen to audiobook while I’m in transit, and finding a unique way to write a blog topic that sets it apart from other articles posted in the internet (Okay, maybe not everyone doing these. But I hope you get what I mean).
Learning how to heighten your creativity will boost your ability to think productively and successfully. Begin by thinking of creativity in three separate ways:
1) The characteristics of the creative person
2) The type of environment that fosters creativity
3) The stages of the creative process
As you work toward any creative outcome – a novel solution, idea, approach, tangible product, work of art, system, or program – focus on these three elements to maximize your creative abilities. I will post each how-to boost your creative thinking in following post article. Stay updated.
Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)