TALENT DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES : articles

Creativity enhancement

Perspectives and strategies to increase creative ideas and expression. Developing creativity and innovation.
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So you’ve decided to get an early start and be productive. You grab a cup of coffee... sit down in front of the computer facing the stark emptiness of your blank screen.... Nothing comes to mind. Your eyes conveniently notices the flashing email icon in the corner of your screen, suddenly drawn like a magnet, you decided to check your email. Many of us have experienced this form of procrastination. Where we give into the rationalization that once these convenient distractions are completed and put to rest, we can create. When in reality, this is an indication of our own internal resistance to facing the act of producing something.

Creativity is not a feel-good, optional quality to cultivate, but our greatest untapped resource that is truly needed in this radically shifting time. I have seen how powerful creative acts can be for personal experience and growth. The skills we use as artists and creators are valuable and ever more in demand. The idea that creativity is a “soft” or unnecessary skill is not true.

So often we wait for the right conditions before we write or start our other creative projects. Although we'd like to imagine otherwise, waiting doesn't get us very far... Your art will not happen unless you do it. And sometimes that means showing up and doing it even if you don’t know what you’re doing yet.

The truth is, you don’t create because you’re scared silly. You’re afraid you don’t have anything original to say. You’re afraid that despite your creative urges, you’re not good enough. You’re afraid that if you share your work with the world, you’ll be exposed as a talent-less loser. How do I know? Have I peeked into the deep recesses of your creative unconscious? No. I know because these are the fears that lurk in every writer I’ve ever coached, myself included.

If you were leaping off from where you are now, what would your Creative leap look like? It may be taking up a new art form or learning a new language. It may be buffing up your resume and quitting your job, or taking steps to launch that new business you’ve been dreaming about. Whatever your leap, no matter how big or small, I encourage you to take it sooner rather than later.

The understanding of creativity as a mysterious external force with which you carry on "a peculiar, wondrous, bizarre collaboration and conversation" (to quote Elizabeth Gilbert’s vivid characterization of the inner relationship) redefines the customary view of things in our contemporary culture and endows the artist with new gifts and responsibilities.This insight is fundamental to the whole outlook I’m presenting here. It’s also paired with a corollary proposition: that a conscious, working knowledge of the intertwined histories of the daimon and the genius in religion, psychology, and philosophy is indispensible.

The creative artist’s drive to create often parallels the experience of gestation and birth, regardless of the gender of the artist. From the first “glimmer in the eye” to the conception of a specific work, the artist embarks on a process that continues to develop and grow even in the absence of conscious attention...I am continually amazed at the work of the unconscious in the minds of creative artists. The capacity to hold many details in the conscious, wakeful mind may seem limited; the unconscious is capable of holding far more.

Creating art has always been a way to channel emotional intensity. In a world where destructive acting out is all too frequent (and meticulously documented and sensationalized on the news and TMZ), sublimating painful feelings by expressing them in the form of artistic expression allows the artist to choose to “act out” in a way that is constructive. Many creative people carry the belief that their pain is the locus of their creativity, and worry that they will lose their creativity if they work through their inner conflicts or let go of suffering.

"Your business is your art… And you are the artist, the creator. "Everything you do as an entrepreneur, whether it’s writing, speaking, coming up with innovative ideas, etc… is sourced from your creativity. "Unfortunately, many of us have lost our connection to this infinite source of creativity within us… and it’s time to RECLAIM it!"

“My Adderall helps me think so much clearer.”  Who wouldn’t want that? It’s easy to be lured by the promises of a smart pill or cognitive enhancer that could help us not only think more clearly and access more memory, but feel good about ourselves and be tireless and endlessly confident. The movie “Limitless” is about a “down-on-his-luck" New York writer Eddie (Bradley Cooper) who takes a magic potion – a “miracle street narcotic in the form of a translucent pill, NZT that enhances mental performance beyond any reasonable expectation. (Yes, it’s fictional.)”

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