By Cynthia Morris
I have encouraged creativity for years, believing that it is essential to all of us. I know that the creative impulse is important, and now I have a greater sense of exactly how vital that is to all of us, right now.
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.
Now I believe we are called to express ourselves on a greater scale.
The need for innovative solutions is more pressing than ever. I love what one of my clients said: “Creating something new is a natural process.”
The Rise of the Creative Class, by Richard Florida, lays out the facts and numbers counting creativity as the driving force of a healthy economy and community development.
A broad definition of creativity might be helpful here.
Creativity is found everywhere, not just in the artist’s studio.
Florida describes creativity as involving the “ability to synthesize – sifting through data, perceptions and materials to come up with combinations that are new and useful.”
I would add that creativity requires a willingness to be in a state of not knowing, a curiosity about possibilities, and a desire to act on impulses that may not have a discernable outcome.
Creativity also takes guts.
Florida cites Margaret Boden, author of The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms, telling us that “Creativity requires self-assurance and the ability to take risks.”
This is the biggest factor in my work with people: helping them to develop the confidence to make leaps and take risks.
Florida publishes statistics that show that the Creative Class, those who use creative processes in their work, constitutes 30% of the American workforce.
These professions include computers, math, architecture, engineering, arts, design, entertainment, sports, education, life, physical and social science occupations.
These professions and the skills they require have grown hugely over the past decades, and are ever growing.
We need to enhance this asset, rather than relying on old ways or what others think we should do.
The idea that creativity is a “soft” or unnecessary skill is not true.
While doing art may be nice for you, cultivating your creativity is vital to the transformation of the planet.
Beginning with these artistic processes will build your creative muscles for other acts.
People are stepping up to the challenges that face us now, as seen in an issue of Utne Reader, with its cover story on “Young Visionaries: 30 Under 30.”
How can you partner with others to combine your talents?
You may say that you don’t have the time or money to add something else into your busy life. Well, how can you foster a creative perspective to take new actions within your existing situations?
I invite you to begin by noticing how much you use creativity in your lives. How are you creative in the following areas? How could you be more creative (think new combinations) in these areas?
Challenge: What are your untapped resources? Take a moment to look at your skills and talents and ask yourself what you could do to enhance and use them even more, right now.
I want to acknowledge that most of you are already doing something to encourage new ways of being. I’m calling you to look at how you can increase your efforts or connect with others to boost the impact.
With the state of the world as it is, we can no longer afford to hide our brilliance in fear or uncertainty.
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Coach Cynthia Morris notes her clients “seek to make a difference in the world through social entrepreneurship, coaching, writing and more. Many people hire me to help them leave a legacy through writing.
“Others need mentoring to take their mission to the next level. I provide structure, support and expertise to call forth the best in amazing people.
“Through our work together, my clients gain confidence and develop concrete plans to move forward joyously.”
Learn more about her various programs and products at Original Impulse.