How would you feel if I said to you: “You are a creative person.” Would you say, “Of course!” or “Well, some times,” or “Not really”? What would be your response?
Many times, only musicians, actors, and other “artistic types” are given credit for being creative. This is very unfortunate, because creativity is a gift given to everybody
, not just to a talented few. Actually you are creating all the time, whether you know it or not. If you become aware of how important your creativity is, you will be able to begin using it well.
Be Clear About What You Really Want
It is wonderful to create beautiful paintings or inspiring poems, but true creativity is about making something far more important than these. The most important thing you create is your life itself
. It is critical that you empower yourself to create the life you want.
Many people ignore their own creative genius in this regard, and turn over the creation of their lives to others. Instead of deliberately creating the life they would like to live, they simply follow the expectations of society, family, or some other influence. This is a tragic scenario that is painfully common, and it is the source of many people’s unhappiness.
This is why I always tell people to ask themselves, “What do I really want?”
Once you have found an honest and sincere answer to that question, you can start creating your life accordingly. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that you are not good enough or do not deserve the life you want. There may be many obstacles in the way of actualizing your dreams, but with diligence you can create anything.
Imagination Is Important, but Don’t Stop There
Imagination is the ability to picture in your mind something that does not exist in reality. Imagination is particularly meaningful because it is the very foundation of humankind’s creativity. The brain stays very active even while we are imagining. Our brain does not differentiate imagination from reality. All of us can experience our mouths watering by simply imagining ourselves peeling a fresh orange and pretending to drop it in our mouths.
You cannot create something in the midst of reality unless you first go through a process of picturing it in your mind. When you are able to picture what you want very clearly, you will be able to move toward that specific goal. Creativity starts with imagination.
Brain researchers have discovered that imagining something stimulates the same areas of the brain as actually seeing it. In one experiment, researchers taught a group of people how to play the piano in the conventional way—by practicing on an actual piano. They taught another group simply to picture playing the lessons on an imaginary keyboard. Remarkably, the second group gained just as much proficiency as the first group, and similar areas of the brain were activated.
In connection with creation, I would like to emphasize the importance of will, as well as imagination. Without will, it is difficult to unleash imagination. While imagination is the mental ability to create an image of an object that does not exist in reality, it is impossible to put your thoughts into action unless you have will power. Will stimulates imagination and harnesses it. Will is the power that precedes imagination, and it is will that brings imagination into reality. It is the power that initiates everything. A computer would be useless unless booted. Likewise, will is fundamental to igniting your inner power.
Once you know what you really want, believe in it with a sensitive heart and pursue it through all obstacles with your will.
The Most Important Thing Is Putting an Idea into Action
The best way to become more creative is to create nothing. By this, I mean you should return to “zero point.” Rid yourself of all the mental and emotional blocks
that keep you from manifesting your full creative potential. These are the preconceptions and emotional memories that prevent you from living your dreams fully.
Ironically, it is your ego that prevents you from creating what you truly want. Your ego says to you, “I am this” or “I should be that,” which often prevents you from creating what you want in your life. For example, you may really want to learn to sing well, but your ego says, “I don’t have talent” or “I will embarrass myself.” These things are usually rooted in your past experiences, times when you were hurt by others or were discouraged in some way.
I believe that everyone possesses amazing creativity in some way. You must believe you have limitless potential in order to manifest your creativity. Tell yourself every day, “I am creative,” and believe it. When such a thought is formed
, you will find that creativity begins to flow naturally from your brain.
So to become more creative, begin to watch the internal conversations you have with yourself. How are you limited and boxed in by your current thinking about yourself? How does it stop you from doing what you really want to do? What emotional patterns prevent you from pursuing your dreams?
Let go of illusions about how to be creative. Many believe that great geniuses get an idea out of the blue one day, and all they have to do is to seize upon that idea and put it into action. Such is not the case. Before they were able to take off into the sky, the Wright brothers went through hundreds of experiments. For the wing alone, they tried out over 200 variations. “Suddenly one day” is not an expression found in biographies of creative people.
One day, as the Wright brothers stood and observed birds in flight, they noticed that the birds constantly changed the shape of their wings to fly up, down, left, and right, and that they adjusted their speed continually. As a result, the brothers came up with a new principle for their wing design. However, if the idea of building an airplane had not taken a passionate and firm hold on their brains, even if they had watched hundreds or thousands of birds in flight, their thoughts would never have traveled in that direction.
Be patient in allowing your creativity to blossom
. The “Aha!” moment of inspiration comes when knowledge, experience, and ideas coalesce; it is the moment the brain connects them. It is crucial to know that until the light bulb in the brain turns on, there must be constant planning, a determined will, and a whole lot of trial and error.
The most important thing is to do something. If you have an idea, you must put it into action or it will be meaningless. As you are involved in executing an idea, new ideas will come to you. As you repeat this cycle, solutions to your problems will be found, and you will become more creative. Creativity is not the result of chance and luck. Creativity happens through focus, determination, passion, and most importantly, through action.
If you're inspired by Ilchi Lee's words, you may like to sign up for his weekly email messages on his official website here