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1 Feb 2024

Think What No One Else Thought

A paper clip sculpture

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying:

“Creativity is seeing what others see and thinking what no one else ever thought.”

If we are wanting to encourage innovative thinking alongside unique approaches to problem solving this year, then embracing and enabling the nature of creativity can be a useful space for skill development. Adopting the spirit of ‘new year, new you’ could inspire people or workplaces to cultivate fresh perspectives and unlock untapped creativity, fostering a culture of continuous growth and evolution.

While creativity can come in many forms and be expressed in different contexts, the space of art making is a great platform for experimentation, making space for playful and mindful creativity, and to enhance your level of comfort and curiosity in the space of the unknown.

Artistic expression is a way of sharing stories and communicating feelings and ideas that doesn’t have a right or a wrong.

There is no final perfect way to make a piece of art – there are many different variations that will resonate with many different people in unexpected ways. This is the beauty of a diverse creative ecosystem. We need all those different voices to be sharing their expressive creativity so that we can find the things that resonate the most with us.

Sometimes that connection can be something we expect, and other times it can be really hard to explain what it is about a piece of art that really connects with us. Whether it is a painting, or a piece of music, or a dance performance or a poem – the variety in forms of artistic expression allow each of us to find that thing that speaks to us in a way that makes us think differently, or feel things more deeply, or find that needed moment of release. Art, culture and creativity has a really powerful connection to our neurological function, our memory and our emotion. And if we regularly engage in meaningful creative activity we will find our ability to tap into those things grows and develops as well.

So, as we continue to need to deal with uncertainty and imagine a brighter future with positive change that enables us to collectively address both local and global challenges, the value of engaging in regular creative activity is multifaceted. Pathways for individual expression, tools for addressing stress, and explorations of new ways of thinking and creating. All we need to do is set the conditions that enable us to enhance our creative abilities – abilities that we all have, once we remember how to use them.

If you are looking for a solution to that problem, or the next innovative opportunity to enhance your world, then make time to connect with your creativity. How to do that?

Address feelings of fear and the pressure of productivity.

Fear is a huge barrier to creativity. This can come in many forms: Fear of the unknown; fear of getting it wrong; fear of ridicule; fear of failure. But that fear can be the catalyst for positive things if we can develop a sense of comfort in the uncomfortable. Embracing the potential of failure as a space for learning and growth. Building a safe space for growth through failure in the spaces you work, live and play so that this convention becomes a core part of your life.

Instead of looking at ways something might not work, you could try thinking about how many different ways you can look at this issue. Explore possibilities rather than limitations. All of space to explore.

This is connected to the other demand for everything to produce something immediately. There is a growing pressure for immediate results. Doing the thing you know will work because it is easier, rather than exploring the new possibilities. This pressure for productivity can block the opportunity for creative outcomes. Creativity can be woven through the delivery of outcomes, but there is also real value in creative play – time in a space of creative thinking and exploration that exists without expectation of immediate results.

If you aspire to “think what no one else thought” this year, take the bold step forward and commit to making time and space for regular creative play – an activity without expectations. Choose to embed a daily creative habit which will have ongoing benefits. Embrace creativity to explore, learn and engage in fun. While the immediate results may not be specifically connected, the long term ripple effects of that activity will be lasting and impactful.

Looking for something to help you kickstart your creative thinking? How about Creativity Every Day? Check it out here.