It’s both. Yes, creativity can be taught. And yes, we’re born with it. We are all born to be creative. Some of us just forget that along the way.
Creativity brought us from living in caves to McMansions. It brought us from the wheel to the spaceship.
I know when you see the word creative or creativity, you automatically think of artists, painters, musicians, and writers. But everyone needs to be creative. It’s about thinking new things, seeing new ways to do things, trying new things, sometimes failing, and then trying again.
Necessity might be the mother of invention but what births invention? Creativity. Creativity smashes two different things together to make a wholly different one.
Did you know that the first wheel wasn’t created for transport? Wheels were first created as potter’s wheels around 4500 – 4000 BC. The use of the wheel for carts, wagons, and wheelbarrows came after that.
So inventive and so creative. First, to figure out to make one as a potter’s wheel and then to turn around and imagine and create vehicles using wheels. It is considered the single most important invention of the world.
So yes. Everyone is born creative and curious enough to try different things. Watch a child at play as they figure out if they can put a square object into a round hole. They’ll turn the object around several times while they try to figure out if it goes in there. They might even try to smash it in. But then, as long as an adult doesn’t get involved and show them the hole to put it into, the child will notice the other holes and start trying that square in the other ones, until it finally goes in.
While that might not seem like a big deal to many. It really is a big deal. A child is learning creative problem-solving when trying to solve the riddle of the square object and what hole it goes into. Hovering over and correcting doesn’t teach a child to trust and develop her own instincts.
Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.Richard Buckminster Fuller
It’s not just in childhood that creativity can be taught and developed. It’s a lifelong learning process. But a Global Creativity Gap study done by Adobe found that 39% of respondents don’t see themselves as creative. And 70% of US respondents said that it’s not being developed through the education process.
If you need some creative inspiration, check out my post 4 Simple Things I Do for Creative Inspiration. Or try Creative Acts for Curious People this book was created at The Stanford d.school. Do you know who also went to Stanford? Many of the creative genius running companies in Silicon Valley. This book is filled with wisdom and tips to get you to try new things. Some are as simple as saying hello to strangers while on a walk.
Others are more complex like one in immersion which requires you to go through the process of applying for public health benefits in 25 minutes (stopping short of actually submitting the application.) The goal is to identify gaps in the actual process to how it’s supposed to be. Identifying what someone who is not technologically savvy will find difficult.
Maybe you’ll be ready to solicit funding for a start-up when you’re done with the book. Or maybe, you’ll have figured out that next step in your character’s development that was eluding you.