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Creativity

Are You More Creative Than You Think?

15 ways to awaken your creativity and flexibility in daily life beginning today.

Key points

  • Everyday creativity involves being open to new experiences and originality in daily life.
  • Children are naturally creative, and adults can also cultivate our own creativity in simple, day-to-day experiences.
  • Trying something new, embracing play, and changing up your usual routines are just some ways to kick-start your creativity today.

Last year, I picked up my dusty guitar after many years of infrequent use. Some months into the pandemic, I missed singing. I thought playing around on the guitar, even with my limited skills, would give me a reason to sing and explore my creativity.

Source: Andrea Picacquadio/Pexels
Source: Andrea Picacquadio/Pexels

Although my guitar competence had never progressed beyond a beginner’s level, I was curious and excited about the possibilities. I decided to take a few guitar lessons. This practice awakened my creativity (thanks to perseverance more than talent). I’ve had a great time learning, making music with a couple of friends, and growing my skills.

And I tried to make bread. While my first attempts were not as tasty as I’d hoped, the process was filled with sticky hands and meaningful creativity.

These types of efforts—whether or not they are successful—illustrate a growth mindset, an important ingredient contributing to motivation and success in life. According to psychologist Carol Dweck, Ph.D., embracing a growth mindset involves believing that with effort and solid strategies, we can develop our abilities (Dweck, 2016; 2006).

The terms everyday creativity or small-c creativity are used to describe openness to new experiences and originality in daily life (Richards, 2007; Simonton, 2001).

Children are naturally creative. As an adult, you can also cultivate your inventiveness and expressiveness, particularly everyday, small-c creativity. Regardless of external events, you can experiment with daily occurrences, quiet inklings, and savoring experiences in the moment. Creative awakening need not be about any product but simply the intention and process of opening to new or unexpected experiences. Creative awakening invites you to reduce self-judgment and rigidity—embracing what the Buddhists call the beginner’s mind.

Creativity and Flexibility in Day-to-Day Life

Everyday creativity is about welcoming creativity—today—in the context of your daily life.

What if you experimented with having less control and more originality in your everyday life? What if you opened to personal or professional change with greater flexibility, seeing things in new ways? What if you tried to solve problems more creatively?

Invite yourself to explore the realm of not knowing and then notice what happens.

Here are 15 ways to add more creativity and flexibility to daily life:

1. Try a new recipe.

2. Travel to your destination along a different route.

3. Take a walk or jog in a different location.

4. At work or at home, try doing an everyday task in an alternate way.

5. After you read an inspiring book or article, jot down a few reactions or create a simple poem.

6. Rearrange some of the items in your home.

7. Play a game that encourages you to think creatively, like Scrabble, Sudoku, Chess, or Dominoes.

8. Learn more about something you’re interested in.

9. Look for a creative solution to an everyday problem.

10. Play with a child in your life.

11. Sing in the car.

12. Dance—when you’re all alone or with others.

13. Attend a concert or play, on-site or virtually.

14. Doodle on paper with pencil, pen, or markers.

15. Grow a few plants in your window or start a small garden.

How can you invite yourself to explore your everyday creativity?

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. No content is a substitute for consulting with a qualified mental health or health care professional.

©2022 Ilene Berns-Zare, LLC, All Rights Reserved.

References

Dweck, C. (2016). What having a "growth mindset" actually means, Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2016/01/what-having-a-growth-mindset-actually-means

Dweck, C.S. (2006), Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York, NY: Random House.

Richards, R. (2007). Everyday creativity: Our hidden potential. In Richards, R. (Ed.). Everyday creativity: and new views of human nature: psychological, social, and spiritual perspectives (pp. 25-53), Washington, D. C.: American Psychological Association.

Simonton, D.K. (2001). Creativity. In Snyder, C. R., & Lopez, S. J. (Eds.). Handbook of positive psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press

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