If I ask you if you think you are creative, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Your answer is probably based on whether you have any “artistic skills” or not. In general, we tend to equate only the arts with creativity. For example, if there were an interesting painting nearby, you would certainly call it creative. But do you find your mom’s cooking creative? Do you find a campaign carried out to benefit people in the society creative? Many of us don’t. However, creative simply means, “creating something out of nothing.”
But wait a second, are you curious to know why most people think they aren’t creative or don’t think innovatively? The fact is they are creative but don’t even realize it. Every person is creative in his or her own specific field or way. Some people might adamantly say they are not creative, but that’s just not true. According to Oxford Dictionary, creativity is “relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something.” We all do this, don’t we? Even if it’s not an active goal, we do this every day. Let’s open up our minds, look around, and explore the creativity that already exists in our daily lives.
In the book A Whack on the Side of the Head, author Ron Von Oech shares a story from when he was in high school. His teacher drew a small chalk dot on the blackboard and asked, “What is this?” As it was an obvious answer, one person simply said it’s a chalk spot on the blackboard. The teacher exclaimed, “I am surprised!” She said, “I did the same exercise in the kindergarten school and they came up with fifty different things it could be: an owl’s eye, a cigar butt, a pebble, a star, a squashed bug, a rotten egg, and so on. They had a wide range of imaginative answers.”Why do you think the kindergartners could look at the black spot in fifty different ways? Children don’t know what a mental block is! Hence, they have an open mindset and are able to look at things in different ways. As we grow up we fill our mental space, unconsciously blocking our ability to see things differently.
Now you know what a mental block can do! Next time tell yourself, “Yes, I’m creative and I will look at things or problems in different ways.” You will see the difference in yourself and every thing you approach will give you the best results possible.