Creativity is the proviso of being resourceful. It connotes something that is utterly new. It is also a progression of finding novel ways to coalesce old ideas — manoeuvring, moulding and synthesising, them with a purpose. Creativity, in other words, is what you’d need to actually do to blend ideas that are available — and, not copy, but tinker with them dexterously. This is, quite simply, creativity by description — a quest like no other.
A person who is creative tends to think outside the box at all times. They are receptive to the prospect of finding a better mode to accomplishing a task, or thinking of useful solutions to a predicament. They also believe that creativity is a course of action — a corridor for finding responses that can take a variety of directions. The crucial thing, however, is to be open and unearth solutions when you least expect them. When you are working in a company, for example, you should never be dumbfounded with the roadblocks on the way. You should be like the umpire during the course of a T20 cricket match and its “pressure­cooker” setting — in control of the situation.
Now emerges the big question. How can you cultivate and expand your creative abilities in life? There is just no short-cut to the doctrine, although a handful of elements could be more than useful — to getting started. First and foremost, you have to nurture your innate, god-given, resident ability of finding something important, or useful, when you are not even wilfully looking for it. This is because when you are open-minded, also unbiased to the extent possible, you often make providential discoveries. Just think of it — the greatest of inventions, or discoveries, have often been results of “accidents,” be it X-ray for Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, or fuzzy logic for Lotfi Aliasker Zadeh.
This also articulates a modern revelation — the idea of brainstorming, a popular technique, to creating ideas and solutions in a group-setting. You’d do that at your individual level too, although you ought to be patient and receptive to yourself — because sparks of imagination may just last a few seconds. So, the best thing to do is to be always prepared — whatever your profession. Carry a jotting pad. Make notes the instant you hit upon a thought. Never defer it for a ‘next’ time, because you may fail to record something imperative.
Interestingly, however, it is possible for some of your best ideas to occur when you stop being forcibly creative too. Because — you can’t push yourself to being innovative, always. So, unwind, whenever possible. Let thoughts flow, or surge. Take a walk, meditate, listen to soulful music or read a book. Give your subconscious mind some time to work on a problem, or idea. Believe in yourself. Have faith in your creative instincts — but, don’t be fixated with the concept of creativity, if it does not evolve. When this “happens,” just relax on your bean bag, try to formulate ideas, even when they appear on the periphery of your mind’s eye, and follow-through.
As philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche articulated, more so in contemporary phraseology, we should relate to our thoughts as the motivating power behind our ideas. Put simply, this means that if we rationally choose a career, we also need to enjoy it, and have some kind of passion for the work we do — if it is going to be meaningful. Well, the point is simple: ideas need to be practiced, honed, and perfected. It’s not as complex as you’d think. It’s a regular process. It opens up possibilities for our creativity to flow and with weighty results.
(The writer is a wellness physician, independent researcher and author)
Rajgopal Nidamboor