Some people think that these are 2 things that don't go together. In the world of the academic the creative mind typically isn't valued. The value of constant socializing and group think is a ticking time bomb, lets all remember that the humans of today are standing today because of creativity. Several thousand years ago somebody hadto get creative and come up with the the tools that that enabled them to survive. So why in the modern world should we keep our creativity alive?

Creative minds are those of not only the artist, writer, and performer, but they are the minds of the humans who many thousands of years ago thought to domesticate plants, invented the car, computer, light blub, and every other thing we take for granted today. Somebody had to have the idea.

What's my point?

There are a number people in the world today who think they shouldn't bother with their creative side because it can't help them pay the bills. Yet a touch of creative thought could be that one thing that sets them apart from every candidate for that job you are applying for, or shows your boss you deserve that pay raise, and if you want to start your own business creativity (be it creative ways to cut expenses, draw in customers, an original sales pitch, a unique product something has to set you apart from your competitors) is what I consider the first prerequisite for making your business work.

Of course the day I am writing this times are economically hard for everyone. I got faced with a pretty clear choice, I could work my tale off for minimum wage with no chance for advancement and never be able to afford my own place (that's assuming anyone would hire me), or I could dust off my creativity and find a way to use that for money. As evidence by the fact that you are reading this article I decided on the latter. There was nothing special on my resume, the only thing that was ever going to set me apart at this point was my creativity, I've got plenty of work ethic but that by itself won't set me apart. My creativity on the other hand was something unique to me, my only real competitive edge be it in the world of jobs seeking, or business owning. Deciding against dusting it off and using it would have been the act of a fool.

Creativity is something fun that anyone who can has 5 minutes a day and a piece of paper can learn, write, draw, paint, think of alternative endings for your favorite TV shows. Sound silly? Your creative thought can't help you make a better life for yourself if you never use it, it's like your muscles you have to train yourself to use it. True some creative blocks go deeper, but some are simply a need to get your creative juices flowing. Being able to look at a problem with a creative mind set might just cause you to see something you've missed. That 5 minutes a day might seem like a waste but it's one of the best investments you can make in yourself. You'll boost your over all brain power in the process.

Creativity and competition:

The dirty little secret of competition is that you don't want to compete with your competition you want to have something unique to you. What does that mean, the secret to winning every competition is to make sure you always have something that sets you so far apart from your competition that you don't have any. Do things have a unique product or service, deliver it in an unique way, have a unique enough sales pitch that nobody else can pull off. As long as it's unique to you nobody can compete with you because your on a whole different playing field. But this comes back to creativity, to have that unique quality creative thought is the only way to come up with it. After all before anyone put any method into use they had to think of it.

Get creative, bending the rules but not breaking them. If your creative enough to think of it first you can sell it, or use it first, that's your edge. That creative thought that set you apart from your competition is your best chance for success.

So why do so many people ignore this?

Well there are several answers to this question. Since I don't know them all, I won't be supplying you with them all. Feel free to do more research on this topic if you like. Some of the answers I have come across are creative blocks, lack of confidence, impoverished mind set, and it's educated and socialized out of us.

Confidence issues speak for themselves. Sometimes it's been awhile and you aren't sure of yourself as a result (I've had that happen), other times you are just worried nobody will like it. Well, not everyone will. The rule of thumb I apply to my own artwork before displaying it is if I like it at least one other person in the world will too. So before you worry about other people liking it ask yourself this question “do I like it?” assume that at least one other person will like it if you do. Maybe not the people you'd prefer but somebody. But feeling a lack of confidence can really interfere with your creativity.

Impoverished mind set goes like this, got bills to pay, need money to pay them, can't waste time on what won't pay. Now above I've explained why stifling your creativity may even keep you poor if for no other reason because there's no reason to hire you rather than somebody else. Look if nothing sets you apart then you are that much less likely to get hired. I don't care what the job is that you are applying for if you are creative and can come up with a unique way to do it better and faster, you are more likely to get hired and less likely to get laid-off. And if times are so hard your only option is to start your own business then creativity is the first tool you want with you at all times, remember uniqueness has to start with creativity and uniqueness is an important part of what is going to ensure you make your bottom line, and being creative in your job will leave you more fulfilled by your work than the person who is doing their daily grind.

Education and socialization are really 2 parts of the same issue. Young children have active imaginations that can come up with anything (think of how many times you wished you could get a machine to do your homework for you (never mind that you are using a machine that will do it for you at the risk of getting caught cheating) wanting to use your creativity to get out of the work) children at some point are told that this skill is valuable but that one isn't, by teachers, parents, and eventually other kids. Some of it is a group think issue, individual and creative thought is undervalued in general. Some of it is about money, some of it is just being told that their goals are unobtainable (that one deterred me from pursuing making money from my artwork for several years but should never deter the person who just wants to make artwork for fun), still another way this happens is that the kid who just wants to be left alone to draw a picture or read a book is often told that not wanting to be social 24/7 means there is something wrong with them. The bottom line is at some level our imaginations are socialized out of us and so is the creative thought that comes with it. We are taught to associate most creative professions with struggle and poverty, or even just a quality we just don't have.

There are other answers. Some that I am answers that I have read about deal with some schools of thought on spiritual matters I am not prepared to write about. There is a great deal of complicated information dealing with those schools of thought that can be found on many websites. The understanding I have of this is only a basic understanding of a very complicated subject.

In any case stop ignoring your creativity because of practicality. Awakening your creativity is one of the most practical things you can do. I don't care if you are looking to boost your brain power, make a better living, out do the competition just for the sake of it, or heal and old wound, or just have some fun. Your ability to think creatively is one tool that can help with all of this.
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