January is Creativity Month. This was created by a man called Robert Munson. No one seems to know exactly when, but he wrote about it in 2004, so it at least existed by that time. You can hear a sample of this truly entertaining motivational speaker at his website. One of the things he has to say that particularly jumped out at me is “A center for creative learning studied the creativity of children and found that during the first five years 90% of children are highly creative. The next two years, ages six and seven, the percentage of highly creative children dropped to 10%. By age eight or nine, the percentage of highly creative children fell to only 2% and stayed about that level from that time on.” What this says is that people are born creative, and it is bred out of us. So this month isn’t about techniques for becoming creative for people who have never been, as much as it about rediscovering the creativity we all had as young children.
There are many different kinds of creativity, of course. Some people have creative jobs where this is celebrated, such as writers, actors, musicians, and other such. For others, this comes out in cooking, in making things with your hands, gardening, and just about anything you can think of. Even what seems repetitive can be done with creativity.
One thing which Amazon does – or did when I worked there – is give awards for creative thinking, whether the idea actually worked or not. Munson says something of the sort when he asks if a person’s business celebrates failure. As Thomas Edison said about creating the light bulb: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Failure shows a person is trying. Creativity doesn’t happen without it.
So dust off that creativity and do something fun this month without worrying if you do it well or poorly or if it succeeds or fails.
Quotes about creativity
Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work, risking, and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful: yourself.–Alan Alda
Cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music. And cooking draws upon your every talent–science, mathematics, energy, history, experience–and the more experience you have, the less likely are your experiments to end in drivel and disaster. The more you know, the more you can create.–Julia Child
Creative minds are rarely tidy.–John William Gardner
Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.–Mary Lou Cook
Focus should be to encourage and develop creativity in all children without the ultimate goal begin to make all children inventors, but rather to develop a future generation of critical thinkers.–Faraq Mousa
I think there are two keys to being creatively productive. One is not being daunted by one’s fear of failure. the second is sheer perseverance.–Mary-Claire King
The only truly happy people are children and the creative minority.–Jean Caldwell
The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done–men who are creative, inventive and discoverers.–Jean Piaget
We are the music makers.
We are the dreamers of dreams.– Arthur O’Shaughnessy
When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on Earth. So what the hell, leap!–Peter McWilliams
You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.–Maya Angelou
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