Created to Create: Why We Need to Create
I make things for a living. I get paid to start from nothing and come up with something new. Sometimes it is a logo, apparel, a mural, or even a workshop outline. And honestly, it feels amazing…every…single…time.
But more than that, when I was a teacher, I was a creator too! I would create lesson plans from ideas on how I can best serve my students. I would pull in elements from their everyday life to best connect their life experiences to what I wanted them to learn. When I was able to create something from nothing it again felt so amazing to see the joy on my students faces or the "ah-ha" moments in their eyes when they made a connection!
This feeling that I got in creating a lesson or that I get now when creating a logo or mural for a business didn't come from pride or arrogance, it came because I was created to create. We all were! We were created in the image of our Creator so by our innate nature we were made to make.
All humans are hardwired to (in some capacity) make things and create!
But oftentimes, we need tools and spaces to prompt us to start creating. We all have a kitchen filled with tools, running water, ovens, knives, cutting boards etc…yet for most, no other room we allow ourselves the pleasure of making, nor do any other rooms have any tools for creation.
I was fortunate to have a mom who valued creativity so in our home growing up we had an “art room” that was devoted to all the creative projects one could ever imagine! It was rarely clean but was often filled with creative projects ranging from jewelry making, scrapbooking, pay “school,” drawings, paintings, and so many other small projects. (And rarely was it clean! There was always a creative mess going on behind those closed doors)
Why is it that when adults think of the general term of creating, we often only think of it as an activity for kids or strictly for "creative people"?
The truth is, creativity allows us to view and solve problems more openly and with innovation. Creativity opens the mind. And sadly, we are a society that has lost touch with its creative side.
Creativity isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. It’s also something that isn’t necessarily encouraged in our society and careers. If you aren’t an artist, musician, or someone in an “artsy” field, you might wonder why creativity is important. If it’s something that doesn’t come easily, is it impossible to be creative? Thankfully, that’s not the case!
The ability to create is innate - that is why children have SUCH an amazing imagination. And YOU most likely have a very creative side. But we as adults need to flex our creative muscles more - as the only way to grow in creativity is to foster it. Creativity is something that grows with time and effort, and it’s worth exploring. Here are ten reasons why:
#1. Creativity helps you see the big picture
Being able to see the big picture is important in many areas of life. Whether it’s your personal life or a work project, it’s easy to get bogged down and lost in the details. Being creative and letting your mind meander a bit is like taking a walk in the forest. Rather than stopping to focus on one piece of moss, keep wandering down the path and open up the forest. You’re able to see past the trees, in a way.
#2. Creativity helps motivate you
Feeling discouraged and frustrated about something? Doing something creative can lift your spirits and help you shake off a bad mood. It takes your mind off what’s bothering you, but you’re still engaging your mind. It’s just focused on something more fun. Doing something creative that involves actually creating something – like baking, drawing, doing a puzzle, doing calligraphy, etc – is like revving the engine of your mind. You’re shaking off the cobwebs and getting your brain moving. It will be easier to get going on the task you’re having trouble with.
#3. Creativity helps with problem-solving
When you’re trying to find the solution to a problem, thinking creatively opens up the possibilities. You look at the situation from different angles. Oftentimes, people get stuck on solutions that they’ve always used in the past. While it might still get the job done, it could be done better if it was more creative. That’s how we get unique ideas and how innovators set themselves apart.
#4. Creativity can make you more productive
Creative people have open, active minds. They’re usually buzzing with ideas and soaking up inspiration from the world around them. This often makes them more productive because they’re bringing more to the table than someone who doesn’t open their mind to what’s around them. Creative people are always looking for new ways to solve problems, as well, which sparks innovation and increased efficiency. It’s a valued skill in any field.
#5. Creativity boosts your confidence
Being creative helps you see the big picture, stay motivated, and solve problems. What could be more confidence-boosting than that? When you think creatively and overcome all kinds of challenges, you’re proving to yourself that you’re a capable person. Very few good things in life come without some effort. On the way, creativity makes that process more engaging as well as rewarding.
#6. Creativity helps clarify your thoughts and feelings
The mind can be a chaotic place. It can feel like you’re chasing one thought or feeling after another like a dog chasing every car he sees. Traditional ways of outlining your thoughts and feelings are often too linear and don’t encompass what’s going on. More creative ways like journaling, mind-mapping, and even drawing let you release the contents of your mind without restrictions. When you don’t judge yourself and let your thoughts and feelings run free, you’ll get more clarity on them. The process of putting them out in a creative way makes them more real and solid.
#7. Creativity lets you express yourself
Freedom of expression is considered so important to a person’s well-being that it’s a human right. Creativity is the key to the door of expression, no matter what form of creativity you choose. It could be painting, sculpture, music, cooking, or anything else that brings interesting and/or beautiful things into the world.
#8. Creativity brings people together
Being creative can be a solitary, personal experience, but it can also be community-driven. Art classes, craft groups, book clubs, bands, creative work groups, and so on are all collectives of creative people coming together to do what they love. These connections are incredibly valuable for a person’s mental health and a sense of belonging.
#9. Creativity relieves stress
Research shows that being creative relieves stress. This is important because stress is like poison to humans. Stress can cause a wide variety of health problems, some of them serious, and significantly affect our happiness. Being creative can increase positive thoughts and feelings of peace.