All my life, people who know me have called me “creative,” largely because I spent all of high school in the art room, turning ideas into paintings and projects, because I headed the photography club, because I love writing and being crafty. And it’s true that the most common description people associate with “creative” is that of artsy, musical, writer, poet and so on. But I argue that being creative is much more. After all, the root of creative is creation, or the act of making something—and that description can go beyond the art room and find itself in anyone’s hands.

Have you ever thrown together a new recipe based on what you like? Have you ever built something, like a tool shed, or your own company from the roots up? Are you a parent?—because the best creations you’ve ever made are your children. Creation happens all the time, but often people don’t call that being creative.

Self-Affirmation–Why do you want to be creative? Because creating something, anything, is self-affirming and proves that we can put a bit of ourselves into something real, tangible, lasting and/or meaningful.

Pride—Think about what you already create and be proud of it. You have put yourself, your ideas, and your hard work into that creation. If you are a member of a team at work, and help in its creation as the top team of the company, that’s something to be proud of.   

Communication—Often, people create things in an effort to communicate. Whether it be a work of art that communicates sadness, a multi-million dollar corporation that communicates success and great customer service, or a happy home that communicates love, family and safety. What we create sends a message about ourselves, too. That work of art says “I’m an artist who likes sharing ideas through visual methods.” That corporation says “I am driven to succeed, to make money, and to build something that lasts.” That home says “I love my family and want to raise it well.”

Direction—Think about what you want to create, and work towards that. It could be anything. Your life is your own creation too. Sure, sometimes life hands you the unexpected, and alters your path, but the path still exists. And what you do with it is your own creation. Put yourself into the direction of your life—create it, and leave something behind for others to see/follow.

Dream realization—We speak of the importance of being bold, and how it will help us achieve our dreams. Creativity, as a part of boldness, helps us do the same. By creating things we recognize our ability and gain confidence in it. Sometimes our futures appear nebulous and intangible, something we can’t control the outcome of. But by being creative, we can create it and make it real by purposeful action.  

So be creative. Put yourself into your life, into your work, your family, into whatever has meaning for you. Direct it and conscientiously make it what you want it to be. Find pride in your creations, communicate more, find direction and realize your dreams.

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