About the Post

Author Information

Cady is a staff writer here at The Hudsucker. She is an English major and Writing minor at Grand Valley State University. Her dream is to be a novelist or to work for a publishing company. She enjoys reading, traveling, and watching Boy Meets World, The Voice and Back to the Future. Follow her on Twitter as @cadyelizabeth9

The Creative Approach To Life

For most of my life, the word creativity usually brought to mind colorful, artistic paintings, elaborate murals and sculptures, or exquisitely composed symphonies. For those of us who aren’t exactly artistically inclined, the notion of being required to do something creative for work or school can cause quite a panic. My mind would always flash to lopsided stick figures and messy watercolor paintings and it made me anxious, because I’d think, well, what am I supposed to do? Thanks to a class I’m taking in college this semester called Creativity, my definition of the word has broadened enormously. I’ve come to see creativity as simply thinking outside of the box.

Creative thinking skills are often cited by employers as something they are looking for in an employee. What does that even mean? Unless the job is for a graphic designer or an architect or something of the sort, it usually doesn’t mean that you need to be able to create some genius work of art. Most likely the employer wants someone who can come up with a solution to a problem in a way that hasn’t been done before, or someone who can think of a better way to execute a process the company has been doing for years. It sounds kind of intimidating, but I think creativity can and should be used in just about every aspect of life.

Image Credit: Flickr/Louise McLaren (squeezeomatic)

Image Credit: Flickr/Louise McLaren (squeezeomatic)

In the Creativity class I’m taking, a lot of emphasis is placed on generating new ideas. We’ve read about big corporations that have completely thrown out traditional ways of doing business, like working in cubicles and holding monthly meetings, and instead have decided to go down a more collaborative and creative route. Employees of these companies would work together instead of independently and would try to find new, fresh, ways to go about their business practices. It was amazing to see that productivity went up, the happiness of employees went up, and ultimately the success of the business increased, too.

Aside from creativity in the workplace, it really can be integrated into everyday life. Figuring out a way to turn the leftovers in the fridge into a gourmet family meal, finding actual uses for the random odds and ends in the junk drawer, and discovering the best arrangements for the patio furniture on sunny days are all examples of how we could turn creative thinking skills onto our day-to-day life.

In my class, we’ve done the usual things most people think about when they hear the word creativity, from dancing, to writing poems, to learning about Cirque du Soleil and how their shows are put together. We’ve also done some not so typical things, like taking a common object such as a paintbrush, and brainstorming as many different uses for it as we could, besides the intended use.

I’ve learned that doing something creatively doesn’t require artistic ability. All it takes is the desire to try something new or improve what is already there. So why not try to find creative solutions to our daily problems? Why shouldn’t we have fun with it? Life is full of problems. We should at least enjoy figuring out a creative way to fix them.

“Creativity is merely a plus name for regular activity. Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better.” – John Updike


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