Last night after work I went with a co-worker to Tai Pan Trading Co. We are making the centerpieces for the holiday party this year. Instead of buying them already made. Because she wanted to. And because she asked me if I was interested in helping her. Because I'm the creative one.
Now listen up. I've always thought of myself as the creative type. But it took me a LONG time to be comfortable with my type of creativity. With how I create. And the results. A long time. So I get a bit uncomfortable when she tells 3 or 4 store employees that I'm the creative one.
In class we learned about 8 forms of intelligence: Language, Math & logic, Music, Spatial reasoning, Movement, Interpersonal intelligence, Intrapersonal intelligence, and Naturalist intelligence. I understood it all when we went over it and tested on it. But it resonated with me last night while shopping.
We had picked containers for candles and had moved on to finding greenery to fill space on the table. We had a general idea of what we were looking for. Or maybe I did? Anyway, she would ask me, “What would you choose to go with this?” I would find something, we discuss it, and then either move on or put it in the basket. She would ask how I thought about A or B greenery or how this glittery object would look with the candles or in the space or on the table. At one point she said something like, I know what I like and don't like when it's assembled and put together, but I can't pick out elements and see how they work together in my mind.
Oh. I get it!
That's classic spatial reasoning.
Spatial reasoning is for the person who has a knack for seeing how elements fit together in space. Architects, sculptors, landscape designers, and quilters have this form of intelligence. When I go to the store to get items for a project, I generally can see in my mind what the finished project will look like. Or feel like. Then I can pick out things that will give me the desired look or effect. Spatial reasoning. I see how individual elements fit together to make the whole.
When I think of someone who is creative, I generally think of someone who made or designed something. Music, art, buildings, crafty objects. It is a cultivated talent. I couldn't always gather items, put them together, and get the results I wanted. It's about trial and error, finding what works and what doesn't.
Creativity is described as the ability to produce ideas or solutions to problems that are unique, appropriate, and valuable. Of course, unique, appropriate, and valuable are in the eye of the beholder. Creativity is not limited to a certain group or type of person. Everyone can be creative in their own field, in their own way.
Creativity is also the ability to know a good idea from a bad one.
Creativity very easily relates to problem solving. Are you confined to the way people thought before you? Are you looking for a solution using the same process that created the problem? Being creative is about thinking outside the box. It's about taking into consideration what someone else has declared as the solution or the right answer. And then looking the other way and finding your own solution and answer.
Don't discount your own perspective. Don't forget about your own intuition.
Steps for creativity:
1. Perception and Preparation
The steps can be applied to any idea, process, or problem. And, most importantly, don't stop looking after you find one solution. Look for the second answer too. It might be better than the first.
“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs