Whenever I hear someone say ‘I can't, I'm just not creative…' I want to yell, scream and throw multi-coloured glitter in the air. But I don't. I keep my creative cool and ask them questions like:
‘So, did you make breakfast today?' Congrats, you created scrambled eggs!
‘Are you wearing an outfit that people aren't pointing and laughing at?' Well done, youcreated something fashionably acceptable.
‘Have you conjured up any visions of a shirtless Matthew McConaughey lately?' Oh, just me? Well, what I'm seeing is very creative.
The truth is, creativity is not an elite talent reserved for the Andy Warhols of the world. We are all creative beings with great creative potential. The core creative qualities lie inside us all; it's just a matter of identifying them and bringing them to the surface.
And it's important. On a personal level, creativity enriches us. It encourages our individuality and is enhanced by the very things that set us apart.
In business, creativity is essential. The only way for businesses to move forward is with innovation and new ideas, and – especially online with all the noise and chaos – you need creativity in order to make your brand stand out.
So, what exactly is creativity? It's much more than just an art form or a killer idea. In my book Capture My Attention, I describe four key ingredients required in the recipe for turning your creative idea into a reality.
Imagination allows you to dream up your idea; passion helps you pursue it; character helps you define it; and courage is what pushes you to conquer your fears and follow it through.
Like any killer recipe, the more focus you give it, the more skilled you'll get. Luckily, there are strategies you can put into place every day to enhance your creative ingredients. The more you tap into your own creative qualities, the easier it will be to draw on them when you need them most.
STRATEGY TO ENHANCE ingredient #1: IMAGINATION
The world's best innovations and creations all started with one thing: a hope, an idea, a dream. Somebody, somewhere asked: ‘What if' or ‘Imagine if I could' or ‘How cool would it be to'. Dreaming up ideas is a fundamental part of the creative process. As we grow older, we tend to shut down our imagination. Your task is to open your imagination. Explore ideas, daydream, and dream big. And most importantly, to capture all of your ideas; the good, the bad and the ugly. For all you know, a note you jot down this afternoon could change your entire future.
STRATEGY TO ENHANCE ingredient #2: PASSION
Creativity is fuelled by passion. I'm not talking about the Fifty Shades of Grey kind of passion. I'm talking about the burning desire and enthusiasm you feel when you love your idea and believe in your vision. Your task is to identify the things you're most passionate about. What's an activity you can do for hours on end, without ever getting bored? What's an art form you wish you could create, or a skill you'd love to possess? Identify what fires you up and start there. We are the most creative when we love what we're doing.
STRATEGY TO ENHANCE ingredient #3: CHARACTER
Our character is what makes us ‘us'. It's our personal insight, experience, and perspective that we each bring into our creativity. I believe our differences are our greatest creative strengths. So many of the world's wonderful artists are considered crazy because their work doesn't fit neatly within society's confines. But that's the whole point of creativity. The fact that your idea is different is why it stands out. Your task is to simply understand the value of your uniqueness and how important your individual ideas, opinions and experiences are.
STRATEGY TO ENHANCE ingredient #4: COURAGE
Courage involves finding the strength to conquer our fears even in the face of uncertainty. We need courage in creativity, because it helps us turn ideas into action. It's our willingness to take risks. Do you know how many incredible ideas never saw the light of day because the people who dreamt them were too afraid to turn them into a reality? I don't know the exact figure but I'm guessing it's millions. Zillions, even. What truly sets apart from the creatives you know from the creatives you don't is courage. Courage separates the dreamers from the DOers. Your task is to identify where you have let fear stop you in the past. What ideas have you not followed through? What exactly stopped you? What would happen if that fear didn't hold you back? Try pushing through one small creative fear today to see what amazing thing it could lead to.
So, I say to you, creative person, start daydreaming, indulge in your passions, be proud of your uniqueness, and find the courage to turn your ideas into action. The four creative ingredients make up a recipe that's good for your soul and essential for your business.
Now, to take my own advice, I really should get back to daydreaming about a shirtless Matthew McConaughey…
Jordana's new book, Capture My Attention: How to Stand Out Online with Creative Content is your ultimate guide to getting creative online. Filled with hands-on strategies and techniques, plus workbook-style exercises, Capture My Attention will help you instantly generate captivating content that will attract attention and make you stand out from your competitors.
Image credit: (c) Lukas Gojda/ Dollar Photo Club
Jordana Borensztajn is a creative content consultant, author, social media trainer and humourist. Jordana works with clients to enhance their creativity, online content and social media marketing skills, as well as develop their LinkedIn profiles. Her new book, Capture My Attention, is filled with hands-on strategies and techniques, plus workbook-style exercises, to instantly generate captivating content. Jordana is a former News Corp Australia journalist, she worked as online music editor, content producer and social media manager at Nova Entertainment, she's written and performed sold-out shows in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, she speaks at corporate conferences around the world, and she runs an online safety program for school students.
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