Creativity shows up in three primary ways.
First, there’s natural creativity, which manifests through a person’s inherited endowment of imagination. Which all depends on their genetic package. Carlin, for example, attributed his creative prowess to his brainy mother, who was a linguistic educator, and to his showman father, who was an award winning public speaker. No wonder he wrote twenty pages of comedy every day and did a new special every year.
Next, there’s learned creativity, which manifests through a person’s study and research of imagination. Which all depends on their openness to learning and, in many cases, unlearning. Debono, for example, was a trained physician. But then he went on to earn a dozen more advanced degrees in creative fields from several of the most prestigious universities in the world. No wonder his sixty books have been translated into thirty languages and used by schools from over twenty countries worldwide.
Finally, there’s formed creativity, which manifests through a person’s practice and exercise of imagination. And that all depends on their commitment to strengthening that mental muscle. Edison, for example, was the first person to turn inventing into a business. Through the principles of mass production and large scale teamwork to the process of invention, he practiced creativity more than anybody alive. No wonder he holds the world record for most patents held by a single inventor.
Keep in mind, these three manifestations of creativity, natural, learned and formed, aren’t mutually exclusive. Just because somebody’s genetic package doesn’t point to a imaginative disposition doesn’t mean they can’t study and practice their way to creative greatness. And just because a somebody doesn’t go to college doesn’t mean they can’t use their innate abilities to create work that changes the world.
The goal, then, is to pull from all three pools. To use what your mama gave you, to study and learn about the creative process, and to keep trying and trying until you get it right. Because it’s not only where we access creativity, it’s also where creativity accesses us.
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