What is “Creative”?

As a child, I was told I was creative—so I believed it. Aren’t all kids creative though? I did have a creative thought process and because I loved all that was art I was labeled “creative.” I loved to make things, explore, sort, compile lists, play games and rearrange the kitchen cabinets. I drew under my bed. Sure, I was an unconventional kid but I was a lot like most “creatives” I know.

What I’ve been wondering lately is what makes me any more creative than the next person? Any more than my tax-attorney husband, for example? Why is creativity typically associated with how things look? My bow-tie-wearing other half (yes, he can rock it) is sometimes much more creative than I am. He has to be since he’s continually looking for creative ways to solve people’s tax problems.

The World Dictionary defines “creative” as:

cre•a•tive  (kree-ey-tiv) — adj

  1. having the ability to create
    2. characterized by originality of thought; having or showing imagination: a creative mind
    3. designed to or tending to stimulate the imagination: creative toys
    4. characterized by sophisticated bending of the rules or conventions: creative accounting

To me creativity is an approach, a process and a way of thinking—it’s not just about what you do. Everyone is creative. We were born that way. It’s just that sometimes we let caution, uncertainty or other people’s opinions stifle us rather than nurturing our creativity and letting it grow. We are all more creative than we realize. We just need to get creative about recognizing and unleashing the creativity inside—you know, like we used to when we were kids.

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