We have been conditioned to believe that creativity is something magical - something that is rare, and, for many, unattainable. We tend to attach the idea of creating something with works of art, poems, novels, and compositions. And in doing this, we separate the ability to create from ourselves. We feel we must produce something to be creative. And if, when measuring ourselves by these standards, we fail to create something, we see ourselves as uncreative.
But creativity -- true creativity -- is not about creating something outside ourselves. It is about making a masterpiece out of our lives. For what is ultimately more important -- the painting in the art gallery or the collection of poems -- or the value of a life well-lived?
The world tends to judge us according to our achievements and accomplishments. Thus, it is easy to keep one's focus on what we do instead of who we are. Life is thought of as being largely up to fate. Naturally, we make choices that shape our lives, but we don't usually think of creating the life we want. When we wake up in the morning, most of us probably aren't thinking of creating a wonderful day. We may hope for and wish for a wonderful day, but few of us tap into our wellspring of initiative to create it.
Yet, if we cannot create a wonderful day for ourselves, how do we think that we can create something outside of ourselves? And if we are incapable of creating not only a wonderful day but also a wonderful and fulfilling life for ourselves, what does it really matter what else we create?
Sure, it's nice to achieve recognition for something we've accomplished. It's gratifying to think we have written, painted, composed, drawn, or photographed something uniquely our own. But at the end of our lives, will we care more about what we did or the person we have become?
There is nothing any of us can produce through the act of creating of more worth and significance than a well-lived life. And the ability to create this life is something each of us has. We don't need a canvas and paintbrush to create this masterpiece -- all we need is the belief that we can create a life of value and the level of commitment to do it.
We have to want to live in a way that is rich with meaning and we have to be willing to take the risks, make the choices, and create the opportunities and possibilities that will make this possible. Although creativity can be enhanced by the knowledge we acquire and the ideas our life experiences generate, the ability to create is innate in all of us.
And the first place we should practice using this ability is in our daily lives.