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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Creativity and Life

When I talk to groups about creativity in the second half of life I usually get at least one response that goes something like "Oh,no, I can't paint or write poetry or play music. I'm not creative." For me, that response is more cultural than real.

For the sake of argument, here is the definition of creativity I like to use: Creativity is a mental process involving the discovery of new ideas or concepts, or new associations of already existing ideas or concepts. This means that "the arts" do not have sole rights to what it is to be creative.

Painting, sculpting, writing and playing music with others are all understood in our culture to be "creative activities". But what about cooking a good meal, tutoring young people, baking bread, meditating, walking in the woods, or spending a day pampering yourself. Now, if creativity is the act of creating something intentionally which has never existed before, don't these activities fit the definition?

What about our lives? When we live our lives intentionally and authentically aren't we always in the creative process?

Our life is the canvas for our creativity. When we live our lives according to our unique values and sense of purpose we stay in the creative state. And the intentional life, well lived, is perhaps the most beautiful and longest lasting product of our creative nature.

Now go be creative!!

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