by Michael Rice, LISAC, CTRTC
Creativity can be found in all of us. Many people consider creativity to be limited to the ability to make something materialistic, or to express one’s self in art, cooking, inventing, writing, or music. While these things certainly require creativity, creativity is not limited to talent in those areas alone. Everyone uses creativity each and every day of their lives for many different things. We rely on creativity based upon the knowledge that we already possess about specific things, logic, and willingness to go beyond our knowledge. We use creativity to make decisions that are primarily designed to result in happiness or pleasure. We use creativity to solve or resolve problems in business, discussions/arguments, and in our relationships.
All we do, each and every day of our life is behave. We choose our behaviors to satisfy our needs of survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun. When any of these needs are not being met to our desired level of satisfaction, it is human nature to rely on our creativity to satisfy and maintain those unmet needs.
If you have ever watched Naked and Afraid on cable TV, then you have watched individuals using their creative skills to satisfy their survival needs. In relationships, we tend to put our best food forward when we first meet someone. Behaving in a manner to cause another person to hopefully be drawn to you in a relationship relies on creativity for love and belonging needs. Musicians, Artists, Chefs, Writers, Dancers, Educators, Athletes, and Inventors rely on creativity to be appreciated, helpful, competitive, to win, and to be respected as a result of their creative abilities. These are ways of satisfying power needs. Investing wisely for the future, making decisions and planning ways to free one’s self from confinement or from poor relationships relies on creativity. Planning events, vacations, learning, and recreating requires creativity to make these things happen.
Have you ever been in an argument with someone and you just couldn’t come up with the things you wanted to say at the time in order to make a point? That’s a silly question. We’ve all done this. Later, after the discussion or argument is over and both have gone separate ways, you continue to use your creativity thinking about it and suddenly you come up with whatever it is that you wish you had said or done during the discussion. “I should have said . . . . “or “I should have done . . . .” That’s creativity.
Here’s an exercise to utilize your creativity: You wake in the morning and notice that it’s raining and you have a flat tire. This is surely a frustrating situation. So what will you do? Some would say, “I’d change the tire by jacking it up and putting the spare on.” But what would you do if you had loaned the jack to your neighbor several months ago and he never returned it? “I’d go next door and get it back.” But he left for work an hour ago and no one else is at home. “I’d call a friend to come get me to take me to work.” S/he’s already gone and at their place of work. “I’d call a cab to take me to work.” These are examples of creativity. Some may not use their creative skills very much and say, “I’d go back to bed.” There are even more examples to this scenario that I could add but you get the idea. Creativity is being used to overcome a frustrating situation. With each creative endeavor that fails, another creative method is created until one of them eventually satisfies the frustration and need.