“A pint of Pabst, please.”
“Here you go. That’ll be $2.50.”
“Ahh. Cheap beer at its finest. Here you go. Keep the change.”
“Thank you much. Say … you wouldn’t happen to work at Scentsy, would you?”
“I do. How could you tell?”
“Well, to be perfectly honest, you smell like it.”
“Hah. I guess that happens. Occupational hazard, right?”
“What do you do there?”
“I do web design for them.”
“Oh … web design? It’s a pretty up-and-coming line of work, isn’t it?”
“Yeah. I get to be creative, and get paid for it.”
“Oh … I wish I could be creative. I can just draw stick figures … that’s all.”
And the conversation continues …
This interaction between myself, and someone who doesn’t consider themselves ‘creative’ happens more than you think. The five o’clock bartender, the old lady in the elevator and even the corporate executive all suffer from stick-figure-itis. It’s a common misconception that you are not creative. But the only thing not creative about you is that you think you are not creative.
Creativity is not just drawing or painting. Creativity is not just composing a grandiose symphony. And it is not just acting either. Creativity is not putting on a pair of hipster glasses and chatting about the latest movement in whatever. And creativity is not trendy.
Creativity is solving a unique problem in your unique way. It is understanding the specific challenge at hand, and using a combination of intellect, intuition and heart to solve it.
Chances are, you’ve been creative all your life.
You are creative when you balance five tasks at once. You are creative when you cook a new dish, and decide to add an extra dash of rosemary, even though the recipe doesn’t call for it. You are creative when you express yourself to a loved one. You were creative when you dressed yourself this morning (let’s hope), and yes … you are creative when you draw, paint, sing or act.
A creative idea is born in many ways. It can be as simple as ‘your own spin’ on an idea gone stale or a problem solved in a new way. Creativity can be the result of an inspired moment that changes the way you previously thought.
Beyond the projects that tie up our time, there is an opportunity every moment to experience creativity and wonder. Watch the world around you. Intensely listen to the person speaking to you. Experience as much as you can and make mistakes.
Try this experiment: take a camera wherever you go. Take a picture whenever you are inspired. This is the best advice I can give to anyone, aside from the gentle reminder to breathe (yes, people forget). Watch people, and take plenty of photos. Don’t worry – people like to be watched. Photograph a great movie poster, the puppy at the pet shop or the trees swaying in the wind. Get yourself into the practice of watching, looking for inspiration in unexpected places, and see what you discover.
Let me know how you are creative in your life or business. I would love to hear what inspires you, and how you inspire others. Offer any tips you’ve found along the way.
Good luck, and stay inspired!
Ricky Lyman is a Web Designer in the Creative Team at Scentsy, Inc. Past works include this blog, scentsybuddy.com, haltthehunger.com, the Scentsy Workstation and Personal Websites. He likes mountain bikes, dogs and Pabst Blue Ribbon.