The Importance of Creativity

Let’s talk about creativity today. There’s a popular survey that was conducted by IBM, of 1500, CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries. It identified creativity as the most crucial factor for future success. There’s another study that suggests creativity is critically valuable, but it’s been declining significantly on a global scale over the last 20 years now. In all the circles that I’m paying attention to, and listening to, the common conversation seems to be about the change that’s in the air with government, ecological, social, technological, financial, etc. Right now we’ve got this AI revolution, which is exciting for some and scaring the pants off of many others. So many are expressing a fear of how to transcend all this and move humanity forward. It’s a conversation I’m observing in every sector of life that I am paying attention to. My life’s own journey has been about exploration, creativity, flowering the self, exploring what my own potential is. For me, creativity is the answer and I mean that in the most universal sense of the word and why when I facilitate an artist in residences with schools and events to bring creativity into the classroom, the educational infrastructure and work environment, I do my best to remind the infrastructure, the parents, the teachers and CEO’s – those decision-makers who are engineering curriculums and corporate ambiance. It is my view that we as a society are making a big mistake by removing art from the school curriculum when there are budget cuts. This demonstrates a lack of understanding as to the true importance of creativity for all humanity. You see, art class in my view is not there to engineer future Picasso’s. We should not look at art class as a path to pave the way if you have the interest to become an artist. This is a misunderstanding of the value and importance of creativity. Today, scientists are understanding the brain. Interestingly, in a way that masters thousands of years ago understood by looking through another tool set. It may not have been a microscope or electronic technologies but it was through observation. Today the scientist looks at our brain, that neuroscientist in particular and sees that the left side has to do with memories of analysis and critical thinking. All kinds of functionality that the education system has really emphasized. But what about the right side of the brain, this dimension of presence, spaciousness, and openness. After all, they always refer to the right side of the brain, as the creative area of our intelligence, if you want to call it that. if we can realize that creativity is a developmental practice that, when utilized, can be functional and valuable in all aspects of society. Career, lifestyle, business, engineering, medicine, finance, education, and sports. Creativity is essential to innovation, solving problems, to providing answers to society’s needs, and maximizing human potential. Yet, where is creativity nurtured today in our social infrastructure? If the school system is removing it altogether, when there are budget restraints, and it’s thought of as a secondary component to an education? Well, what are we saying? What are we understanding about ourselves? There are 2000-year-old quotes that say, where there is no vision, a society perishes, well what is vision? What does it mean to deploy a visionary mindset? In business, examples of this can be people like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, any entrepreneur who has invented or innovated something new and beneficial for society. When you begin to understand that, you see how this functions for any other aspect of society, whether you’re an engineer or going into medicine or finance, education, sports, etc. You can develop your intellect as powerfully, as sharply, as deeply as you like, but without nurturing your creative side, there will always be the most essential component missing. Why is this most essential component so elusive in our society today? That is a big question. A question for which I’m here to participate in providing a solution. An answer to some of the misunderstandings of creativity is that it is a kind of gift or innate talent. I see and understand creativity through my life’s commitment to it as a developable, a nurturing capability. If we can look at ourselves in three ways. Our body, which you can develop, and master through various training protocols, you can do the same with your mind, your intellect, that’s essentially what school and study are. And there are many, many known ways to develop your mind and sharpen your intellect. So for the sake of understanding this, let us look at creativity as a third element of your system. I am approaching creativity from a holistic point of view. Meaning, in my practice of deployment or the development of creativity, in my life, for my career, and living, is by understanding its interrelationship with my body, mind and the heart. The heart is the most elusive aspect. For the literal thinking person. It’s the most intangible. But that doesn’t make it less valuable. Why do I speak of the body, heart, mind relationship, or from top down mind, heart, body. The heart is at the center, visually. And the reason why I put body if you want to look from a visual point of view, at the lowest tear, it doesn’t mean less important. But I’m referring when I look at the body, the point in the system, if the intellect or mind or thinking mind, we would associate with the brain. The heart, let’s put it at the center where the heart lives. And for the body. Let’s look two inches below your belly button. You could say that creativity ultimately is a process by which when your system, these three aspects of you are in a harmonious state, a flow state the access to creative intelligence becomes available to you. Sort of like that light bulb effect. We often culturally referred to when a great idea comes to you where did it come from and A spontaneous moment, a great idea manifested. Well, as we explore creativity and the nurturing of it, this becomes more understood how this phenomenon occurs, a consequential quality that can be deployed consciously or occur as a consequence of your unconscious action. Meaning you happen to be in a very relaxed state, as you were standing in the beautifully warm shower, relaxed and for a moment drifted into an open mind, open heart, relaxed body state. And sure enough, an idea popped into your head that’s an outcome that occurred by your natural but unknowing activation of a creative state. Now, what if you are given a protocol to deploy consciously this state that was akin to creativity? Would you not be intrigued to practice this protocol, just as you deploy using discipline, a practice of exercise for your body or perhaps a practice of exercise or discipline for your mind. After all, that is what you could categorize meditation as or whatever the therapist prescribes, or whatever entrepreneurial discipline technique you might utilize, or the memorization tactics that you utilize in school, or critical analysis, chess playing, there is no shortage of exercises that we can see, to utilize to develop the mind. So when we understand that every human being has the right, the divine capacity to activate this dimension of creativity. And if we understand that creativity is like the spice of life, it’s what brings the color, it’s what brings the beauty, it’s what brings the excitement, the innovation, it is how you solve the problems, it is how you co-create, because creativity has a quality to it, that is akin to cooperation. Cooperation is a symptom of creativity. Why? Because creativity is a realized state of one’s consciousness, that is an outcome of openness. So if you’re not practicing consciously, to be open-minded and open-hearted with a relaxed flow state, in your body, then your creative capability will be diminished.  Simply by looking at your system from a physiological point of view. Now, that can be easily misunderstood because there’s no shortage of great art Art that came from great struggle. So, a person might say, wait a minute, don’t I need to suffer, to be creative and isn’t suffering tense? Hard? Well, access to innovation is instantaneous. How you deploy that vision can be as hard and suffering as you wish it to be. Therefore, to activate the vision, or the visionary state, or to prepare the earth, or the soil for which you’re planting a seed to grow. These are the ideal conditions, that you don’t have to depend on by coincidental activity. For example, Albert Einstein himself discovered that when he would pick up his violin, great ideas would come to him. So what was happening, he would relax into a certain state of meditative openness or consciousness. As he would play his violin, great light bulbs would go off. And then he would engineer his time to reveal or bring to fruition those visions into a way that society could benefit. And it’s he who said, I quote, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” So what is Einstein saying… We refer to Einstein as an extraordinary genius. We relate to Albert Einstein as having an extraordinary mind, and an extremely sharp intellect. Yet, he himself is telling us that Imagination is more important than that. You can develop your intellect, to great, great levels. But without the vision of creativity, nothing new will come. No great innovation, no great solution. Because the intellect without creativity is just a regurgitation of the problems that already exist or the solutions that have already been deployed. And as that quote I stated earlier suggests “Without vision, the society perishes.” This is why I am referring to the importance of creativity as something that every human being has the availability to. It’s not like sports, where if you don’t have a certain physique, it does not matter how much you dream to be a basketball player. Without certain elements, the likelihood become much, much less likely. Or in any field. Each person has certain traits that could make them more capable in that field. If you gravitate towards math, in the way your intellect loves numbers, you’re going to perhaps, thrive in engineering or a science realm whereas someone else whose mind is more attuned to visuals or sounds, they’re going to thrive in other fields and other areas. We see this and we recognize this but creativity is not a skill set that depends on your intellect, the nature of your intellect, or the nature of your body is not contingent on these qualities. This is a great misunderstanding. Even young children who come into an art class and are first asked to draw a tree quickly realize in their mind that they’re not a good artist because they can’t draw the tree. Now, why haven’t they been corrected? To be a great artist or to be creative has nothing to do with you recreating what you see with a pencil, that is just a skill set. For those who want that skill set, fine  but that is not indicative of the power and possibility of creativity. That is the first step to realizing the possibility of what we can be. Let us walk that journey and begin activating and practicing creativity in all our lives to make this world a better, more beautiful place to be