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Are you Creative? I Bet you Are

                                                                                                                                - Reena Dayal Yadav

I ponder on the question I just asked in the title of this article and despite knowing that a question is probably not the best way to start an article, I still do so. Why? Well because most of what I end up writing is an answer to a question that I either asked myself or someone else. Here's my analysis of my own question and a possible answer as well.

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 Intelligence and Creativity are both multifaceted. Intelligence manifests itself in many ways - A person can have varying degrees of academic intelligence, Social Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence. These three aspects have been talked about by Daniel Goleman in his books. I would add Spiritual Intelligence to that - The intelligence of being able to look at ecosystems and their harmony in a balanced intuitive, understanding way. Similar to the Intelligence example, Creativity can be manifested in many different ways. There are those who are more Creative Problem Solvers because of their capacity to identify patterns, Creative Idea Generators (Out of the Box Thinkers), Imaginative Creative Artists, Creative Solution Creators and Creative Leaders (who exhibit creativity in people/team handling). Most of these people exhibit a combination of a certain type of intelligence and creativity in that space.

 

If you are wondering if you are creative/ have the capacity to be creative, then the answer is yes. Human beings are hardwired to be creative. The future has forever been built by imagining it first. The Theory for Unknowns is built on premises which are first envisaged and then validated or verified - as is the case of Theoretical Physics. Einstein had mentioned that at the age of 16, he imagined chasing after a beam of light and that the thought experiment had played a memorable role in his development of special relativity. In fact Einstein gave utmost importance to the role of imagination. He said, “The greatest scientists are artists as well”.

Vincent Van Gogh's “A Starry Night" or " The Sunflower" were not recognized as great art initially because he used his imagination to look at things differently and this difference in approach is visible in his paintings. The structure of benzene was discovered by Kekule through an active visual imaginative capacity. He dreamt of atoms dancing together and forming a snake. The atom snake moved around till it ended up eating its own tail. Kekule was working over the possible structure of benzene at that time and he immediately linked the dream to the possibility of benzene having a cyclic structure.

 

The problem with taking examples of Einstein, Van Gogh and Kekule is that, most people will turn around and say that “Yes these famous people were creative, however that does not go on to prove that everybody can be creative." That's a pretty reasonable argument, however let us look at the root of the creativity of these individuals- a very vivid and visual imaginative capacity. All human beings are blessed with the capacity to imagine. The difference is that some people are able to easily mix their imaginative faculties with other skills or knowledge that they possess. So a writer is able to weave words around his/her imagination; A physicist is able to visualize laws that govern the universe using his imagination; A music composer is able to apply his imagination to create new combinations of sounds which he has already mastered and so on. The moment you examine this process, it becomes pretty clear that this is a teachable process, a skill made better by practice and application. In that sense every human being is creative and if I had really bet on that question, I already won the bet.
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