Creativity and Personal Development

February 25, 2020
Creativity is more than art, more than self-expression; it's intimately linked to personal development.

It’s common to think that creativity is tied to some form of art. And, also, to understand it as a form of artistic expression that’s novel, striking, and discordant. However, it’s much more than that. Thus, this article is about the importance of creativity in personal development and its relevance.

Thus, creativity is no longer exclusive of artists. Instead, it’s a crucial skill for any kind of professional that goes beyond production and innovation. Creativity is part of an individual’s personal development.

As you can see, creativity in personal development merges a person’s unique experience with the exterior information they collect. Thus, it gives rise to a unique, independent individual. One who must explore themselves deep inside in their purest form. This individual can create, innovate, and find solutions not only to complex issues but also to their own personal questions.

“Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. It gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.”

-Edward de Bono-

A man with an air balloon head.

Everyone’s creative

What happens when you use creativity for personal development is similar to what happens with intelligence. It’s a quality that manifests differently in everyone but one that can definitely expand.

However, from a very young age, you learn to label each other as more or less creative or not at all. And you do so according to a person’s “artistic” manifestations in those disciplines that pertain to visual and performing arts, among others.

As you get older, other qualities, such as the way you dress or decorate your environment and your ability to design and innovate, are also taken into consideration. Mainly for labeling and differentiating “creative types” from those who supposedly lack creativity.

There’s no doubt that creativity is an important characteristic in human beings, one of the most important, in fact. Moreover, creativity is a human trait and everyone is creative. In addition, it’s one of the main characteristics that make humans successful as individuals and as a species.

It’s amazing how even those who believe the myth that they’re not creative can accomplish very innovative and imaginative work when they use the right techniques.

Actually, people perceive an idea as creative or not depending on the environment. In this regard, American neurologist Alice Weaver Flaherty states in her book The Midnight Disease that “A creative idea will be defined simply as one that is both novel and useful (or influential) in a particular social setting”.

According to Flaherty, creativity exists in the area of business, computer science, science, and mathematics, as well as to what most consider “creative” fields (the visual and performance arts).

A woman dancing in front of a wall.

Creativity in personal development

One can say that creativity in personal development encompasses the ability to create, do, or produce. But this falls short.

At the beginning of this article, you read that creativity combines your own experience with the information you collect from the outside. But doing and producing doesn’t necessarily imply that the result is the combination of personal experience and external information. But in most cases, a person does mix external information with experience in order to create. This isn’t creativity, however. Creativity entitles a more independent and individual approach.

Moreover, creativity isn’t just about creating new things. Creativity is the foundation for problem-solving. You can’t solve many problems by using existing frameworks and rules. In other words, by using formulas that offer mechanical solutions. Instead, creativity requires space to develop on its own.

You must think creatively and, thus, find useful and original ideas in order to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities. Creativity, from the point of view of personal development, gives rise to people who can think for themselves. People who can create, rather than just produce or reproduce. Individuals who know how to take advantage of their special talents and just how to make the most of their experiences, values, and ideas.