Creativity and innovative thinking don’t come easily to a lot of people. In fact, one of the most common misconceptions out there is that people are either creative or not. But that’s not true.
Innovation and creativity are mental skills which can be learned. The only problem is, we’re not taught how to be creative or innovative.
Most people are conditioned to follow orders and not think outside the box. They’re punished for not following homework assignments exactly or penalised for creating a new move in a game.
We’re instructed up by our parents, teachers and bosses to work within the lines, follow the system laid out for us, and to copy the patterns others have developed before us.
Being innovative and creative goes against most corporate and institutionalised systems, which value proficiency, predictability and promptness above all else.
It’s no wonder, then, that so many people struggle to be creative. Getting into the flow, letting yourself go, being bad at something, making mistakes and bending the rules aren’t things we’re allowed to engage in society, let alone growing up.
Your Ideas on Creativity & Innovation Are Wrong
One of the biggest hurdles people face when it comes to creativity and innovation is that they have no idea what these things really mean. This lack of understanding leads to people falling down the wrong paths and beating themselves up for their supposed ‘uncreative, stagnant’ brains.
If you’ve been struggling creatively over the last few months (or years), it’s likely because you’re waiting for some creative muse to strike you in the middle of the night with some ingenious idea no one’s ever thought about.
Waiting for creativity or innovation top strike is like staring at a river hoping that’s enough to cross it.
Creativity isn’t about originality. It’s about collecting inspiration and merging ideas together to create something of your own.
Innovation isn’t about making something new, but instead, it’s about destroying the existing order of things, embracing organizational changes and sacrificing existing investments or opportunities.
Allowing the restraints of society to limit your creativity and innovative thinking is what’s preventing you from making your mark in the world.
- The Wright brothers would never have invented the first motorised plane had they conformed to the belief that humans couldn’t fly.
- The telephone wouldn’t have been invented if Antonio Meucci didn’t strive to overhaul the importance of the letter.
- The iPod would never have existed if Steve Jobs limited himself to just owning a computer company.
Everyone who is innovative is rebellious. Everyone creative doesn’t wait for inspiration to come their way.
Creativity and innovation require independent thought, rebellion, forward-thinking and defiance. It’s time to stop waiting for creativity to strike and start fighting against conformity.