Friday, May 15, 2009

What It Means to Respond Creatively

One of the things you learn in PhD-land is to begin a discussion by defining the terms. Remember former president Clinton's public query into what "is" really meant. Such is the nature of intellectual work. :-) Yeah, right.

Going into your week-end, getting into the work that is not your job, I thought of putting out what it means to respond creatively to life. Creativity is not being artsy-fartsy, unless you really want to wear a beret and ripped clothing.

To respond creatively is to be open to new ideas, new people, and the world in general. It means letting go of some of your assumptions about everything. To be creative is to trust yourself a bit more and not to cling so tightly to being "right" all the time.

One thing I've learned is that you can do all the right things, and still not get the result you wanted. Doing the right things for the wrong reasons is a good way to experience major frustration. I used to be the kind of person who would go on a diet, and gain weight. I've learned to maintain my ideal weight, and haven't been on a diet in decades. That requires going deeper than sticking to a particular meal plan.

The ancient Greeks saw creativity as presence of the Divine in humanity. That's why a lot of teaching on creativity draws on spirituality.

People who practice creative living feel more alive. They experience life as leaders (not the ordained type, just real leaders) instead of victims.