Creativity (Re)Defined

Crayons Shallow DoF

I believe that we’re all creative, but somewhere along the way, lots of us forgot that. For a long time, I did not consider myself to be a creative person. Somewhere in grade school my artistic skills peaked at stick figures and soon after that, the crayon box was retired.

It took a long time before I thought of myself again as a creative person in the traditional sense. I was blessed to stumble across a Macintosh in college, and just started noodling with it. From there, I created some documents, and even took a first shot at a logo. For me, using a computer became a tool for me to express my creativity in ways that my traditional artistic limitations could not.

Over the past several years, I’ve come across quite a few people who have said, “I’m not creative.” They’ve all seemed to share at least a bit of common sadness when they’ve said that, as if by admitting lack of creativity, they’re missing something. I realized that most (all?) people I’ve come across want to be creative. Sadly, though, most of them have stopped seeing themselves as creative.

It seems to me that we all want to be viewed as creative, but I think the traditional definition of creativity (reserved for the likes of musicians, artists, authors, actors, and even graphic designers) is far, far too small. So, I’d like to offer a broader definition of creativity. It’s quite simple. Just two words: problem solving.

By this wider definition, being creative now includes:

  • Working with cranky customers to find a resolution to their issue, and doing it with a smile
  • Helping businesses find the best insurance for their employees that meets their needs and budget
  • One parent getting two (or more) kids to 3 (or more) events in one afternoon
  • Much, much, much, much more  

I hope this new definition is inspiring and freeing. 

How does this (re)definition of creativity feel to you? How else might we (re)define creativity?