The princess is standing in front of the easel and wants to paint a picture. She is thinking about how much she loved painting when she was a little girl. She proudly showed off her masterpiece to the queen, who did not approve of it. The princess was upset and has never really moved past that experience. Every time she tries to be creative, she senses a happy impulse inside her, but then she hits a wall and gets an empty feeling inside
''Once upon a time, there was a woman who was really quite creative but who often hit a wall when she tried to come up with something new. She did not know that she still lacked the support of her 'inner' mother and father.''
The notion of creativity
One of the qualities that separate human beings from animals is creativity. Creativity can be defined as the ability to have new ideas and to express them (in an imaginative or artistic form).
To illustrate this, I could tell the story of a cello. Not just any cello but the cello created by Domenico Montagnana one summer day many years ago in Venice. An outstanding example of creativity with an impact that extends far beyond one person’s lifespan. The beginning might be defined as the tiny seed that, along with other seeds, grew into the trees which provided the wood that has now enriched the world for almost three centuries. All of this thanks to the human ability to transform the product of the right seed, which matured under the right conditions to become, ultimately, one of the finest instruments ever made.
Table of Content
But here and now, we are not focusing on the story of a cello but of the impact of individual persons and the threads that weave the complex tapestry of our lives while our attention is focused on something else.
Creativity is a uniquely human quality. Many people do not consider themselves creative. That feeling is undoubtedly genuine, but on closer inspection, almost everyone is creative to some degree. It may not be creativity as it is commonly perceived – that is, in relation to what is generally recognized as art. But less will do. Success breeds success, and practice makes perfect. If we are afraid to make mistakes in our pursuit of creativity, its development will be stunted. We need to be able to learn from our mistakes as well as our successes. And we need to practise, think, reflect and plan. We have to optimize and refine good performances into mastery. That is how strong results are achieved.
Creativity has to be stimulated. In this regard, leaders play a key role by providing an open space and inspiring conditions that promote creativity. Leaders need to manage their time and responsibility to create economic results and ensure human value with the purpose of realizing maximum potential to improve people’s quality of life.
In the illustration,the princess’s creativity was disrupted during her early childhood. Her creative urge is largely intact, but she still feels the sorrow stemming from the queen’s disapproval whenever she tries to be creative. That has two unfortunate consequences. One is a failure to be creative. The other is that whatever she does create will be affected by her lack of practice, because she has been prevented from developing through experimentation and play. It is important to dare to make mistakes – that is a crucial condition for learning. If we are afraid to ask stupid questions or paint ugly pictures, we cannot develop.
Growing up in a highly creative environment can set expectations so high that they are virtually impossible to meet. If you are afraid to make mistakes, you are not going to improve, and your development will be stunted. Naturally, growing up in a non-creative environment which has no family traditions for creativity, or which may even view creativity with suspicion, is not going to stimulate creativity, unless there is an external role model, such as a teacher, a classmate, a friend or a neighbour.
Human beings are born creative but growing up in a highly creative or a non-creative environment may disrupt the development of creativity.
Aperson’s self consists of at least three internal figures: ‘me’, mum and dad and any other key transitional figures. In everyday speech, when we say ‘I think that …’, it may in fact be our inner mum or dad who is setting the tone in a specific area. The different figures within the self – myself, mum and dad – do not necessarily agree on any given topic. In many cases, there is an unconscious dictatorship where an unreflected part of the self is in charge.
The structure of the self impacts the availability of inner resources. If your mother or father has a problematic relationship with creativity, you will probably lack inner support and instead experience an inner conflict.
Success breeds success, and practice makes perfect. If we are afraid to make mistakes in our pursuit of creativity, its development will be stunted. We need to be able to learn from our mistakes as well as our successes. And we need to practise, think, reflect and plan. We have to optimize and refine good performances into mastery. That is how strong results are achieved.
In the introduction to this chapter I chose to demonstrate something that I consider creative. The story of the cello is both a creative way to open the chapter and an illustration of the creative human ability to transform wood and other raw materials into a beautiful musical instrument that others, in similarly creative ways, can compose music for or play to delight an audience. Creativity is inspiring for the creative person as well as for the people who enjoy or use the creative output. Inspiration is a source of energy and joy – and it vitalizes the human spirit to allow us to reach new heights. We have everything to gain by being creative, so what is holding you back – if anything?
You need to be a member to see and take the test