The Creative Mindset:  Your Pathway to an Elevated Life

The Creative Mindset: Your Pathway to an Elevated Life

As an artist, scientist, fitness fanatic, and professional problem solver (aka. water manager in the western U.S.), I've come to appreciate the extraordinary impact that creativity can have on all facets of life. It's a mindset that, when embraced, can lead to innovation, problem-solving, and a more fulfilling existence. And creativity isn’t just for people who identify as artists in the visual, written, musical, or performance sense. It’s for everybody. Even if you don’t identify as an artist, dabbling in some focused creative process on a regular basis can train your brain to be more creative and bring you huge gains in other areas of your life. 

Scientific studies show that people who develop creative habits are statistically stronger than their peers in seven key areas:

1. You gain problem-solving powers. When you face challenges, being creative helps you find unique and innovative solutions. Whether at work or in your personal life, when things get tricky, creative thinking lets you see opportunities instead of roadblocks. Whether you're trying to finish a difficult project, keep a two-year-old entertained for a whole day while managing all other life tasks, or figure out your next career move, being creative helps you turn a regular idea into something groundbreaking and the impossible possible. 

2. You're more innovative. Innovation archeologist, James McGlade, said that “The key element to the process of innovation is creativity” (1989), and is true throughout the history of humankind. In the ever-evolving landscape of our fast-paced world, staying ahead demands constant innovation. The same principle applies to life. Creative thinking is the instigator of progress. It pulls you forward and keeps you at the forefront of your field. Self-made millionaire and creatorpreneuer, Nischa Shah said, "In a world where hard work is no longer a competitive advantage - because, let's face it, everyone works hard - the competitive advantage is actually thinking expansively." Innovators are those who dare to think differently, who challenge the status quo, and who envision a future that others may not see. It's this same spirit of innovation, sparked by creative habit, that can elevate your personal and professional life to new heights.

3. You more readily embrace possibilities. In addition to finding novel solutions to problems, you’re more willing to embrace new ways of thinking. Creative thinking is the ingredient that makes ordinary things extraordinary. It's about thinking outside the box, using your imagination, and discovering unique opportunities. The lens you look at life through starts to shift. Creativity allows you to turn challenges into unique opportunities and the impossible into possible. This also means dreaming about the future and imagining what could be. That imagination is what helps make dreams reality.

4. You’re more open to diverse points of view. I would argue that creativity is at the root of empathy. Being creative allows you to imagine, and imagination is what allows you to feel and think from the point of view of someone else. When you can achieve empathy, you can be more open to diverse points of view, and understanding of what other people are experiencing, feeling, and thinking. This is likely why we see “creative communities”  are filled with great diversity. I imagine our world would be far less divided if it were filled with more people who embraced a creative mindset. 

5. You become a more skilled communicator. When you understand diverse points of view, soft skills that are in high demand in the workforce often become easier. It becomes easier to convey ideas in a way that resonates with the audience. In personal interactions, creative thinking enhances communication by fostering empathy and understanding. It also allows you to express yourself authentically and connect with others on a deeper level.

6. You see the world differently. Our planet is an incredible, beautiful, and diverse place full of wonder. When you tap into your creativity, you develop a clearer lens for seeing all of it's wonder in color, shape, texture, shadow, line, and movement. You'll gain a higher awareness of the details around you, helping you to gain understanding, feel more connected with the world around you, and feel inspired, which brings me to our final benefit of embracing a creative mindset...

7. You’re happier and more fulfilled. Creative thinking is not just a tool; it's a catalyst for personal growth. It encourages you to step outside your comfort zone, embrace change, and welcome the unknown. Most people are terrified of change, but, as my dad always tells me, the only constant in life is change. Embracing a life of creativity can help you to navigate your changes, feel more comfortable and happy with life’s ups and downs. Similarly, in life, those who embrace creative thinking are more likely to embark on fulfilling journeys of self-improvement, constantly evolving into the best versions of themselves. Kristen Weir, scientific journalist, sums the benefits of creativity beautifully: “At an individual level, creativity can lead to personal fulfillment and positive academic and professional outcomes, and even be therapeutic. People take pleasure in creativity,—even if they don’t think of themselves as especially creative.”

Ultimately, creative thinking is a force that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. It's a mindset that empowers you to solve problems with finesse, foster innovation, embrace possibilities and different points of view, communicate effectively, and embark on a journey of continuous personal growth and fulfillment. Like exercising a muscle, the more you use creativity, the more your brain grows with creative strength (learn more here). So, as you navigate this world, consider the profound impact that developing creative habits can have on your life. Embrace the creative mindset and see the world in a different way. 

If you’d like to learn more about what happens to your brain during creative thinking, check out this post:  Your Brain on Creativity. If you’re interested in developing a creative habit, use our free 30 Day Creativity Challenge cheat sheet to guide your way. It just takes 15 minutes a day to build your creative mindset and elevate your life.

Lastly, if you liked this post, send it to a friend or family member who you think might also enjoy it. 

Have a sage day and don’t forget to do something for you today!

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