I’ve always believed that those who are truly creative are easy to spot, not only because they have great ideas, but because they work hard.
Yet, I could never really express why I believed that sentiment. I only knew in my gut that it was true. Now I think I’ve figured out exactly why this is a true statement about creative people.
If you have good, unique ideas, then you’re using creativity, and that’s great. But there’s more to creativity than just having intangible ideas.
To be truly creative is to have ideas on how to turn your ideas into something more.
Creativity allows you to not only have an idea, but to find ways to move the idea forward as well. That’s a true sign of creativity. Think about it. The best creative individuals are those who not only have ideas, but who find ways to act on those ideas by using the very same process they utilized for coming up with ideas in the first place.
Think of anyone in history who has inspired you creatively. You’ll probably immediately recall the work they did, not only the ideas they had. Edison with the incandescent light bulb, Warhol with his stacked cans of soup, Jobs and the iPhone, O’Keeffe with her vibrant flowers.
That’s true creativity I think. The ability to have ideas and then to use creativity to make those ideas more than just thoughts that float aimlessly around in your head.
Of course anyone can have ideas – ideas for companies to start, or artwork, or ideas for books to write – but it’s those who use their creativity to make their ideas into more than just ideas that we readily associate with creativity.
If you’re going to prove your creative worth, find a way to utilize your abilities to turn your ideas into more than just ideas. That’s creativity at its best.
Illustration by Steve Hammond.