“I’m not creative“ Oh yes you are!

Most people believe that they are not creative. Or that creativity is only associated with artists and musicians.

“I can’t draw. Therefore, I am not creative.” 

This is a major misconception about creativity – and absolutely false. You were born into this world with everything you needed to create. You are wired to be creative. You can’t help it. Creative thinking is what makes us human. And we all do it! 

Creativity is complex and there are many definitions of it. One of the definitions of creativity I use is based on one by Dr. Morris I. Stein: Creativity, the production of something that is novel and useful. That’s it. It’s that simple.

If that definition doesn’t do it for you, then try these on for size. Creativity is…

    • a student connecting what matters in his life to a career he can pursue with passion.
    • making an already-tight budget go even further.
    • finding a better way to feed the homeless people in your city.
    • preparing a delicious meal from leftovers in the refrigerator.
    • making bedtime fun to get kiddos to sleep.
    • finding a new way to tell someone that you love them.

Have you done any of those things? Of course, you have. Well, that’s what creativity really is.

Is everyone creative?

Yes. Enter the 4-C model of creativity.

Creativity researchers James Kaufman and Ron Beghetto have identified four types of creativity. Big-C, little-c, mini-c and Pro-c.

    • Big-C creators are people like Albert Einstein, Frida Kahlo, and Mozart. These are the clear-cut, eminent creative contributors.
    • Little-c is the kind of creativity that we do every day. Little-c creativity is finding a way to fix machinery on the farm with just wire and duct tape, improvising a socially distant graduation ceremony during COVID-19, or making a quilt using old clothing scraps.
    • Mini-c is creativity that is part of the learning process – often seen in young children. Mini-c focuses on the creative process. It is the new idea generated in a brainstorming session that might eventually develop into a breakthrough.
    • Pro-c is the creativity of individuals who are professional creators but have not reached eminent status. Pro-c is the chef who makes a living developing entrees, the musician who composes musical arrangements, the interior designer that makes your house beautiful.

If you look at the 4-C model, there is not a single person on this planet who doesn’t exhibit some form of creativity. In fact, creativity is crucial to our survival. Imperative to create a dynamic, thriving human experience. Creativity is in all of us. 

Dr. Roger Firestien has taught more people to lead the creative process than anyone else in the world. Roger is senior faculty at the Center for Applied Imagination at SUNY Buffalo State and president of Innovation Resources, Inc. He has written six books on innovation. His latest book, Create in A Flash:  A leader’s recipe for breakthrough innovation is available through Amazon or at createinaflashbook.com. Visit RogerFirestien.com for more details.