The Problem with Ignoring Our Creativity

creative flowerI believe this passionately: that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out if it. – Ken Robinson

I’ve been reading a brilliant book by Ken Robinson called Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative. The title springs from Robinson’s belief that at this time in human history if we fail to promote and support the vast reserves of latent creativity and innovation living within every person, then we must be “out of our minds”.

He insists and I agree “that everyone has a huge creative capacity as a natural result of being a human being.” The challenge is the lack of cultural support and permission for reclaiming the creative gifts that we have been largely schooled out of. There needs to be an atmosphere where it’s okay for everyone to be creative rather than holding the assumption that it’s the domain of a select few.

On a global level, we are in the midst of a major paradigm shift where old structures unravel because they no longer really serve the greater good. Humanity is in the process of evolving from a world based on competition to one where cooperation and co-creation holds the key to our well being and survival. As entirely new ways to doing things need to be developed, engaging and expanding our creativity and innovation are absolutely critical. Creativity is where our intuitive and imaginative minds play with the field of infinite possibilities.

Since most of us have had our creative efforts discouraged at an early age, we have a hard time wanting to re-open that door. Start with this. Look at all the ways you are already creative in your life. This includes creative problem solving. Many years ago at a wilderness trailhead miles from help I fixed the broken cable to my gas pedal using a paper clip and rubber band so we were able to drive home.

I suspect that if you look at your creative self in this new light you will come up with a long list of all the ways you are already creative. Then ask yourself, “how can I expand my creative capacity?” and “how can I support others in being more creative?”

Along with helping the world, on a personal level being creative feeds our own heart and soul. When we fail to use our creative capacity we limit our experience of the joy and presence that being absorbed in the creative moment brings.

As we approach the new year be open to the ways you want to bring more creativity into your life. Once you ask yourself the question, “how can I bring more creativity into my life and the world”, let it go and just see what pops into your mind when you aren’t thinking about it.

Pay attention to synchronicities, those chance occurrences that hold meaning. I’ve had books I’ve needed to read literally fall off the bookstore shelf at my feet. I tend to get goosebumps at such moments as if my body recognizes the communication from a higher source at work. That’s part of how creativity works.

Opening more fully to our intuition, imagination and creativity can be key in navigating the rapid pace of change in the world. Accessing the expanded way of knowing, at the heart of being creative, can keep us from feeling overwhelmed by our sense of uncertainty.

The more complex the world becomes, the more creative we need to be to meet its challenges. – Ken Robinson

If you enjoyed this article consider subscribing to my monthly newsletter. Just click on the Mail List Subscribe tab in the column to the left. Thanks.

2 Responses »

  1. I’ve lately been wondering if the increased regimentation of education will create more and more highly successful people who drop out or get to where they do because of going far outside of the system. Which I think has certainly always been a case, but I wonder if this will increase as well.

    What do you think?


    suzanne Reply:

    That’s a great question! Creative and innovative people have naturally gone outside a system that is confining. That may increase as more people intuit the urgency of opening up to our creativity. At this point I think we need an entirely new system of education based on 21st century needs that allow for creativity and innovation to feel supported. We need to unravel the regimentation. Ken Robinson really does a great job to laying out the possibilities in his book. He also did a couple TED talks available on YouTube that are brilliant.


Leave a Reply