Creativity is more than meets the eye: Finding the right channel


I didn’t think I was either. Until this past year, I always kept myself in a corner when it came to anything creative.

I was told by my family that although I was a talented writer, my skills in math and science were not to be wasted and were a better outlet for my energy. I convinced myself that I wanted to be a doctor or an engineer — careers that didn’t necessarily excite me, but that I knew I was capable of doing. 

Things changed my senior year of high school when I finally decided that I wanted to do neither of those things. Although I still did not know what I wanted to do with my life, I definitely knew what I didn’t want to do.

From here, I could go into how college changed my perspective on my own creativity, and how I recognized that my skills and talents could be used for different life paths. I could talk about how I stepped away from what was expected of me and stepped toward a path more aligned with what I wanted out of life. I could say how much happier I am now that I finally recognize I am a creative person. 

However, while these things are true, it wasn’t discovering my creativity that changed the way I viewed myself; I was only taking the steps toward finding my purpose.

Creativity is not only for artists, designers, authors, musicians and the like. Creativity is, in fact, found in every field of work. Whether it is engineering, business or science, creativity is the driving force behind innovation and adaptability.  It is the use of imagination, which is a skill that is applicable to every realm of life.

There can be just as much creativity in a new corporate business plan that is able to rechannel expenses to become more efficient as there is in a new painting that’s being featured in an art exhibit. Both the businessman and the artist are creatives in their own right; their creativity is simply being expressed differently. That creative energy is flowing through different vessels to come up with a new, innovative product. 

Have you ever found yourself saying, “I’m just not the creative type?” Good news! You inherently are. Your creativity might not look like what you’ve been told it is supposed to look like, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. 

You might be thinking, “Okay, I get it. I’m creative. Blah blah blah. I still have no idea, where in my life, that ‘creativity’ is being channeled.” 

Here are some things that have helped me tap into my creative side:

  1. Recognize the situations in which you feel the most confident. Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing? For me, I feel most innovative when I’m surrounded by people and brainstorming artistic project ideas. The act of planning an event with other people and executing it is incredibly fulfilling.
  2. Recognize that just because you can’t paint or draw doesn’t mean you aren’t artistic at all. Caring about style or interior design are other forms of artistic, creative expression. Even just appreciating these things in the slightest is another hint at your own inner creativity.
  3. Recognize that anytime you are pausing to think and brainstorm, you are practicing a form of creativity! Any new, original idea you come up with for an assignment or a project, anything that you are using your imagination to produce, that’s your creativity at work.

It’s a new semester, and it’s time for you to finally recognize the value of your imagination and your creativity. It’s in you. It’s in all of us, no matter what degree or career or life plan you are pursuing. 

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