The Creative in You and Me

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The limitless potential of our brilliant brains is stunted by the alternative fact that creativity is exclusively for the artsy and artistic.

To be creative is to be artistic, and if we are not artistic, we must not be creative. I’m here to tell you, my friends, this is false.

For the longest time, I desperately wanted to be a part of the creativity cool club and my lack of artistic talent almost assured me that that could never be. 

That all changed with Marie.

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I met Marie at my first job out of college. I admired her from afar. She was incredibly creative in everything she did – from her pithy staff-wide emails, to her cubicle décor, funky hair and love for ideation. No detail overlooked. My creative crush.

One morning, I hungrily inquired over coffee: Where does your creativity come from? Have you always been creative? Did you go to school for it? How can I be creative, too?

I was surprised to discover she once lacked creative confidence. Growing up, she was an academic – a bookworm who’d rather spend her days hanging out with books in the local library than skinning her knees on the neighborhood playground. Her little brother, on the other hand, was artistically gifted from the first day he clumsily picked up a crayon. Anything his hands touched was gold – photography, painting, drawing. Her impeccable straight A’s shriveled in the glow of her brother’s god-given talent.

Marie struggled to find her own gift, but just couldn’t find it. She almost didn’t bother…

…until her performance reviews ranked creativity and curiosity as her top qualities.
…until she became sought after to host brainstorms to help teams think outside of the box.
…until her friends continuously complimented her creative ideas and listened to her endless list of curious questions.

Over time, she learned that creativity is a mindset, not a skill. It’s a daily practice, not a degree. It’s not about being artsy. It’s about problem-solving and rebelling against the status quo. It’s inventing shit out of necessity. It’s unbridled optimism, the belief that anything is possible and every problem has an answer. 

She confirmed that it’s absolutely free to join the creativity cool club - everyone’s inherently invited!

Just ask Marie, who by the way, is me.