This is a question I posed recently to a bunch of friends and colleagues in various places. And I was quite surprised at some of the answers I got.
Of course my wildly creative friends belted out and emphatic “YES!” and proceeded to tell me all about the projects they were working on or just finished or had in their head for the future. No surprises there – I already knew what they would say, and it was fun to get an update on where they were going.
A few others said that they were decidedly not creative. The surprising part for me was not that these people didn’t think of themselves as creative, but that they were quite happy with that. They didn’t want to be creative; they were happy in their little box and didn’t really care to venture outside of it. Of course, as a creative myself, I had a very hard time wrapping my head around this – not wanting to be creative? To me that would be like not wanting to breathe. But to each his own.
The one that really floored me was an old friend from college. Probably one of the more creative people I know. Ever since way-back-when he’s had a very sharp wit and a wicked sense of humor. At college he masterminded quite a bit of creative stuff, although admittedly the campus Powers That Be were usually not as appreciative of his inventiveness as the rest of us were.
So I asked him the no-brainer “are you creative” question and he said…
“I might have been once, but now I don’t feel that’s true.”
Totally blind-sided me with that one. What?!? That’s an answer I may have accepted from some people, but certainly not him. Really?? Just – poof – it’s gone?? It made me kind of sad to think that he had lost such a great part of himself somewhere along the way. (Or at least believed that he did.) Is it even possible to “lose” creativity, or does it just get beaten into hiding by social conformity and rusty from disuse?
I don’t believe he really lost it, he just thinks he did. Go find it dude, it’s in there somewhere. Did you check in the garage…?
So what would you answer to the question? Are you creative?