Fields. Photo by Leland Francisco

Creativity is Not Just About Doing Something New

Creativity is not just about doing something new. The keyword is “doing”. Creativity is about being. “Being what?”, you might ask. But any word I put after “being” only dilutes or distorts the true meaning.

Creativity is not just about doing something new. It is seeing the world without sunglasses.

Most of the things in the world appear “old’ or “mundane” or “the usual” to us, because we don’t see them with that same freshness every time. We assume that everything is static, un-changing. And fix our ideas about everything we see. Change comes as a surprise, most of the times – because we notice it only when it is big and blaring enough for us to take note of it.

What does this have to do with creativity?


“To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

We don’t live in this world in isolation. We all live in our own worlds, made up of people, places, things, happenings, all of which we see through our fixated notions we formed about them.

We need to see afresh. But not just that. We need to think afresh. We need to revisit our own ideas about people, things, situations, everything, from time to time.

In a farm, if the same crop is sown everytime, its fertility begins to decrease after some seasons. That is why it needs nourishment and fertilization, and perhaps a rotation of crops. Our minds are not too different. They don’t just need a change of scenery, they need a change of the base substance that makes up our thoughts – our concepts, ideas, theories, opinions, views, understandings, biases and all the notions we carry about everything, without paying any attention to them.

This is the base material on which we build anything. You may wonder what opening up to the possibility that your neighbor isn’t as bad as you think he is has got to do with your creativity in music.

They are both interconnected on a more fundamental level – how we think. If we can loosen up our ideas about a few things, it suddenly becomes much easier to open up to new ideas about many other things. And that is the space where new possibilities blossom.

So creativity is not just about doing something new, it is about being. To be is to be able to be in sync with everything around you and be open to new possibilities – not just in the form of new events, but in the form of new possibilities about the things already in your life. Because “being” itself means that you are always evolving, always expanding. That is why human beings are called human beings, not human doings.

Flickr Photo by Leland Francisco

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