As someone who formally studied graphic and visual arts in college, as well as journalism, this topic immediately caught my attention. I discovered that I had creative talent in high school in Mrs. Lieberman’s unconventional art classroom/studio. This environment nurtured my creative confidence and ignited a passion that, to this day, is a huge part of who I am, how I live my life, and it is the essence of my work. I proudly identify as a “creative.”

In our fast-paced world, creative thinkers are often at the forefront driving change, solving problems, and developing new ideas. They are able to find new perspectives and create innovation – increasingly valuable skills. Not only that, but those who apply creative thinking to how they work are often happier, more productive, and resilient.

Creativity is intelligence having fun. – Albert Einstein

Creative thinking is the ability to approach a challenge from a new perspective or different angle with a unique mindset. This means thinking outside the box, taking techniques from one discipline and applying them to another, or simply creating space for new ideas and alternative solutions to present themselves through dialogue, experimentation, or reflection.

In all aspects of our lives, interactions and challenges, applied creativity expands our point of view and capabilities, Creative thinking:
• Encourages curiosity and learning
• Provides more problem-solving tools
• Enables you to see what others might not see
• Builds empathy and allows you to see other points of view
• Boosts your employability as you are better positioned for success at work

We are all born with natural creative abilities. However, as we grow, we are typically not taught how to develop this potential. Strategies to help develop creativity include continual learning, seeking out inspiration and rich environments, being persistent, taking risks, recognizing anomalies, practicing meditation and trusting your inner voice.

In a recent study, a group of CEOs were asked “What skill do you most value in an employee?” The primary response was that creativity – the ability to solve problems, discover new solutions, and use brainpower to figure things out, was the most valuable.

Employers that invest in creativity typically experience:
78% increase in employee productivity
• 80% increase in customer satisfaction
• 83% increase in innovation
• 73% increase in financial success

More strategies to help boost creative thinking include:
• Be playful – this quality of light-heartedness opens your mind
• Be curious – ask why about everything, questions open new doors and possibilities
• Generate multiple options – by producing possible solutions, unique, unexpected answer might be revealed
• Daydream – wondering reveals new possibilities
• Read – Reading provides learning and nurtures the imagination

Developing creative thinking skills enhances life in many ways that lead to happiness and success. In my opinion, taking an art class to kick start your skills would be a great idea. There are many resources available in your community and online to aid in developing your potential.

Be inspired.

If you can imagine it, you can create it. If you can dream it, you can become it.  – William Arthur War