By: Kathy Shalhoub
Have you ever wondered if you’re creative or not? Do you have that spark in you? Take my creativity test and you’ll know for sure.
Answer the following questions with Yes or No.
- Are you human?
- Do you have a brain?
- Do you live around people?
If you answered yes to all the questions above then, congratulations, you are creative!
See I don’t believe that anyone is born with that something special and elusive we all call creativity. I used to think so but not anymore. I used to think that either you had it or you didn’t. And if you had it, well lucky you, because it sure wasn’t lucky me.
Until one day an artist friend (who I thought was incredibly creative!) took a look at things I was writing, things I was cooking, things I was thinking about and went: Wow! You’re so creative.
I said: what me?! Don’t be silly!
Then when it kept happening I thought, Oh my God, I’m creative!!! When did this happen?
So I realized that if even I had some shards of creativity inside me, it must exist in everyone! Science has finally caught up with me and proven it.
In the book Imagine: How Creativity Works, Jonah Lehrer tells us that science has now pinpointed creativity to a tiny fold of tissue in the brain called the anterior superior temporal gyrus that becomes very active just seconds before an epiphany.
So what brings about these moments of ‘epiphany’ that we call creativity? Apparently, something as simple as a casual conversation can lead you to unexpected ideas, and something as outrageous as criticism that challenges your thoughts or ideas can force you to seek alternate paths, and therefore make you more creative.
Have you ever noticed that ‘creative’ people are often disorganized, do a million things at once and yes, procrastinate endlessly? Well it seems that interruptions are not that terrible after all (see my previous post on Procrastination) and being excellent at focusing is not that useful when you’re being creative. A British scientist has shown that it is those very interruptions that give our mind the mental pause it needs to notice a stray thought or random insight and bring it to your attention.
If you want to try being more creative, consider sitting outside by the ocean or painting your room blue since a study shows that this color helps stimulate our imagination. Talk to people, tell them about your ideas, have them challenge you. Try doing things differently, get out of your comfort zone, eat a banana upside down or walk through the city if you normally drive. Welcome interruptions, take breaks from your focus group, turn your brainstorming session into a critique session, don’t give up hope when you get stuck. Just take a break and give your anterior superior temporal gyrus the chance to work on things for you!
Blogger’s Bio: Kathy studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Paris. She is also a writer and published her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover, in 2010. Kathy is fascinated by matters of the mind, self discovery, self acceptance and personal development and is currently researching these topics. Check out her blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Lebneh_Lover.