What Makes You Creative?

Why are some people so creative? Why are they able to come up with revolutionary ideas?

Some say that creativity is a gift --- either you are born with it, or not. Others say that creativity is a discipline --- it can be learned and applied. Here I will speculate on what makes you creative.

1. Creativity is a habit. Always ask “why”; be curious and skeptical; surround yourself with creative energy and people; meditate; write a diary; etc. Most importantly, keep an open heart.

2. Creativity is the habit of breaking the habits. Inertia and repetition are among the top enemies of creativity. So, paradoxically, we must acquire a habit of breaking with the convention or the past. We must be willing to self-critique and step out of our comfort zone.

3. Creativity is a property of the mind. Out of the vast emptiness of the mind, wonderful ideas emerge. My best ideas always come into my mind first, and after a split-second, I become aware of the new idea. In our busy life these days, we keep ourselves distracted all the time, thus lose contact with our own mind.

4. Creativity arises from interdisciplinary efforts. Being narrowly focused on one area is like eating only one kind of food. It will create malnutrition. Mix them up!

5. Creativity comes from learning from the past. There’s nothing new under the sun. History is full of inspiration.

6. Creativity requires us to embrace nature. Mother Nature is the source of all human creativity. Humans’ best ideas are all stolen from the nature, but we never pay royalty for nature’s intellectual property. Nowadays, as we confine ourselves into the man-made world, we are cutting off the root of imagination.

Let’s end with a few things that make us less creative: Facebook, smart-phone, caffeine over-dosage, and sleep deprivation. I am not stereotyping college students.

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