Creativity: Nurture or Nature?

My 2-year-old expressing her creativity

My 2-year-old expressing her creativity

Creativity—are you born with it, can it be learned, or is it a combination of both?

For the longest time I opted out of calling myself creative.

I’ve always been fascinated with the human body and spent most of my 20s as a science geek, in the lab, conducting research, chasing after my PhD. As far as I was concerned, creative minds belonged to artists, writers, musicians … ie, “fun and spontaneous” people. Nerds like me were labelled analytical, procedural, practical, plus any other “–al” you care to attach.

At the time, I didn’t fully understand or appreciate that success in graduate school required immense creativity. Publishing original work is all about generating new ideas and discovering unique systems. It requires great storytelling and building a body of work that makes you an expert in your chosen field. Now tell me that isn’t creative!

Today, I find myself in the workplace where management is eager to impress their clients with creative ideas and solutions. With this challenge comes the need to categorize employees as “creative” versus “noncreative.” So once again I ask myself, “Am I creative … enough?”

I get it, creative minds are sought after. They are considered the bread and butter of most companies. However, the need to label people as “creative” or “noncreative” is scandalous.

You see, it’s all about perception. If I don’t look or sound like the “creative type,” I can’t possibly be creative. But, here’s a provocative truth:

  • Everyone is born creative.

God is a creative being. He created us in his image and likeness, depositing in us seeds of creativity, curiosity, imagination, perseverance, intelligence … just watch a kid play with a giant card box and you’ll see that. So the challenge is to keep these qualities alive and flourishing. This includes growing and exercising our creativity muscles—yes, we all have them!

Over the years, I’ve seen my creative ability grow and atrophy depending on the environment. So I plan to strengthen and condition my creativity muscles by being more playful at home, at work, and in my community. And to surround myself with folks who will nurture and sharpen my creative edge. Basically, I plan to follow my 2-year-old’s lead.

What does creativity mean to you?

True or False: We are all born creative.

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8 thoughts on “Creativity: Nurture or Nature?

  1. I believe that God gives each and every person talents. It is our job to grow these talents into an action that will serve and bless God. Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another…” If we surround ourselves with dull people than we too shall become dull. As Christians we should always be growing and learning, we are one body and each of us has a specific function; but we all need each other to function properly. I think that we have an obligation to each other to help each other grow in Christ more and more. This action on our part helps the body of Christ to not only grow, but to mature and remain healthy. Thank you for posting this and starting a discussion about it. I can’t wait to see what others take is on this posting of yours. God bless….

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  2. Very well said. I feel like my creativity depends less on environment but more on my perception of my own creativity at the moment. Basically, I only feel creative when I think I am. Loved the provocative truth here. Everyone is born creative. Indeed.

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    • Yeah, sometimes we need to get our mind right and motivate ourselves to be creative. But I’m learning that I do have creativity inside me, which is a huge revelation for me.

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  3. Waving my Sis! Its been a minute since I truly had time to just sit & soak in your words…Love the topic and I concur in that everyone is creative. However, I also feel some of us are more creative than others..Why so? Because some haven’t realized their touch for creativity. Or think they’re not creative..having a vivid imagination helps! Alot..I also feel that avid readers can create & re-create in different way than say; artists. And artist can take a blank canvass & create lovely colorful paintings or drawings..You sit long enough & my middle son can draw a picture of you. Its awesome! I’ve been known to say I can’t draw a stick figure. And I can’t! lol, lollll Yet give me a word to write about or pen a poem about..and my paintbrush are words. I can tell a story or build a story out of nothing..and I can re-create a happening down to the last detail. That takes creativity..It takes skills & often finesse to pull creativity out of folks. For instance I love WordPress! It provides a forum for people to expand their creativity…even creating a page here involves creativity. I’m having a ball with mine; and its still evolving. (as I learn more & more features of W.P.) As always I enjoyed the topic. Stay inspired & keep inspiring. Be encouraged & blessed!

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    • Waving back at you Berna!
      Creativity does need to be nurtured and it does come in various forms. And you’re right that a vivid imagination, reading … basically practicing your art increases creative ability. Like you, blogging has had a huge impact on my creativity. I’m discovering things about myself I never knew existed. Thanks for stopping by my friend 🙂

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