You don’t have to be artistic to be creative

Artistic vs CreativeI am not artistic. I can’t draw inside the lines, my style is jeans and a t-shirt, and I can’t hold a tune to save my life. In my family, my brother got all the artistic chops. He plays a couple different instruments and is a really creative guy. He makes the coolest wood engravings I’ve ever seen. I’m always blown away by his ability to take a blank piece of wood and transform it into a work of art.

Despite my inability to properly match the colors of my daughter’s clothes, I work to constantly develop my creativity. This does not mean that I practice painting, or have taken up piano lessons. I think that creativity can be expressed in a multitude of ways.

The way I define creativity is the ability to question everything and not see limitations. By doing so you can see the world around you as a blank canvas. To draw something on that canvas, you have to know who you are and what it means to express yourself.

There are several ways that I creatively express the multiple aspects of who I am. As a leader, I express my creativity by trying to see my team members without limitations and working to identify their potential. I express myself as an engineer through my product. I constantly look for ways to improve the customers experience when they are using my product. As a rock climber I express myself by managing my fears and controlling my movement as I work my way up a route.

This is not about me though. This is about you expressing your creativity. It is about you understanding who you are and how you can positively impact the world around you. It is about you looking at your environment as a blank slate and figuring out ways you can make it better.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. If you could summarize your core abilities in five words, what would they be?
  2. How can you use each of those abilities to help someone else?

You can use the answers to question 2 to begin to identify a canvas for each of your abilities.

What are some examples of ways we can be creative that are not artistic? Let me know thoughts in the comments below.

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