Psychology: The power of creative expression (practice)

There are a number of practical ways in which you can tailor your environment to allow for natural and automatic creative expression. The first an most obvious is of course to ensure that you earn your living through creative work. This is a very broad and challenging topic, however, and we will spend much more time on that in subsequent chapters of the One in a Billion project.

In this post, we will only look at a much simpler short term source of creative expression: creative leisure activities. It is a sad fact that most modern leisure activities are consumptive in nature and therefore the complete opposite of creative. Watching TV is the best example of a consumptive leisure activity and should take a large portion of the blame for the lack of creativity within the general population today. Yes, seeing a good movie every now and then and watching the game with some friends every weekend is good and healthy, but parking on the couch for six hours every day staring at absolute nonsense really is bad in every way.

The best creative leisure activity to engage in is a creative hobby such as making music, painting or gardening. Sports, especially team sports, are also highly creative. In addition, social activities can also be highly creative if a very interesting or witty conversation starts forming. It is therefore clear that there certainly is no shortage of creative leisure activities out there. Shifting large potions of your TV-watching time to these kinds of creative outlets is therefore highly recommended.

In addition, you would do well to encourage and allow the free creative expression of those you interact with. Whether you are a parent, a boss, a colleague, a spouse or just a friend, always try to create an environment which allows the creativity of the people within your sphere of influence to come out and flourish. Creativity can bring some of the purest joy available to humankind. It can also be highly profitable in business.

Sure, our cynical world would like to impose limits on people’s creativity in an effort to maintain order and structure. After all, the most creative criminal (or the most creative toddler) will also be the one doing the most damage. However, if you simply use Warren Buffet’s advice when choosing who to associate with, this should not be a problem. He said: “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” The creativity of an integrous person is not to be feared or constrained.

So, bring some more creativity into your life via some creative leisure activities and some creative (and integrous) people. Better health and more happiness will soon follow.

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