Creativity’s Long History

Stonehenge, pyramids, Easter Island figures and Mayan ruins are all evidence of the creativity of humans throughout our history. These are just the physical indicators of creativity. On the cerebral side of things, we have: the Upanishads, the tracing of the concept of atoms to the early Greeks as well as the early attempts at history in the form of petroglyphs.

We are often astounded at what these early humans understood and accomplished. In some instances, we find that we can’t replicate what they’d done without the aid of the tools and equipment we have today.

As we entertain these thoughts, we overlook one important aspect of our humanity, that the creativity we experience today is the same that existed thousands of years ago in our ancestry. The creativity, ingenuity, that we possess today has existed throughout our history. The only thing that’s different is the tools we have available to us.

Over the course of history humans have built upon what was learned about tools, how they work and how to make them work more efficiently. As a result we’re able to accomplish a great deal more in much less time than was required thousands of years ago…and in terms of physical achievements, with a lot fewer injuries and deaths than occurred previously.

You may be wondering: “What’s this mean for me?”

For you

My goal in writing this is to help you become more confident as you realize that:

  • The creativity employed in these earlier achievements is the same creativity you possess.
  • With this creativity, anything is possible.
  • Productivity improvements are the result of applying our creativity to tool making.

I believe this message is important because too many people have told me that they aren’t creative. The reality is that they are creative in some regard, just not in the way that they define creativity.

Our beliefs become our reality. Those who believe that they aren’t creative fulfill that prophecy. In the process, they not only prevent themselves from enjoying the fruits of their creativity, the deprive the rest of us of the benefits their creativity would have produced.

Everyone loses when we fail to recognize that we possess the same creative ability that our ancestors possessed…with the added advantage of better tools.

To avoid the losses associated with denied creativity, each morning, shortly before rising, remind yourself that you possess the same creative abilities as your ancestors, the only difference being where you choose to apply that creativity.

Then shortly before retiring, recall how you applied your creativity during the day. Don’t forget those times when you helped a friend or colleague through a difficult time, when you identified a flaw in the system, whether you have yet found a solution or not, when you shortened the amount of time to complete a task.

One of the things you’ll find is that as you become increasingly aware of your creativity, you’ll employ it more frequently and to increasingly greater effect. It’s similar to what I’ve experienced as I’ve helped people increase their confidence; the more confident they become, the more aggressive their goals become…and the greater joy they experience. That’s what I wish for you.

For our kids

When the kids in your life express their belief that they aren’t creative, help them realize that creativity is in their human DNA…that’s it has been passed down to us over thousands of years. Let them know that the only difference in creativity is how it’s applied. For more insights into creativity refer them to my earlier blog post: Misunderstanding Creativity (opens in a new link).

Help kids recognize their creativity and they’ll employ it frequently and effectively to all aspects of their lives.

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Readers would love to see your thoughts and experiences in a comment.

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