As adults, do you feel as if you have lost your ability to imagine things? Do you feel you are a creative person?
I find it interesting that if you ask a child if he/she is artistic, they will most likely say yes, unless this has already been squashed by an adult. Children can sit in their house’s play area and take marvelous adventures to outer space or become a superhero. You ask an adult the same question, they will likely say no.
Two things in the last few years has changed my response to this question. Number one, I re-defined personally what my definition of creative is. I used to narrowly define creative as someone who is skilled in arts and crafts. Now, I define creative as someone who can solve problems in any area, or get their imagination to visualize a solution or think through something. One way I stretch my imagination is by reading a book or listening to a ball game on the radio. I am creative thinking about ways to teach customer service or basketball techniques to reach different audiences.
The second is getting a “second chance” at childhood going through it with my boys. Recently, my boys and I were playing in the sandbox and we had left the tractor toys in the car. Ryan quickly gave me the assignment of being the “bulldozer”. I watched him play the “excavator” by scooping sand with his hands, so I transformed my hands into a bulldozer to do the job he gave me. Sawyer played the front end loader building up the sandpile.
To the first point, I conducting a twitter/facebook poll asking the question whether people would rather watch baseball on TV or listen to it on the radio. Opinions were nearly split, but a slim majority did prefer listening to it on the radio. I enjoy visualizing the game in my head and the anticipation of waiting to hear what happens. I have many happy memories of doing work growing up while listening to the games on the radio with my dad and brothers.
I was surprised that most of the kids I asked watching baseball on TV. In fact, they gave me a weird look for suggesting the radio. Generation gap strikes again.
Should I be surprised? Kids are stimulated in different ways these days. They play hours of video games and watching others do things. There is such a decline in actual physical movement that it makes me sick to my stomach. I am not sure I am ready to re-define my definition for such sedentary activity.
I mentioned that books are a great creative stimulant for me. If you are looking for two books that will get you pointed in the direction of imagining a better life for yourself, I would recommend the following books and the action plans presented inside:
In addition, find a TV/radio, or internet program on a particular interest/hobby of yours, close your eyes, and listen to it. Your mind will soon be jumping with creativity.