Usually, people think that creativity belongs to artists, interior
decorators, and designers. No doubt, they have to be creative in order
to survive in their respective fields. But all of us can be creative in
whatever work we do provided we pay a little more attention to it.
Once there was a male typist in a big Government department. He was a
good typist, but he always refused to type the address on the envelope
saying that he was not bound to do so. He claimed to be a trade union
leader and nobody dared to question him. Meanwhile, the head of the
department managed to get the services of a female typist who did not
grumble when it came to typing the addresses on envelopes. In fact, she
started typing the address on the envelope before typing the letter!
Everybody in the office, including the head of the department, was
very pleased with her work. She also won the confidence and goodwill of
the management and worked her way up the ladder of promotions. The
typist, who refused to type the address on the envelope, had to do the
same work until his retirement.
Although there are Research and Development Departments in big
corporations, they are dealing with big problems. The do not have the
time or the inclination to solve small problems. For instance, a
librarian in East Cleveland had the formidable task of moving a large
stock of books to a new building in another part of the town. The budget
for shifting of the library was small but the librarian lost no time in
inserting a small story in the local newspaper asking members to borrow
books for holiday reading. They were also asked to return the books to
the new location of the library. The idea had its salutary effect. As a
result, the librarian could save much needed money for the purchase of
some more new books. An ordinary person, who is not creative, would have
asked for more funds to shift the library.
On-the-job creativity is a matter of imaginative combinations.
Creative ideas grow out of doing what you like to do. Once, an
aggressive young salesman of business education courses came up with a
bright idea. He suggested to his boss that he should hire a railway
compartment to offer courses for commuters. The management did not take
his bright idea seriously. But the salesman wanted to do it somehow.
Finally, he resigned and rented a railroad car and turned it into a
mobile classroom. Meanwhile, a university agreed to provide him with
course material and visiting lecturers. His 'Edutran' flourished opening
the doors of higher education to a sizable segment of commuters.
You might think that everybody is not gifted with creativity.
Probably, this is not so. If you observe yourself carefully, you can
come up with many creative ideas that will improve your life or working
conditions. There was this student who was reading for his Advanced
Level examination. He was employed and he had to travel a long distance
by train. One day he decided to do all his homework while travelling.
Although writing was a problem in a moving train, he was able to revise
his lessons quite easily. While other commuters were gossiping or
sleeping, he used the travel time for his studies.
Powers of creativity can be applied to life itself. Life is an
elemental essence that should not be wasted in idle talk. However, most
of us do not know how to lead a fruitful and creative life. We are
surrounded by nature's bountiful gifts. The sun gives us warmth and
energy. The earth gives us nourishing vegetables and trees that bear
succulent fruit. With all these in the background, we can think because
we are probably the only thinking animals in the universe.
Man's creative powers have given us automobiles, skyscrapers, planes,
television, satellite, and numerous other marvellous creations.
Amidst all this creativity, some people do not enjoy happiness and
find no meaning or purpose in life. For some of them, the pace is too
fast. Everything is changing fast. The bullock cart has given way to
comfortable cars. City life and culture have eroded the simple life
pattern of the people. Multinational corporations have a booming
business. Everything under the sun seems to be dehumanized.
Although there is some truth in this line of thinking, life is not so
bad for a creative person. If you adopt all negative ideas, the result
too will be negative. Turn to 'Hamlet' and you hear what William
Shakespeare says, "To take arms against a sea of troubles." We have to
take arms only to lead a creative life.
Gloom and worry dominate the thinking of so many people today. Some
people remain unmarried because they think that marriage is a sea of
troubles. For them, maintaining a wife or caring for children is an
uphill task. Why should we marry when we can enjoy life to the full
without getting married? However, repentance comes too late. When they
reach their old age, they find life has no meaning for them.
Creative people do not trouble till trouble troubles them. It is
useless troubling yourself for future shocks. A mother worrying about
her son's safety in a foreign country is wasting her energy. An old man
worrying about his health is another case in point. If you are a
creative person you will know what to do in such situations.
The source of your creativity is your own healthy self-image. If you
think you are a sick person who cannot do anything worthwhile, you will
remain so. A creative person is aware of his healthy self-image.
It may take sometimes years to understand your own image. If
necessary you can make some adjustments to it.
In order to live creatively, redouble your efforts to support
yourself. Give yourself credit for your accomplishments. Do not worry
too much about missed opportunities or lost fortunes. Be more concerned
about your positive achievements and life-building blocks.
Philosophers and psychologists have written many books on how to lead
a happy life in a chaotic world. In fact, Ralph Waldo Emerson once
wrote, "The life of man is the true romance, which, when it is valiantly
conducted, will yield the imagination higher joy than any fiction."