One of the finest qualities of being human

"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions."
— Albert Einstein

"Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people."
— Henry Thomas Buckle

The definition of creativity that you will find in almost any dictionary is easily interpreted as applying only to those who are very bright, clever, discerning, exceptional, imaginative, ingenious, inventive, resourceful, and wise.

Their accomplishments are significant: parks enjoyed by millions, plays that last for decades, portraits that hang in famous galleries, and on and on and on.

The cook, gardener, store clerk, seamstress, car mechanic, elementary teacher, parent, caregiver, acupuncturist, farmer, and members of any occupation you can imagine must also be creative in some way. Otherwise, every decision people make in those professions would be the same. All gardens would look the same. All stores would be managed the same way. All dresses would be designed and sewn the same. Etc.

Notice how our definition of “creativity” rapidly changes as we go through school.

When we’re in the first grade and asked if we are creative, we say “YES!” Although we wouldn’t have the language to articulate it at that age, but we recognize that choosing the colors of crayons for the pictures we are asked to draw comes from someplace deep inside.

The world would be a far less exciting place if all of us weren’t creative.

Therefore, here is a simple exercise to demonstrate your creativity.

  1. Write a word or draw a picture in the top circle. (YOU get to choose the word or picture, which is an expression of YOUR creativity.)
  2. Choose a word or picture that relates to that first word or picture in the other circles. This is creativity. You created something—a word or picture—from deep inside your mind and turned it into another word or picture.


I can guarantee you that no one else would choose the same words or colors or objects you have put into the circles (or imagined you put there). See how creative you are?

Exploring CREATIVITY in Your Life

What does creativity mean to you?

When you remember some event in your life that required creativity on your part, are you able to appreciate your ideas and give yourself credit for them, rather than discounting them because they weren’t as “brilliant” as you wish they had been?

What symbol best represents creativity—something that can remind you of this important quality when your creativity is needed.

This exploration of creativity was created by Arlene Harder, MA, MFT, resident of Villa Gardens, a Front Porch Retirement Community in Pasadena, California. The material is not copyrighted and may be used with attribution. (Photo on Shutterstock by agsandrew.)