I was recently asked how I inspire creativity in others. I firmly believe that everyone is born with creative spirits. The sad part is that along the way most of us lose it. Or, more likely, misplace it. I remember years ago during the big scrapbooking rage telling a friend at a scrapbooking party that I just wasn’t creative. She was quick to point out how untrue that was. I was an elementary teacher – you have to be creative for that! And not to brag (haha), but my second-graders thought I was pretty much the best artist and singer they’d ever met. (Ahhhh to be the rockstar of your own classroom.) I love experimenting with recipes in the kitchen, and different vegetables in the garden. I just didn’t see any of that as “being creative”. I thought that term was reserved for artists and writers. The other crazy part is that I love to “do art”. I like creating things with my hands…paintings, sculptures…I’m just not good at it. But just like creating a new recipe, there is something immensely satisfying and empowering from creating something. As I’ve gotten older (I kind of hate that phrase because only old people use it – ugh- and I refuse to be old) I’ve discovered the freedom in giving myself permission to travel those paths to the unknown. I started my own company. I left the security of working in a school system to be a full-time educational consultant. And, guess what…I love it. I have the best job ever. For me. I get to be creative in my work every day. I get to help teachers and administrators find easier, better, more efficient ways to do their jobs. The best part of it is that I’m impacting the lives of hundreds of students through it all. I would have never discovered this creative outlet had I not taken a risk.
So how do I inspire creativity? I empower people I work with and encourage them to free themselves from preconceived notions – to be risk-takers. Through empowerment and freedom comes true creativity.