Thinking about the future can be a scary thing. We grow up knowing that there are certain ways we should act, certain things we should say and so, when we find ourselves straying from the path, we start feeling lost. As the small universe we used to know becomes increasingly vast, it also becomes harder to find a place to fit in. There aren’t many things as frightening as feeling like you’re not sure who you are anymore. When we find ourselves at a personal crossroad, the easiest way to react is to follow what we’ve always known and try to mirror what we’ve always seen. In our search for safety and familiarity, we try to think and become like everyone else.
It takes a while to understand that the best thing you can do is to go the other way. To dive right into the unknown, to let yourself be shaped by all the new you encounter. When it’s all said and done, it’s only by moving ahead in spite of the fear that we manage to develop one of our most important qualities: creativity.
Often times, the notion of creativity seems to be more of a myth, an abstract concept, instead of something with the potential to affect our daily lives. What’s more, we seem to think of it as something that comes naturally, that some people are born with and some just didn’t have the luck to inherit. We spend time admiring the work of the ones we consider creative people, the ones with the special gifts we could never dream of. We watch from a distance, truly believing that they’ve been just blessed with inspiration, which isn’t something everyone can simply access.
However, what most people get wrong about this is that creativity doesn’t just happen and, most importantly, that everyone can lead an inventive life if one has the courage to do so. Elizabeth Gilbert, best-selling American author, talks about everyone’s capacity to be creative in her book Big Magic. According to the writer, we all posses the ability to be as innovative as we wish, if we only let go of the notion that it’s something natural and instead understand that it’s a matter of being able to actively pursue it, to work on it like you would on anything else. One must never forget that, after all, the mind is like a muscle; if trained, it becomes capable of accomplishing things you never thought possible.
In our fast, constantly changing environment, the ability to see and do things differently is one of the most appreciated qualities a person can possess, so if there’s anything truly worth pursuing in life, that’s definitely creativity. So, the next time you find yourself considering how to move forward or wishing you’d be able to be one of the innovators you so admire, remember that you already have all the potential within yourself. All you need to do is have the courage to make the move.5