The ten creative abilities

Illusion of the MindAt the beginning of my own creative exploration, I constantly returned to the question what it really is to be creative. Is it possible to define a certain creative ability? There are so many highly creative people – inventors, musicians, artists – so it should be possible to drill down to a common denominator, the magic silver bullet, a creative ability common to all creative human beings. But the more I learned about the different aspects of creativity, the more I realised that this was a side-track. There is not a single creative ability but a whole row of them, and it’s only when several of these interact and reinforce each other as we really can utilise our full creative potential.

After a lot of thought, I realised how I saw these abilities and which they were. There are certainly many who would not agree with this particular list, but it has been helpful to me to move on and ponder how to develop them.

  1. Curiosity
  2. Visualisation and imagination
  3. Playfulness
  4. Ability to associate
  5. Mindfulness
  6. Courage
  7. Persistence
  8. Ability to get into flow
  9. Ability to utilise your feelings
  10. Logical thinking and problem solving

It is important to note that these are abilities not traits. We are born with a trait, but we can train our abilities. See them as different muscle groups that with the right training can grow and develop. Watching the sports on TV will not make you into a good athlete, likewise you will not be more creative by reading books and blog posts. Also these skills need to be exercised and most training is needed for the abilities that do not come natural to us. There are lots of ways to exercise these abilities and I will return to some of them in future blog posts.

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Author: Karl Ekdahl

International public health leader and creativity blogger.

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