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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Varför den här bloggen?

De senaste åren har kreativitet – vad det är, hur det uppstår och hur den kan odlas – varit ett av mina stora intressen. Jag som nu startar den här bloggen är läkare, chef, pappa, forskare, kommunikatör, amatörfotograf, storslukare av böcker och möjligen mer nyfiken än de flesta. Efter den traditionella krisen mitt livet, som så många av oss drabbas av, så ledde ett inre sökande efter de fundamentala svaren på våra stora livsfrågor, en ny relation och nya bekantskaper mig in på ett nytt intressespår, nämligen hur vår hjärna formar oss till dem vi är och vilken fantastisk 1-liters kreativitetsmaskin vi ständigt bär med oss – med dess enorma potential men också begränsningar som vi ofta inte är medvetna om.

Genom att plöja mängder av böcker och forskningsartiklar borrade jag mig successivt allt längre ner i vad resultaten av vad modern hjärnforskning och beteendevetenskap kan lära oss om vår kreativitet – inte bara en allmän förståelse utan också hur vi kan utveckla denna fantastiska gåva. Något hundratal böcker och artiklar senare tror jag att jag har tillräckligt på fötterna för att våga dela med mig av mina egna slutsatser och tolkningar, samt en hel del praktiska tips hur vi kan öka kreativiteten i våra liv. Förhoppningsvis kommer det hela att så småningom bli mitt eget bidrag i form av en bok (eller kanske flera), men tills dess kommer det att bli spridda funderingar på den här bloggen i stället.

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Why this blog?

During my last years, creativity – what it is, how it emerges, and how it could be nurtutred – has been one of my great interests. I, who now starts this blog is a medical doctor, a manager/leader, a father, a researcher, a communicator, an amateur photographer, an avid book reader och possibly more curious than most. After my traditional mid-life crisis, which comes upon so many of us, a new inner search for the fundamental answers to the eternal life questions, a new relationship and new acquaintances led me into a new interest path, that is how our brains shape us to who we are, and what a fantastic 1-litre creativity machine we are all carrying with us, with its enormous potential, but also hard-coded limitations that we are not always aware of.

By ploughing through numerous books and research articles, I successively drilled myself deeper and deeper into what the results of modern neuro and behavioural sciences could teach us about our creativity – not only a general understanding, but also practical guidance how we could further deveop thi wonderful gift. Some hundreds of books and articles later, and also personal explorations, I believe I have enough on my feet to share some insights, interpretation and practical advise on how we could increase the creativity in life. Hopefully, this will eventually lead to the publishing of my own book (or more), but meanwhile I will be writing some thoughts on this blog. I hope you will enjoy.

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