There are few things in the world that shape the human experience as profoundly and pervasively as creativity. Creativity drives people in every aspect – be it Science, Technology, Medicine or Business. However, creativity does not dawn upon us one fine morning. It’s a form of self-expression that accompanies us very early on in our lives.

A blank sheet of paper decorated with incoherent crayon lines. The random mix of red and blue together to create a murky house. Drawn in circular patterns and long lines. This is completely incomprehensible to you. The end result – kids just let their imagination go wild. Unfretted by expectation and unconditioned to create a particular picture in mind. It’s artwork in the purest form of expression bundled with enthusiasm and energy. Could they just be experimenting with creativity?

In my perspective, this is the purest expression of creativity and not experimentation. For experimenting you need a goal. While expressing, not necessarily. Children, more easily than adults, enter that blissful state of creativity called flow. In flow, time does not matter and there is only timeless moments in hand. They follow their natural inclination to wherever their activity leads them to follow.

However, many of us forget our child instincts and do not think of us as creative. This is because we don’t have an audience for much of what we do. In fact, we go as far as being comfortable focusing on the glamourous achievements of creative geniuses, while we fail to observe flair and imagination each of us display in our own lives.

But Einstein never did. Throughout his life, Albert Einstein retained the awe of a child. He never lost his sense of wonder at the magic of nature’s phenomena-magnetic fields, gravity, inertia, acceleration, light beams-which grown-ups find so commonplace. He retained the ability to hold two thoughts in his mind simultaneously, to be puzzled when they conflicted, and to marvel when he could smell an underlying unity. This is exactly what’s missing today.

It’s quite evident that each of us have a special area of interest. However, the mistake most of us make is to experiment and not express our creativity – that is to keep a pre-determined goal in mind and harness our creativity to get there. Instead, can we try something without a goal in mind, just to see where that inception of the idea takes us? For example: Two persons start out with the same idea in mind. Soon they explore their creative spirits and let their imagination roam free, without an end goal. Once, they mull over the relevant pieces and push their rational minds to its limits, the idea then simmers. Now, not only do they benefit from this creative process, but also symbiotically gain from the creative expressions each of them offer. This elusive muse of thinking then sparks an idea for different persons thinking along the same path and soon, this turns out to a domino effect.

The ability to view things in a fresh perspective lies in the ability to constantly question your willingness without inhibitions or the fear of being judged. Neurological studies have also shown that the brain spends less energy when we are wrestling with a problem. Here is where the concept of no-mindedness works, which takes into consideration all the factors listed above. No-minded means not having the mind deal with thoughts as such as “will this form suit the shape I want it to take?” “Should I add a darker or a lighter shade of this colour”. It’s the act of just doing. In the words of Barney Stinson from How I Met your Mother – “Don’t think. Just Do. “

There are many ways by which the creative expression can find place in the workspace. One such innovation is the elimination of restrictive job descriptions, which we at Kuliza, make use of too. It’s best not to constrict employees of their potential by putting them in boxes. Let them work on individual ideas, work with others to see how these ideas can influence others in different domains. See what happens when you expand the horizons. Another way is to give them a ‘zero hour’ during which they will work on a seamless idea canvas. This will give them the exploration scope in balance to oriented tasks over which they have little control of. This process is equally important to goal oriented tasks in organization.

So often, we’re so accustomed to go into the pilot mode, performing the same tasks with undulated attention. Change may be the only constant, but change is also disliked. This can range from not observing the blooming flowers on the road or identifying a new approach to a task.

Here are two ideas I read somewhere to re-focus and deepen your creative capacity:

  • Think of the most obvious pathway to solve a task. Now, eliminate it. Next, think of five different ways you can perform that task without a goal in mind.
  • Every day, try changing your routine. Your jogging route, the first thing you do in the morning or cooking your favourite meal. The key is not to ask yourself “What is the best way to change them?” but rather to change things for no other reason than just for the sake of it.

Why don’t you try these out and let me know how they turned out for you? I’d be happy to read your thoughts!