It turns out, this past Saturday was National Creativity Day. Who knew? While I think it's terrific that we have a holiday to celebrate the universal human gift of imagination, it made me think that everyday should really be National Creativity Day.
We've been led to believe that for something to count as creative, it has to be a masterpiece. A painting by Picasso, a song by Beyonce, an invention by Elon Musk. While these are all creative works, their magnitude can convince us that our own creative acts don't matter.
The truth is, reorganizing your desk drawer in a better way is creative. So is developing a better presentation on a sales call, discovering a way to boost efficiency by 1.2% on a manufacturing line, or reframing the questions you ask during a job interview. The point is, you don't need to have your work featured in the Louvre to be a creative person.
While I enjoy legendary works as much as the next guy, I'm even more impressed with everyday creativity. Small, daily acts that are accessible to each of us. These bite-size creative actions deliver two oversized benefits:
- Smaller ideas can absolutely create real value, especially when there are a lot of them.
- The more you practice, the better your creative skills become.
Stop worrying that you don't stack up to DaVinci. Instead, realize that we're all creative beings and can practice our skills on a daily basis. We'll enjoy real momentum as small ideas start to take root, while we're expanding our creative capacity to tackle bigger and bigger ideas over time.
We've probably all heard of 'random acts of kindness.' To get started with your own daily creativity, try this experiment: For the next seven days, see if you can do three random acts of creativity each day. Maybe you order the pepperoni under the cheese on your next pizza delivery. You might try brushing your teeth with the other hand or sitting in a different spot at the dinner table. Maybe you invert the standard agenda on your next Zoom call or try a divergent approach when sending a client email.
Easily accessible and low risk, practicing random acts of creativity will focus your mind and sharpen your skills. The approach can serve as a terrific starting point, helping to take your creative game to the next level. Plus, you may just make the world a little better while you're at it.
In these challenging times, let's seize the opportunity to inject some creativity into the mix. Practice random acts of creativity to build the muscle and make it a habit. Before long, every day can become your own National Creativity Day.