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What is Creativity?

Did you ever wonder who created the wheel?  Wheels are everywhere – on bikes, cars, rides like the Ferris wheel, games, wheel barrels, wheelchairs, as gears in all kinds of machinery, in watches, in designs of furniture, glasses, and plates.  The first wheels we know of were potter’s wheels created in 3,500 BC, to make it easier to craft plates, cups, bowls, and pots to carry water.  It wasn’t until 300 years later that someone thought of using wheels on chariots.

There’s nothing in nature that is the shape of a wheel.  Think about the person who dreamed of this totally new shape that eventually transformed the world.  Did his friends make fun of him?  Did the people he worked with tell him to stop wasting his time?  How many designs did he make until one worked?  How do you think he felt when he made his first plate or pot on his wheel?

We are naturally creative, especially at an early age.  Nothing is impossible to a child.  As we age, we’re told what the best way is to accomplish our tasks, and to do things the “right” way.  So we become less creative.  If creativity can be crushed, it can also be learned.

Google let’s its employees spend 1 day a week working on any personal project they want, as long as it is aligns with Google’s mission and goals.  Some of the best Google innovations were created during this Innovative Time – things like Gmail and Google News and AdSense.

Don’t let adults diminish your creativity. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to create something from personal feelings and experiences.  Creativity leads to successes in art, science and technology.  Youth who are encouraged to think creatively have high self-esteem and motivation.  Perhaps you can even convince your teacher to give your class Innovation Time.

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