As children we're often praised for our achievements—no matter how small: the messiest finger painting of a pony when you were in preschool, your first steps during infancy, braving through that annual dentist trip for cavity checks, or even just finishing your veggies during dinner. But then, these were only that: achievements. Come to think of it, nothing in this world is as common as achievement. Ask anyone, they're bound to be proud of at least one thing they've done in their lives—and that is what makes achievement; because its definition varies to everyone. If you really think about it, true creativity is the rarest things in the world.
Let me explain.
If we were to define creativity right down to the most bland, tasteless, emotionless way possible, it'd be this: coming up with original ideas. It sounds easy, but not entirely so. See, you are unique—just like everyone else. See the mighty paradox there? In a world that grows and consumes faster than it can create, then what do we have there to stand in awe for? When did we start obsessing over the latest gadgets or the hottest brands to ever walk the runway? When did we stop dreaming of ways to create? When did we choose to be the consumer instead of the creator?
In a world that grows and consumes faster than it can create, then what do we have there to stand in awe for?
This is what it really means to be creative.
Creativity is not a beautiful smile painting a wonderful masterpiece in a single go. It's staying up late at night drawing up a thousand drafts to find one you think is just perfect. Creativity is not sitting down to write a poem, a book, a story in a fancy café sipping lattes. It's that type of frustration that makes you want to rip your hair out from the roots and a million rewriting attempts to find the perfect way to speak your mind so that everyone can feel the same way you do through the pages. Creativity is not going outside to take photos and capturing the best one in a few clicks. It's waiting out through the weather and patiently, painstakingly angling your shutter to capture the famous thousand words that a photo could be.
Creativity is not butterflies and rainbows and ponies. Creativity is burning determination to pursue your passion and push forward no matter what—despite what anyone else says.
Creativity is finding hidden patterns and generating hidden connections between unrelated objects and making it work. Creativity is willingly getting down and dirty to mold mud and grime into marble and gold. Creativity is that smile on your face after you see your finished masterpiece for the first time, and standing there in awe of what you have created.
Creativity is disappointment, dissatisfaction, tears, sweat, criticism, doubt, self-loathing. It's shame, not being good enough as the other folks, being your own worst critic, standing there quietly while everyone else whispers and stares. Creativity is braving through prejudice and getting knocked down to the ground a thousand times—but getting back up a thousand and one.
Being creative means seeing the beauty in everything and anything around you. Creativity means expressing yourself bravely, uniquely, and being proud to be your own brand of amazing. Look at it this way: sunflowers and Christmas lights are both immensely beautiful, but neither of them look the least bit alike.
Never try to conform to what has been already done just because it gets more attention; otherwise you'll simply be a mere replica of someone else’s work. Be original. Take those risks, RUN (not step) out of your comfort zone, try something new (when was the last time you did somethings for the first time?), cry, scream, laugh your heart out when the situation calls for it. Don't ever try to hide who you really are otherwise you'll get a million friends who you don't even truly know like you for who you are NOT.
Know the value of your imagination, your originality, your creativity. All these are equally priceless. If you dream up a lot of brilliantly amazing things, it'd make the most famous artist the world has ever known a run for his/her money. But don't act on it, then you are imaginative, but not exactly creative.
Be your own brand of creative. The world needs more of that.