Where is my creativity?

January 20, 2007



“I am an accountant”, said my friend, “I cannot be creative”.

Interesting how we assume that creativity can only be applied to certain jobs. Marketing, interior design, graphic arts, and photography have all abused their share of creativity. This way of thinking greatly misrepresents us, as we attribute the skill to the jobs, and not to us.


As a fact, creativity is a built-in feature. In children, this amazing tool is very clear and entertaining. We play with things seeing them something else. That box is a secret hiding place today but if you put it on top of your back you become a turtle! Tomorrow the same empty box will turn into a car, with a paper plate as a steering wheel.

Why.. as adults .. we cannot see this simple imaginary tool?

I remember myself as a child to be creative. I also remember being very intuitive. I was creative in my play and even the way I sleep. And somehow I would know who I will meet around the corner in 5 minutes.


I also remember loosing both skills.


The phrases I regularly heard that destroyed 90% of my built-in ability are the same that you have heard as a child as well, here are some:


“This is not the correct answer”

“Do not negotiate the things I tell you”

“This is a ridiculous idea. It will not work”

“You can not do it”

“Don’t be emotional, think with your head”

“Follow the rules”

“Be practice”

“You will make a foul out of yourself”

“I know better”


and my personal favorite

“That is not logical”



THAT is how I lost half of my creativity, and most of my intuition.


But, sadly for those who opposed me, I am back, and as creative as ever. I re-learned all the steps to put the pieces back together and pushed myself harder to get to the top of my game.


I do believe that you have heard the same sentences in your life time (maybe even translated) and how you reacted to them makes the difference between yours and anyone else’s own creativity. The stronger those phrases affected you, the better hiding place your creativity is in.


Couple of years ago I took a different bus route to home. The driver seemed like an opera singer in the wrong place. He was singing on top of his lungs the whole trip with a big smile on his face. (Thankfully he had a nice voice). Later I found out that he was named the “Singing Bus Driver” on Parc avenue road in Montreal. He is one creative bus driver!


Speaking of the hidden creativity, I visited my friend the accountant at home and felt as if I just entered a page in a decorating magazine, with exquisite colors, marvelous furnishing. She definitely is one creative accountant.


Think for a moment,

what part of your life is creativity hiding in?



  1. This is not something that we could have controlled. As children, we were told what to do and how to do it. no questions asked. we were told there was only one right answer and one way to do it. I think this way of thinking is planted in us and it is very difficult to change it.

  2. While what you say is true John, I think that we can change even a small part of it.. the first step is to recognize the trauma that we went thru – ex. when we are told we can’t do it, or we aint good enough. the next step is to take further action of finding our passion and following it.

  3. from a business perspective. creativity is vital in the workspace. without we lack behind. that’s way almost all growing companies are investing in bringing out the creativity in its people, its workers, and help them deal with those blocks they’ve had in the first place.

    not all companies succeed obviously, because it needs a whole culture of creativity to do it, but many do. look at procter and gamble pg.com, or google.com or even apple and IBM.

  4. here’s an abstract taken from innovation tools website

    Tips on managing creativity in organizations

    Sanjay Dalal, writing in his Creativity & Innovation Driving Business Blog, offers some helpful tips for managers on how to manage creativity.

    “Creativity in a corporate environment needs to be channelled to produce great products. An optimal level of creativity can be achieved within the organization as a whole, where the appropriate guidelines and frameworks are in place for creative individuals and their ideas, and to convert such creativity into viable business solutions… A defined structure that sets boundaries, such as market needs, financial constraints, resource availability, project checklist and milestones, etc. can drive measurable, sustainable and innovative results.”

    He also explores how to lead creative people to support corporate objectives, while staying out of their way enough so as not to restrict their creativity.

    you can read the complete blog at http://creativityandinnovation.blogspot.com/2007/01/how-much-creativity-is-enough.html

  5. I think my own creativity was demolished in elementary school. where I was told over and over again that my drawings are not as good as my brother’s. so I stopped drawing all together, and even stopped trying anything new.

  6. Dear John,

    that is exactly what most people face. and it is up to the person to discover when and where this happened. and how they can regain their creativity back. It is not a mission impossible.. only a difficult one start, but it gets easier as you move along as things fall into place.

    good luck

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