Long before I started this Juicy Human project, the question, “How do I maximize my creativity?” has been at the forefront of my thoughts. It’s become my new favorite question to ask people. It creates pause, upward, thoughtful glances, introspection and then usually a genuine and personalized answer. Gosh, I love conversation that’s real! Lucky for us we ALL have a creative bone. The pull and direction of our individual creativity throughout the ages has brought us to the world we live in today. And what a phenomenal world it is!
Can you imagine a world where every single person is actively engaged in maximizing their creative abilities? Whoa, dude… Maybe that’s part of the definition of heaven.
I hope you don’t read this post and draw a conclusion that I’m not talking about you. There are definitely times when I feel like I’m walking through a barren desert when it comes to my creativity, but I have to remind myself that by virtue of being a product of the ultimate form of creation, I, WE are inherently limitlessly creative. Cool. But are we creating the right space for our creative potential to bubble to the surface?
I’m the most fortunate girl in the world to be surrounded with some of the most successful, creative, talented and all around quality human beings. Since this question has been my favorite of favorite questions lately, and because I LOVE learning from other people, I asked! And here are some pretty fantastic responses. These are pearls, friends. Straight up pearls of wisdom. Read them slowly. Chew them up. Swallow them. Then read them again. Something else settles inside of me each time I read these responses. I asked the right people.
Candace Mau: Real Estate Broker. World traveler. Love personified. Friend. Transformation Enthusiast. This beautiful woman IS the silver lining.
“Basically, creativity is the essence of me. At my core I’m a creator. I am driven to create. Various aspects of life and myself seem to be limiting factors. In maximizing my creativity I need to maximize being myself. I’m often found on the ‘triangle’ of hero, villain, and victim and the only way to get off is to find creative space. The lovely triangle seduces me with judgement about myself and others, being right and wrong or good and bad. If I take away the filter of good and bad, I can also see how cute I am judging myself and others. Mostly myself. The best way to get off the triangle is recognizing I don’t have to be there, choose out. How do I find choice? QUESTIONS! Questions create space and the opportunity for more. Maximizing my creativity is done by continually living in question. Being curious. ie. How does it get any better than this? What else is possible here? Choice is the catalyst for creativity, continual choice and the motion of making that choice and always seeing the choice is my creativity. Each choice only lasts 10 seconds, then I can make a new choice. Constant creativity!”
Nancy Harris: Mother of a beautiful brood of children. Wife. Photographer (This woman turns light into magic.). Writer (Wordsmith!). Friend. Loveliness, enthusiasm and kindness are the marrow to her bones.
“I feel almost sheepish to say this because it seems too simple and lacking in wow factor, but it [creativity] is simply NOTICING. Developing awareness. Paying attention to… the world, a moment, my thoughts. And it takes no incredible amount of time or energy because I can practice it anywhere. It becomes habit. And it doesn’t have to be a big thing. In fact it usually isn’t. One of the beauties of using our creativity is that we start to see and discover loveliness in the day to day, ordinary, mundane and “taken for granted”. “This is a boring old waiting room, but my kids in that light? That’s cool.”, “I would normally just walk right by this isle, but all those rows of bulk candy have so much color. They’d make a lovely backdrop.” And those examples were thinking of pictures, but it works for so many things when you throw in questions with your noticings. “What about this tiny normal (or hard or exciting) situation (or moment) is beautiful? What about this is funny? What about this is bigger, more eternal than the face value? What are these thoughts banging about in my head trying to say? What am I feeling right now? Why?”
And here is the glorious thing about it all — it’s kind of a self perpetuating cycle. I notice things so it gives me something to write about or photograph. I want to write and take pictures, so I pay attention and notice more and more. And as you notice you create. And craving to create more forces you to keep being aware. You really do start seeing beauty, significance, opportunity and inspiration in all sorts of unexpected places. You have dry spells of course. Times when you think perhaps you can no longer see how to make anything of anything, but they always pass because it’s in you — that desire to see the potential to create something from the things around you.”
Adam Allred: Father. Husband. Entrepreneur. Leader. Writer. One of my favorite and most inspiring friends.
“I find my best, most creative moments are when I’m with other people. Mostly people that I know and respect but sometimes even with total strangers, such as might occur on an airplane. When discussions are of something of intrinsic value or when we are collaborating on a course of action. Synergy. I don’t know that I’m ever creative alone. Even in moments when no one else is around, when inspiration flashes like a giant lightning bolt across the otherwise dull landscape of my mind, that lightning came down from somewhere. Revelation. The notion that the spirit has transcended the hammer and anvil of the mind and entered, if only for a fleeting moment sometimes, into the ether, into a spiritual communion with something greater. From whence the spirit returns not with something original but with something revealed, something taught. An experience that feels anything but solitary. Isn’t it true that creativity, learning and inspiration are only as good as they are at bringing us to truth? Truth can never be discovered, that it can only be given?
I am working on a book of fiction with my father. It would be assumed that if we’re not plagiarizing then we’re original. And if the book is any good people will say that my father and I are great story-tellers, that we are creative. But if I have learned one thing in this colossal endeavor to write a ‘good’ book it is that if my story is to have any merit, any intrinsic value, any creative quality, it will be because I was shown what to write in those flashing moments when the spirit is elevated out over the shores of the Infinite, catching a fleeting glimpse of God’s finger drawing lines in the sand. That, to me, is creativity."
Brie Allred: Wife and mother of a most gorgeous family. The heart of her home. Interior designer. Athlete. Musician. Friend. When this girl sets her mind to something, that “something” gets done. And she’s a dang good cook to boot.
"I find beauty in individual character; Especially in its natural form. Music, nature (lines, texture, color) style, even food – inspire me to maximize my creativity and find excitement in what I’m doing, whether I’m running in the mountains, designing a bathroom, or spending time with my kids.
Richard G. Scott once made a statement about receiving personal revelation and inspiration for our personal lives “…in a dream when there is almost an imperceptible transition from sleep to wakefulness. If you strive to capture the content immediately, you can record great detail, but otherwise it fades rapidly.” I have often experienced this and I find that these are the moments that help me finalize my thoughts and ideas.
I try to exercise most of my creativity (focus) in the early morning or at night…. when the kids are in bed. My experiences are enhanced when I can take a few moments to remind myself of the gratitude I feel for all that surrounds me."
Josh Fonokalafi: Comedian. Friend. A great observer. Happiness is Josh.
“Being a comedian is much like being a painter. The microphone is my brush that I use to spread my palette of colorful stories across the canvas of an audience’s imagination. My art is the retelling of this shared human experience, so the key to my creativity is found in an immersion in life and people. I can’t refresh my colors by shutting myself off or taking alone time. I have to experience people. Every person I meet, or experience I have adds another patch of color to my palette of stories.”
Devin Allen: Actor. Thinker. Jack of all trades. Friend. Heart of gold. NEVER a dull moment with this one.
“Okay, here’s how I maximize creativity as an actor: I retell myself the rules. Rule #1 My job is to interpret another person’s writing and do it convincingly in the moment to reflect the human condition. Rule #2: I have no competition, therefore, I can’t assume someone else is going to get the job – that’s the wrong thing to think. Rule #3: Be the best person I can be as well as the best professional I can be while practicing my craft. Rule #4: The success factor = quality Y + quality X, quality X could be called ‘ASPIRATION’ as one MUST aspire to greatness, to be the best person and actor he or she can be, quality Y could be called ‘INCLUSION’ as one must be helped along the way as you cannot make it anywhere in this business by yourself. Rule #5: Now work can begin! At this point I start to create the backstory of the character I am developing. What makes him tick? What is his life’s story? Writing out the details of the life of the character empowers the creative work that goes into building a character. As an actor it is important to create this backstory. After the story of the character is created then it is natural to build the character externals and internals – what the audience will see. As an actor, this is part of the process of acting the subvert. The overt is generally referred to as the lines themselves – the things the character would say on the script. The subvert is the essence of film acting. When I immerse myself in the thoughts and life of the character, the creation process seems to be complete. This is the formula that works for me, it is essentially what the industry calls ‘method’ acting. It’s a form of immersion I guess you could say, getting into character for lack of a better term. For me, once all the writing work has been hammered out and I am able to focus on relaxing then things seem to just work out! Of all the things I’ve gone over in this debrief, relaxation is absolutely critical for being able to be as creative as possible in the moment when the cameras are rolling.”
And if I may include my two cents? This is Charlotte speaking… I’m going to borrow from my man, Napoleon Hill. “Be on good terms with your own conscience.” I have found that my creativity is stifled when I’m not living up to my own core values, my own standards for being a human being. I believe that my Heavenly Father wants me to be creative. When I am living in a way that pleases Him, I believe that the creative flood gates are opened for the asking and for my patient perseverance.
What good is a post without a call to action? I want to hear how you maximize YOUR creativity! Also, I want to know what you are creating!
Juicy Jam Session: The Flower Duet from Léo Delibes’ opera Lakmé. Does it get much more creative? This has been a favorite since I was a little girl. I remember hearing it for the first time in my dad’s dental lab on 25th and Capitol when I was still eye level to counter tops. Mom and Dad raised us right.