The Simplest and Most Complete Formula for Creativity


The Simplest and Most Complete Formula for Creativity

1/ Creativity = Constant experimentation + Tasteful curation.

This is the simplest and most complete definition of creativity. A general misconception is that creativity is some mysterious or spiritual process. This is simply not the case. #creativity

2/ This misconception arises from the fact that most creative people are not able to explain where their creativity comes from. This is because the “experimentation +curation” loop is so ingrained in them (through practice) that they are able to execute it subconsciously.

3/ By far the best example I can give to prove my point is that of the biggest creative force in the universe – pretty much the definition of creativity – Evolution itself. Evolution is a process of constant experimentation + natural selection.

4/ This simple process has created everything around you, including yourself. All you need to do is to take a walk in the park and you will be astounded by the amount and level of creativity everywhere.

5/ But because we tend to think in egoistic terms, we tend to attribute creativity to some innate mysterious force. The hidden implication there is that only a few “chosen” ones have it.

6/ This is not true. Anyone can be creative as long as they are willing to experiment constantly, and over time, develop a taste for whatever they are doing so they can select the experiments that are the most tasteful.

7/ For example, you can see this when you, instead of asking a musician, simply observe them in the process of music creation. They will be practicing for hours on end, constantly trying new experiments, seeing what sounds good.

8/ When they happen to land on something that sounds good, they will do further experiments in that direction until it sounds even better. And keep doing that until they have something that sounds amazing.

9/ They may combine it with other ideas they may have had in the past and make something bigger. As they become better at this process, they will keep creating better and more extensive creative pieces. You get to see only the final product and are awed.

10/ And then, if you ask them how the did it, they may not be able to explain it properly because that level of creativity probably required their full attention. And having done similar things in the past, the process may have become subconscious for them.

11/ You will also notice that they listen a lot to other peoples’ music, too. They see what sounds good, what gets appreciated, what has historically been considered really amazing. This helps them develop their taste over time.

12/ You will see the same phenomenon occur with writers, painters, scientists, entrepreneurs, and so on. All of them are constantly experimenting within their chosen fields and paying attention to others doing the same to develop their curation abilities.

13/ So don’t let anyone tell you that you are not creative or that creativity is a god-given gift that only some people have. What you may be lacking is energy for experimenting. And this could be a result of not having found what you are really passionate about.

14/ The best way to be creative is to find something that you are so passionate about so you will feel compelled to keep experimenting with it all the time, and pay attention to other people doing the same thing, and creativity will automatically “happen” to you.

(Link to corresponding tweetstorm.)