We Were Creative As Children
If you want to be more creative as an adult, you must find your ikigai, or “reason for being” in Japanese. One of the biggest reasons why I’ve been able to post three times a week on Financial Samurai since 2009 is due to ikigai. I’ve found something I love doing, I’m good at, that helps others, and generates income.
Coming Up With A New Lullaby
A New Rendition Of Cutie Baby
Where Does Creativity Come From?
Here are Charlie’s thoughts on where his creativity comes from,
With music and improvisation in particular, I often think of it as playing with Legos. When I improvise a sonata or piece after audiences give me four or so random notes to use as a melody, I try to figure out what key can work and what “feel” I want the piece to have. Then, I’ve also got a “timeframe” in mind (is it a 5-minute piece, or is it a 30-minute, multi-movement work?). After that, and keeping how long into the piece I am in mind, I just go for it.
People often ask if I’m thinking about chord progressions and theory and whatnot, and the answer is a resounding no. It’s like having a big box of Legos, where you’ve got all different shapes and sizes and colors. You can build whatever you want (i.e. house, car, boat, etc.). But you don’t cut up Legos into different sizes or re-paint a different color. Instead, you take existing Legos and fit them into your creation to make whatever the final product is.
Now, I think you can expand the different types of Legos you’ve got in your “box” by doing more and more improvisations and whatnot. You find out what works and what doesn’t and keep what works for future pieces. “Expanding the Lego box” can include a combination of just fiddling around at the instrument and trying out stuff, trying to play piano versions of different songs (i.e. pop, K-pop, jazz, etc.), learning other composer’s pieces, etc. :)
Fundamental Skills Are Important For Creativity
Spend Time to Be Creative
According to the artist, Colleen Kong-Savage, creativity is both innate and learned. She writes,
“What works best is that you have some structure in place – boundaries or a set of rules. It gives the artwork some focus. In Charlie’s example it was the timeframe. For me, maybe it’ll be a limited color palette. Or maybe it’ll be a theme or it’ll be variations of a shape.
Visual arts is not just drawing. It’s color, design, ideas, and feeling. We all have art tendencies. Color – we get dressed by deciding what colors match or go with patterns. Design – shifting furniture around in the room to create flow and balance the space.
I get a lot of ideas from seeing/hearing other people’s creative work. You remix those same building blocks/legos – it’s all been done – but you put in your handprints – your style, your sensibilities – and that’s what makes it an original.
Take Risks To Be More Creative
Peer pressure forces many to conform. However, it’s difficult to stand out if you’re always doing what everyone else is doing.
Embrace The Criticism To Make A Better Product
Learn To Be Still To Be More Creative
Increase Your Production Percentage
Examples Of How Creativity Helped Me Live Better
- Came up with the idea of engineering my layoff so I could receive a severance package and retain all my deferred compensation. In the past, it was almost impossible to break gold handcuffs. As a result, people just kept working at their miserable jobs for longer than they wanted to. Then they’d eventually quit with nothing. No more!
- Had the vision in 2014 and 2019 to redesign two fixer-uppers by reclaiming unused ground floor space. Then proceeded to go through the painful process of remodeling over three years between the two to create more value. Having an eye for design helps buyers see through the ugly and better recognize the potential beauty.
- Started Financial Samurai in July 2009 as a creative outlet to deal with the financial crisis. This site saved me from abusing drugs or alcohol during an extremely harrowing time. Financial Samurai has also given me more purpose every day.
- Synthesized 23 years of financial experience and wrote an instant Wall Street Journal bestseller to help readers build more wealth and make more optimal decisions. From cover design to book structure, it was fun collaborating with others to make something special.
Finally, for an interesting talk on creativity, watch this video. The late Sir Ken Robinson’s contention is that creativity is as important in education as literacy. To be original, be prepared to be wrong!
Reader Questions And Recommendations
Readers, how has creativity helped you make more money and live a better life? Are there some strategies you use to boost your creativity? Do you think creativity is inherent or can be developed?
Pick up a copy of Buy This, Not That, my instant Wall Street Journal bestseller. The book helps you make more optimal investment decisions so you can live a better, more fulfilling life.
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