Over the past week I’ve had several conversations about creativity, in one’s career and in one’s life. The first was with a new client who works in the field of web design. She’s had success working for large organizations as well as with her own consulting firm, and yet, with each successful iteration of her professional life she continues to feel a strong desire to change and adapt her career to the moment.
As we were speaking about a new change she was about to undertake, she admitted her current situation was going very well and she could stay the course, if not for this ongoing desire for new challenges and being part of something bigger.
She added with a smile, “Well, you know I’m a part of the creative class.”
To which I replied, “Or the Re-Creative Class?”
“Did you just make that up? You should write about that,” she said.
So I am.
“Live out your imagination, not your history.” — Stephen Covey
According to the social scientist, Richard Florida, the Creative Class is a key driving force for the socioeconomic development of post-industrial cities in the United States.
The Creative Class is made up of two broad groupings, the Super-Creative Core which features a wide range of occupations (e.g. science, engineering, education, computer programming, and research), of which arts, design, and media workers form a small subset. The other group is Creative Professionals: these professionals are the classic knowledge-based workers and includes those working in healthcare, business and finance, the legal sector, and education.
The next two conversations were with senior managers at two different organizations, first a current client and the second a prospective client. One had recently lost his job when he didn’t see the tides of his organization turning and as a result, didn’t adapt his way of doing business. The other was having success, but was not feeling fulfilled and was struggling to define what fulfillment looked like, both in his current role and in an imagined new one.
“A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” — Muhammed Ali
I was struck by a common thread running through all three of these stories: the need for imagination and creativity in both your personal and professional lives. The need to adapt and change — to imagine possibilities for yourself as you are and how you might be. Also, how it comes easier for some folks than others and what one can do to spark that creativity, or re-creativity, when a bout of “writer’s block” hits your life story.
Could reflecting on a time way in your past provide a spark, before “life happened”, when you were very young and your imagination roamed free? How about re-visiting experiences and passions from that time, and how they made you feel? For me, returning to writing after too long a hiatus has been wonderful.
What about trying on totally new experiences, experiences you never imagined you would try, could they be transformational? I have had several of these over the last few years which has opened my mind and heart to new possibilities.
The above are two examples which have worked for me. I’m sure there are other ways too. I’m interested in how one keeps their imagination fertile and how you live a creative life, in order to keep growing and re-creating yourself as needed.
I’m curious, what works for you?