creativity - creativity 3 - imagination

The worst enemy to
creativity is self-doubt.

Sylvia Plath
The Unabridged Journals

Creativity can replace conformity as the primary mode of social being. . . . We can cling to that which is passing, or has already passed, or we can remain accessible to--even surrender to--the creative process, without insisting that we know in advance the ultimate outcome for us, our institutions, or our planet.  To accept this challenge is to cherish freedom, to embrace life, and to find meaning.

Stephen Nachmanovitch
Free Play


Creativity cannot always be attained at will.  There are fluctuations that occur in the process.  A certain amount of down time is necessary for the creative process to run its course.  Putting the right things into the brain is preparation so that once those down times take place, the intuitive part of the brain has something to draw on for inspiration and content.

William G. Covington, Jr.
Creativity and General Systems Theory

You can't use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.

Maya Angelou

You will find that the truth about creativity is hidden behind this high wall in front of us.  I have made a ladder that suits me so I can climb up and see what is hidden there.  You are welcome to study my ladder, to copy it if you need to, or even climb up on it together with me to see over the wall.  However, when I leave I have to take my ladder with me, so the best thing for you is to build your own, one that suits you best.

Anders Lennart and Staffan Svahn


Creativity is the spark of life, the vitality that stirs desires to improve
and change the status quo--meaningfully, responsibly, wisely, and with impact.

Marci Segal
Creativity and Personality Type

In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity
for constructive use of solitude.  One must overcome
the fear of being alone.

Rollo May
The Courage to Create

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A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single person
contemplates it, bearing within him or her the image of a cathedral.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Little Prince


Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in
kindergarten.  Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons
away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra,
history, etc.  Being suddenly hit years later with the "creative
bug" is just a wee voice telling you, "I'd like my
crayons back, please."

Hugh MacLeod
Ignore Everybody


Peaks of creativity are, of course, rare, as are peaks of strength, beauty, or
goodness.  We are a gifted species, but feats like penning a Hamlet, or
formulating the relativity theory, or inspiring satyagraha by the millions do
come but once in a long while.  But peaks are not the only attractive or
important features of a landscape.  There are also vales and moors and
meadows and waters and woods.  The layperson may look at the sun and
conclude there is no worthwhile light elsewhere.  She would be mistaken.
Lesser human creativity is scattered widely, like the lights of a city
at night, and in its own way, is quite attractive and useful.


Lifelong Creativity


Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it
would have rubbed off some of the originality.

Beatrix Potter


But unless we are creators we are not fully alive.  What do I mean by
creators?  Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones
of working with paint of clay or words.  Creativity is a way of living life,
no matter our vocation or how we earn our living.  Creativity is not
limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.

Madeleine L'Engle
Walking on Water



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creativity - creativity 3 - imagination   

Creativity is not simply originality and unlimited freedom.  There
is much more to it than that.  Creativity also imposes restrictions.
While it uses methods other than those of ordinary thinking, it
must not be in disagreement with ordinary thinking--or rather, it
must be something that, sooner or later, ordinary thinking will
understand, accept, and appreciate.  Otherwise
the result would be bizarre, not creative.

Sylvano Arieti

Creativity: The Magic Synthesis


The creative process is also the most terrifying part because you don't know
exactly what's going to happen or where it is going to lead.  You don't know
what new dangers and challenges you'll find.  It takes an enormous amount of
internal security to begin with the spirit of adventure, discovery, and creativity.
Without doubt, you have to leave the comfort zone of base camp and
confront an entirely new and unknown wilderness.

Stephen Covey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People


Creative people are motivated by the desire to achieve
not by the desire to beat others.

Ayn Rand


Creativity is the ability each of us has to create something new by
bringing together two or more different elements in a new context.

Andy Green
Creativity in Public Relations


To be creative means to be in love with life.  You can be creative only if
you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to
bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.



"Keeping busy" is the remedy for all the ills in America.  It's also
the means by which the creative impulse is destroyed.

Joyce Carol Oates
The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates


creativity - creativity 3 - imagination


In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for
constructive use of solitude.  One must overcome the fear of being alone.

Rollo May

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.

Joseph Chilton Pearce

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in
order to look at things in a different way.

Edward DeBono
Lateral Thinking for Management


Despite a lack of natural ability, I did have the one element necessary
to all early creativity:  naïveté, that fabulous quality that keeps you from
knowing just how unsuited you are for what you are about to do.

Steve Martin
Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life


Creativity is woven into the fabric of simpler times.  And there are as many paths to creativity as there are human beings on this planet.  You can be a creative homemaker and mother (I am married to one.)  You can also be a creative builder, a creative gardener, a creative hang glider.  There is creativity in solving personal problems, in overcoming obstacles, in keeping relationships warm.

Creativity is not optional equipment.  It is a built-in potential, a seedling planted deep in the human personality.  And like any other human possibility, creativity can be helped to grow and flourish.  Because both my happiness and my livelihood depend on maintaining my own creativity, I have a vested interest in understanding it.  So I have watched other people and taken note of myself, and I have reached a few conclusions.

First of all, creativity is contagious.  You catch it from being around other creative people.  That's what was happening with my girls one night in my studio.  My girls saw me making something new, and they were irresistibly drawn to make something, too.

That happens to me all the time.  My own creativity thrives when I expose myself to what others are doing.  I love to wander through galleries and museums, to read art books and monographs, to let myself be uplifted and inspired and humbled.  I love to be around other artists, to talk together or even to paint or sketch together. . . .

Creativity is contagious, but that's just the beginning of the process.  Motivation needs to turn to ideas, and ideas need to be incubated.  You need to move things around in your head and with your hands.  You experiment.  You move your mind around, allowing yourself to look at what you're doing from different angles. . . .

To be creative, all you need is room to play, room to think, room to just be.

Thomas Kinkade
Simpler Times

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To me, all creativity is magic.  Ideas start out in the empty void of your head--
and they end up as a material thing, like a book you can hold in your hand.
That is the magical process.  It's an alchemical thing.  Yes, we do get the gold
out of it but that's not the most important thing.  It's the work itself.

Alan Moore

When learning is purposeful, creativity blossoms.  When creativity
blossoms, thinking emanates.  When thinking emanates, knowledge
is fully lit.  When knowledge is lit, economy flourishes.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Indomitable Spirit


Because of the routines we follow, we often forget that life is an ongoing
adventure. . . Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the
quicker we will be able to treat life as art: to bring all our energies to each
encounter, to remain flexible enough to notice and admit when what we
expected to happen did not happen.  We need to remember that we are
created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed.

Maya Angelou


creativity - creativity 3 - imagination  

You are creative.  The artist is not a special person--each one of us is a
special kind of artist.  Every one of us is born a creative, spontaneous
thinker.  The only difference between people who are creative and people
who are not is a simple belief.  Creative people believe they are creative.
People who believe they are not creative, are not.  Once you have a
particular identity and set of beliefs about yourself, you become interested
in seeking out the skills needed to express your identity and beliefs.  This is
why people who believe they are creative become creative.  If you believe
you are not creative, then there is no need to learn how to become creative
and you don't.  The reality is that believing you are not creative excuses you
from trying or attempting anything new.  When someone tells you that they
are not creative, you are talking to someone who has no interest
and will make no effort to be a creative thinker.

Michael Michalko

Sometimes we become so entangled in the mundane facts of
our lives that we forget about our creative nature until it
starts nagging us with reminders of its needs or until we
feel so fractured we know something is wrong.

Anne Hazard Aldrich
Notes from Myself


The more you reason, the less you create.

Raymond Chandler

Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited
energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy, the sense
of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence.

Norman Podhoretz

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher
and pupil are located in the same individual.

Arthur Koestler


I believe that true identity is found. . . in creative activity springing from
within.  It is found, paradoxically, when one loses oneself.  We can best
refind ourselves by losing ourselves in some kind of creative activity of our own.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Creative activity might mean bird watching, tennis, quilting, cooking,
painting, writing.  Creative activity immerses us fully in the here and
now, and at the same time it frees us.  We become one with the activity
and are nourished by it.  We grow as the activity grows.  We learn
who we are in the very process of not thinking about who we are.
   Spirituality and creativity are akin.  There is an exhilaration rooted
deep within us that is a lifeline to God.  Creative activity releases the
exhilaration, and the energy goes through us and out to others.  We
find ourselves and our higher power through the loss of our self-conscious
selves while creating--a picture, a sentence, a special meal.

Karen Casey
Each Day a New Beginning

It seems that two qualities are necessary if a great artist is to remain creative
to the end of a long life; he or she must on the one hand retain an abnormally
keen awareness of life, must never grow complacent, never be content with life,
must always demand the impossible and when one cannot have it, must despair.
The burden of the mystery must be with him or her day and night. The artist must
be shaken by the naked truths that will not be comforted. This divine discontent,
this disequilibrium, this state of inner tension is the source of artistic energy. Many
lesser poets have it only in their youth; some even of the greatest lose it in middle
life. Wordsworth lost the courage to despair and with it his poetic power. But
more often the dynamic tensions are so powerful that they destroy the artist
before he or she reaches maturity.

Humphry Trevelyan


The world was a place of cruelty, suffering, and confusion, but
men and women could surmount despair by making beautiful
things, emulating the beauty of the first creation.

Thornton Wilder
The Eighth Day



Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.