Thursday, 9 May 2013

Just like a Superman

You may be wondering why I chose to write on this topic today, it should have been my first introductory topic considering the depth I have travelled already. I have a major weakness, I assume intelligence a lot but it has served as my strength many more times too, so I was never worried about working on it as a weakness but rather manage it, to continually transform it to strength in dealing with people.

I was at a business breakfast in Lagos Business School this last Saturday and it was an awesome networking moment and a great tweeting moment too. I could not totally say that I wasted my time and energy because I met great minds and it is the cause of this write up. Starting from the beginning of the business meeting through to the end, the three speakers didn't impress me a bit with their witty-wash talks and shabby dressing. Hey, I am not the “know-it-all” type; I always want to learn more every day. In fact, it was learning more that took me there in the first place; you think I like to waste my time intentionally? Duh! Anyway, let us get down to the full gist and stop wasting precious time 

After the whole talk, a short video was played about creativity and the first sentence displayed hit me so hard that I could relate it to my experience in there and the sum reason for all these witty talks. It was ‘did you remember when you were a kid and you thought of being a super-man, you tied your cover-cloth around your neck and flew away in your mind, did you remember?” WOW!!! So, we all had creativity in us. What on earth happened to it?  Happenings in Nigeria? School? Parents? What???????? .

No wonder, Jean Cadwell said “The only truly happy people are children and the creative minority”.

Have you ever watched five-year-olds at play? They are curious and highly creative in their games. They don’t know yet, what they don’t know. Their creative skills have no bounds; no one has told them that they can’t do something. They’re fearless explorers, artists, or musicians; some are even comedians in the making. They have not yet been pressured to conform and they think they can do anything and that nothing is beyond their capabilities.

Research shows that every human being is capable of creative thought. We have creative abilities that often show up very early in our lives. Studies show that the average adult thinks of only three to four alternate ideas for any given situation, while the average child can come up with sixty.

They have proven that as far as creativity is concerned, quantity equals quality. Having the subjects make a list of ideas, they have shown that the longer the list, the higher the quality of the final solution. The very best ideas usually appear at the end of the list.

Actually, creativity is bred into us as humans; it’s in our genes - a part of our very DNA. Unfortunately, as we grow older, the pressures of having to grow up, go to school, get a job, all seem to repress our creative tendencies. The stress of everyday living, coupled with occasional dilemmas, having to cope with GEJ’s stupidity (did I just say that? #OkBye), leaves us too drained to be truly creative.

But creativity is power and is essential to our well-being. Without creativity, our lives become predictable, routine, boring, and pedantic.

The good news is we can all be highly creative. Now I know you’re saying, “But I’m not at all creative. I can’t paint or even draw a straight line, I don’t know one note from another, and I’ve never been able to write worth a darn. Poetry? I have no business; I don’t do designs…lol. Don’t make me laugh! Biko”

Okay, so most of us are not Mozart, DaVinci, Einstein, or Shakespeare. However, we are all creative in our own way. We simply have to recognize our own unique talents and skills. Ask yourself these questions:

1. Are you constantly looking for new goals, something new to accomplish?
2. Do you like to look at what already exists and ask “What if?”
3. When you try something new and different, does it make you feel smarter?
4. Do you enjoy teaching someone a new skill?
5. Are you good at problem solving?

Then, pat yourself on the back - you are a “creative” person! Creativity doesn't always result in a tangible product. Sometimes its ideas, problem solving, or teaching; but it is indeed, creativity in action. Creativity enables us to better ourselves, develop awareness, and expand our horizons as well as those of other people.

When the potential for creativity meets the promise of skill, you've made contact with the creative spirit. There’s no holding you back now. You've received that flash of inspiration, that “aha!” moment of illumination, and you are ready to take those creative risks.

Now, you’re probably wondering exactly what it is that you need to do to assure yourself of creative success. You do need certain tools and skills to accomplish this task. First, you need a certain expertise in whatever arena you've chosen to pursue your creativity in. If you have zero knowledge in the field of science, odds are you will not make the next fantastic breakthrough in medicine or invent the replacement for the wheel. You must find the field that is your special interest and skill setting. Some expertise is essential for success. (Gosh, I sounded like a motivational speaker :D)

The next tool essential for your success is the ability to think creatively in your chosen field - being able to imagine a whole realm of possibilities. That includes the ability to turn things over in your mind until you find the answer. Persistence is required - that determination to keep on tackling a problem until you solve it. Know when to turn things upside down and look at them differently. You must know when to nurture the process of creativity and when to let it rest in your mind until it’s ready to fly free.

Another vital tool in this search for creativity is courage - to be willing to take the creative risks and try something you've never tried before. You have to be open to whatever new possibilities that present themselves to you. You never know when ideas will come.

Lastly, you must have passion - the desire to succeed no matter what. It doesn't matter what the end prize happens to be or what manner of compensation you might receive. The passion is all that’s important - the desire to make whatever works, no matter what. Albert Einstein said, “Sticking to it is the genius.”

Most importantly, you must face any creative risk with the mind of a child. Childhood is when creativity first comes to you. Will it grow or be stunted? You should play like a child and fly away like a superman.

The End or is it just the beginning? 

Tomisin Ajiboye
Idea management, problem solving.
Creativity Consultant at Solvere Word Consult
Author: Crazetivity Seriex, CIDPIE creative process model, Midde 1.0
Founder: #InspireMonday( & Creative Entrepreneur Organization CEO
Twitter - @tomisinajiboye


  1. Nice!!!
    Like Sir Ken Robinson said, "if you are not prepared to be wrong, you will not come up with anything original (Creative)"... this is where the courage comes in.