An article in the New York Times last year suggested that creativity is the new cure for mid-life crises. By taking up a creative activity, it stated that we often get in touch with a passion we may have forgotten about or not had the time to fully explore. In doing this, we can find a new meaning to life in a way which buying a new car could not achieve.
This does seem to be supported by an upsurge in creativity classes and support groups in creative pursuits such as painting, writing, and photography. A trend which is being encouraged by social sharing on sites like Instagram.
So, what would a new interest in creativity offer you?
Working creatively can be motivating. I have personally seen an upsurge in energy emerge when introducing creative activities such as collage into coaching or training. It offers us a different perspective on our world.
Creativity can re-ignite our passion. When we are working creatively and have reconnected with something we are passionate about, we can lose sense of time. This can move into what Csikzentmihalyi calls a state of flow. Being in a state of flow leads to a sense of happiness.
Developing a creative pursuit can open ourselves up to new opportunities and possibilities. It is motivating to see something develop which you have personally created. Who knows where this may lead in terms of personal change and development?
Becoming more creative is about doing things differently. Through this we start to live our lives differently. Enjoying doing things differently will impact on our whole life and generate more sense of fun in our lives.
Working creatively can reduce stress levels. There is some evidence that stress levels fall when we are absorbed in a creative task, whatever our level of ability. A creative pursuit can therefore be helpful in combating stress.
By becoming more creative we can become more productive at work. We can begin to challenge the existing way in which things are done. and search out new and better ways of doing them. This will have an organisational benefit in addition to a personal one.
By introducing a creative approach in the problem solving process, we find that our skill at solving problems develops immensely. Creative problem solving enables and encourages us to see the big picture and not to go down the same road each time we encounter a problem.
Whether you pursue a creative hobby or introduce more creativity into your working life, it is important to take some action. I would encourage you to explore your creative side whatever your age or position in life and enjoy the benefits.
Barbara is an executive coach, leadership and creativity facilitator. She has coached women and men in a variety of corporate settings, and has developed a unique approach to using creative techniques in her coaching and workshops to enable change at a group or individual level. She has recently published a book on creativity for leaders with Dr. Tracy Stanley, entitled Creativity Cycling .