Trained to Repeat
In the film Groundhog Day (Columbia Pictures, 1993), Bill Murray plays a weather man who is sent to cover a method of predicting the weather based on a groundhog seeing his shadow or not. In the film, Bill’s character covers the story and goes to bed that evening. He wakes the next day to find that it is Groundhog Day again and again and again. Initially, he uses this to his advantage, but quickly comes to realize that he is doomed to spend the rest of his life in the same place, seeing the same people and doing the same thing every day. Bill’s character realizes something has to change.
Most of us do the same thing day in and day out. Our routine hardly changes. It’s as if we don’t have the time or the energy to create anything different. So, we get up at the same time, get ready the same way, have the same breakfast and leave for work at the same time. We talk about same people, we react to the same issues, we watch the same TV – we keep repeating our lives. It might seem logical, but it isn’t very creative. The truth is repeating every day in much the same way isn’t living; it’s just repeating. In order to start living, we need to start creating.
Disproving an Old Myth
We are trained that logical, methodical and analytical people are left-brain dominant, while creative and artistic people are right-brain dominant and that we are strongly one or the other, but not both. All of that is old, outdated information on how the brain works and the science never really supported this concept, though most of us don’t know that.
Recently, scientists at the University of Utah disproved this old myth with an analysis of more than 1,000 brains. They found no evidence that people preferentially use the right or left side of the brain. All of the study participants used their entire brain equally throughout the course of the experiment.[i] So, even though the brain has two hemispheres, they work together.
What does that mean to us? It means we aren’t limited in our life experiences because we think we are mainly logical or mainly creative. The truth is we are all logical and creative. I have personal experience with this because for most of my life I thought I was logical and left-brained, excelling at math and science in school. Because of my beliefs about myself in this area, I never really gave my creative side a chance.
When I stopped limiting myself as only a logical person, a role I played well, I was actually able to start exploring my creative side. Now I write all the time and love it. I am a creative person as well as a logical person. You are, too.
Exercising Your Creativity
We are all the same in so many ways and being creative is another one of those ways. We all have the capacity to be creative. Like me, you may have told yourself you are not creative or maybe someone else told you that, but you can forget all of that. No matter what job we do or what talents we have, we can all nurture our creative side. Below are some ways to get out of your routine, express your creativity and expand your life experience.
- Stop fighting the clock. The clock robs us of our creativity because it is filled with the stress of deadlines. That doesn’t mean we come to work when we want, but, we can reduce our focus on time and allow ourselves the chance to go with the flow a little more. This is where our creativity can really come alive. When we shift our focus from time, time, time, we have room for lots of other ideas and experiences to enter our lives.
- Go Outside. One of the most often found issues at our annual health checkups is a lack of vitamin D3. However, in 15 minutes of sunshine, we get 100% of our daily supply of vitamin D3. Most of our routine is built around everything indoors. We keep our faces locked onto the laptop, the TV or the phone and we rarely look outside our windows let alone actually go outside. Being outside can relax our mind, give us time away from our routine and rediscover other parts of the world that we don’t see when we are in the house with our head buried.
- So many of us always wanted to.draw, paint, sculpt or do something creative in the arts, but never did. Today is the day. Go get a plain artist pad, some water colors and a few brushes and paint. Don’t judge it, just do it.
- Listen to new music. Music is a universal language and sparks creativity in the soul. If you mainly listen to country music, listen to classical music one day a week. If you have three favorite albums that you listen to over and over, shuffle your entire music collection and gain the creativity of all genres. Get out of your routine.
- Paint your room. If you have had the same color in your bedroom for years, it’s time to paint it a new color. If you have had the same motif in your living room for decades, you are overdue for a new look. Changing colors and d‚àö¬©cor may not seem like much, but it sparks creativity in many ways with problem solving and design work. Try something different. Go from traditional to art deco or from muted to bold. You don’t have to change everything, but get the energy moving and do something new in at least one of the rooms in your house. It may spark more creativity in other areas of your life. Now you’re living.
We have so many ways to express and expand our creativity. Doing so adds another dimension to our lives .¨ one that isn’t so predictable, so typical and so limiting. With so many arts available to us in the areas of music, theatre, art, film making, photography, visual art, dance and more, we can get creative in many ways for years to come. Go out there and start creating today.
[i] Wanjek, Christopher (2013, September 3), Left Brain vs. Right: It’s a Myth, Research Finds, http://www.livescience.com/39373-left-brain-right-brain-myth.html