‘Creativity Takes Courage’. Henri Matisse

Creativity [Originality, ingenuity]: Creativity is the process of using one’s originality to devise novel ways to positively contribute to one’s own life or the lives of others. Such originality can range from everyday ingenuity to groundbreaking work that becomes highly recognized. Creative people are able to apply their imaginations in new and surprising ways in order to solve the problems that they encounter. Traditional notions of creativity focus on artistic expression and scientific discovery, but this strength can be applied to any area of life in which obstacles can be addressed imaginatively.

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Movies

Julia & Julia (2009) – Amy Adams’s curiosity encourages her to cook every recipe in the cookbook of acclaimed celebrity chef Julia Child. The movie depicts several strengths in addition to curiosity, creativity, self-regulation, and love of learning.

Pianist (2002) – This movie is a good illustration of character strength of creativity’s role in motivating people to survive and thrive despite very challenging circumstances. Wladyslaw Szpilman, a young and talented Jewish pianist and his loving, smart and caring family are caught in the horrors of World War II Warsaw, Poland. Despite the incredible cruelty of Nazis, Szpilman, finds the subtlety and sublime of his art and creativity to survive.

Shine (1996) – This movie deals with the mental illness of David Helfgott, a brilliant pianist whose promising career is interrupted by his disorder. His passion for performance carries him through life in a mental institution and back to life as a professional musician. David’s creativity is evident both in his music and in the ways he deals with the hardships in his life.

Amadeus (1984) – Antonio Salieri, a court composer for Austrian Emperor Joseph II, is torn by his feelings of admiration and jealousy for the talent of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. His dislike for Mozart’s personality stands in sharp contrast to his love for the composer’s glorious music, which he wishes to emulate. The movie itself showcases the magnificence of the era and the human drive for creative expression.

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Suggested Actions

Create and refine at least one original idea weekly in an area of your interest. To get ideas, peruse existing material on the subject and think of topics that haven’t been addressed.

Do at least one assignment weekly in a different and creative manner. If your assignments don’t leave much room for creativity, work on them in a new and different environment.

Work on an article, essay, short story, poem, drawing, or painting in relation to your passion once a week. When you finish, look for a way to share your work with others who share your interest.

Offer at least one creative solution to challenges of a sibling or a friend. Practice being open to their creative ideas as well as your own.

Compile an original and practical list of solutions or tips that will address common challenges faced by you and your peers. Publish your list in a newspaper, newsletter, or website.

Look for different and creative ways to spend more time at tasks you do best. Try to incorporate them into your work or chores to make these times more enjoyable.

Brainstorm ideas on a challenging task with your friends. Observe the ways that they think creatively.

Audition for community theatre or choir. If acting and singing don’t interest you, be a set designer, stagehand, or fundraiser.

Redesign your room or home. Rearrange furniture to open up more floor space, even if you don’t buy anything new.

Take a pottery, photography, stained glass, sculpture or painting class. If you have skills in one of these areas, consider teaching a class.

Learn about an exotic and creative art such as Feng-shui or Ikebana. Get advice on where to start from friends from different cultural backgrounds.

Read about famous creative people and identify what made them unique. Think about the unique aspects of your own life and how you could channel them for creative purposes.

Use leftovers (food, stationery and such) to make new products. Consider the artistic or practical uses for items before you throw them away.

Design a personalized card instead of buying one. Write something personal inside, such as a description of when you first met the recipient.

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