One of the reasons I started THE FIVE was to give voice to the idea of what being creative is—in both life and business. Some define being creative as participating in the arts—photography, music, writing, painting, drawing, and designing. As yes, I’d suspect that most who have a passion and/or profession around these activities are being creative.
But I see a broader definition, one where being creative is a manner of thinking by those who lean more heavily on their right brain. There is a manner of thought processing in the left hemisphere of the brain, and one in the right. Rational, logical and sequential thinking is housed in the left-brain, while feelings, intuition, subjectivity, and the examination of things as wholes, rather than parts exists in the right brain.
So, those who have a stronger right-brain influence—a brainer right hemisphere if you will, tend to be more aesthetic, emotional, intuitive, and think in a less structured, less step-by-step fashion than those who lean more heavily to the left.
This theory of the structure and functions of the mind suggests that the two different sides of the brain control two different “modes” of thinking. It also suggests that each of us leans more heavily one mode over the other. I don’t believe this brain preference is voluntary—like so many components of the human body, it is predetermined—like being right or left handed.
I believe it is our right-brain that allows us to explore possibilities, and seek out the edges—to think creatively, and it is the left-brain that gives us those “ah-ha” moments that allows it all to be put into place. An idea is your right-brain thinking, and the details of the plan is delivered by the left hemisphere of your brain.
While those who lean heavily on their right-brain often do go into the arts, a right-brain-leaning does not exclude a passion for science, math, finance or the law. It just suggests that whatever profession you may follow, you conduct yourself—and succeed, by being more of the “idea guy” rather than the linear, detailed, sequential-thinking person who fine-tunes the financial model, research protocol or data sequences.
You see, being creative doesn’t mean you know how to draw, or play and instrument. Being creative is a way of thinking, and a way of viewing the world.