It took me all of sixteen years to realize that I was one of those “creative” types.
As I’d spent most of my childhood drawing and building things, you’d think I’d have caught on much sooner. But my early years held no artistic reference points, and there was certainly no outward acknowledgment that what I did was worthy of attention. I just did what I did while quietly despairing at the mind-numbing torment of regular school.
My focus in secondary school was very uneven. Classroom activities held little appeal, and I’d often drift off into daydreams and lose track of what was going on around me. Or I’d fritter away the time drawing in the margins of my textbooks, finding infinitely more meaning in my doodles than in the threat of looming exams.
Of course, such an approach set me up for a host of rude shocks. At the time it seemed that both teachers and fellow students were taking enormous pleasure in finding ways to burst my fantasy bubbles.
But really, how could I have expected anything different? An all-boys school located in an industrial suburb was ill prepared to support a boy with a fondness for imaginative adventures.
Not surprisingly, my grades were never stellar. But thinking back now on how little time I spent mentally engaged in the classroom, it’s a wonder I got the grades I did. While I’d naturally tune into and absorb whatever caught my interest, I’d just as easily dismiss whatever didn’t. And there was plenty of the latter.
During my entire time attending secondary school, I never studied outside the classroom. With little to no parental supervision regarding schooling, it never occurred to me that homework was important.
Instead, I lived to escape into my imagination. Outside school hours I’d tinker about with a myriad of constructions, make fantasy worlds out of my father’s plumbing junk in the backyard, or find a cozy corner in which to read and draw.
Yet as wretched as those school days were, they never managed to squelch my desire to create. In fact, I’d say my daily disconnect from that brutish school reality, plus my obsession with drawing and tinkering, actually kept me sane.
And the telling point is that only a year after I realized I was a “creative”, I entered college as a full-time art student.
Since then, no matter what challenge life might throw my way, I always find strength in the memory of that teenage realization. When creativity quickens the heart, and you choose to run with it, unplanned blessings inevitably find their way into your life.
Here’s a sampling of creativity’s hidden benefits.
- Increased life satisfaction
- Enhanced sense of well-being
- Natural and spontaneous personal growth
- An ever-expanding flow of insights and understanding
- Greater problem-solving abilities
- Bubbling joy for no apparent reason
- Sharper and more focused attention
- Ever expanding delight in the surrounding world
- Clarity of thoughts and feelings
- Heightened abilities to detect order in chaos