Creativity – A Trait Characterized By Unexpected Timing

When life kicks you in the gut and makes you reevaluate your decisions, you think about whether you are what you claim to be in the first place. At a time when my confidence in my abilities was at an all-time low, I read a book called Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man Who Invented the 20th Century. Written by Sean Patrick, this short eBook is a confidence-booster and a savior for those creative people who are questioning their worth. This book easily shot up on my favorite list. And I know that it will remain there for the rest of eternity.

The book states that imagination and creativity are two things that are different from ‘thinking’. Just because you think does not mean you are imaginative or creative. Creativity is chaos. It hits you at the most unexpected of times. Most of the times, you have no control over it. This is how it results in innovation – something that has given the world its ‘electric’ convenience of the 20th century. All this, thanks to the imaginative and innovative man called Nikola Tesla.

Tesla was duped and betrayed by some of the world’s most prominent personalities. He was treated unfairly, credit for his findings given to others, though it was rectified later on. Was it too little, too late? Even if it was, did Tesla stop his work? His creative genius was such that none of this stopped his onslaught. He worked till the day he died. He was unfazed, because he knew the true meaning of creativity – that it would pay off, sometime or the other.

If you are a creative person, you will know the uncertainty of sitting down and scouring for ideas. Looking for them does not guarantee that you’ll find them. On the other hand, remarkably stunning ideas can hit you at the unlikeliest of times and the unlikeliest of places. For example: in the shower, when you’re emptying your stomach, while exercising, or while driving. It isn’t that thinking won’t give you ideas. It may. Only thing is, there is no certainty about it.

Anybody who has watched Avengers: Age of Ultron will remember Vision’s lines from the end of the movie. “Humans are odd,” he says. “They think order and chaos are somehow opposites.” This is an incomplete version of the dialog, but it holds so true when you see it in the context of creativity.

Let me explain.

When we are agitated, we try to sort out our thoughts with the idea that ordering them helps us experience a brainwave. But that’s the whole point of creativity. Within the chaos of our thoughts, we find gems that bring order to our creativity. Within the chaos, we find awesomeness, and the chance to be imaginative and innovative. So the Vision indeed did have a bright vision of the reality of human creativity.

Ideas and thoughts are triggered even by the smallest of hints that resonate with us. This happened to me as I read the eBook I mentioned above. And while there’s a lot more to creativity than what’s discussed here, the essence of the trait – one whose timing is as unexpected as possible – remains ‘uncertainty’.

Here’s a picture of the excerpt from Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man Who Invented the 20th Century – a book that I’ve been fawning over for the entirety of this blog post!

Creativity - A Trait Characterized By Unexpected Timing

Why Is Sensitivity Stereotyped As Representing Weakness?

With the advent of modern TV commercials, the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of sensitivity is the ad for Sensodyne toothpaste (“Masoodon mein jhanjhanahat” or “numbness of the gums”). Now that these advertisements are everywhere, the world sensitivity has been relegated to a mere joke, though what the ad is trying to say is anything but a joke.

But sensitivity as a trait is so much more than the emotion it explains. As with some others, the way sensitivity is seen as a trait is completely twisted. It’s not exactly what it actually embodies. It is seen more as a negative quality than as a positive one. And that is, in no way, an encouraging statement.

This might be a little vague. Let me explain.

Sensitive people are mostly viewed as those who cry or get angry easily, or in more general terms, those who are affected easily, at the tiniest provocation. They are branded crybabies or short tempered people! But the point is, these are not the only things that define sensitivity as a human trait. It is much more than that.

Sensitivity is the quality wherein a person can gauge what’s going on around them without putting in much effort. This could include gauging emotions, behavior, or situations in general. Such people have the capacity to be sensitive about things that happen around them. They observe more, they understand people better (sometimes in eccentric ways), and they know better than to pick a fight and disrespect others. They may cry without replying. That only means they respect you more than their own arguments mean to them. They may leave the room if they get angry. That only means that respecting you and maintaining that respect means more to them than their venting their temper and saying hurtful things.

Sensitivity is misunderstood in the common world so much that it becomes difficult for one to explain anything about it. Mostly because many people are very unfairly dismissive of sensitive people. They prefer not telling sensitive people anything. “Oh, don’t tell her anything. She’ll get angry and explode!” Or, “Him? He’s such a control freak!” Or, “You react too violently.” And all this, while sensitive people are merely trying to point out the obvious while trying to have a normal conversation that involves information exchange and explanations. (Sensitive people -> more observant. Remember?”)

Many-a-times, a person’s sensitivity is used like an insult – as if it is a bad thing. But once you understand the meaning of the word sensitive, you will be able to see the infinite depths that the quality possesses. You will be able to understand that sensitivity is not just being provoked into tears or anger, but it is also being understanding of the emotions of the people around you. The empathy that you see in them, you build in yourself.

All a sensitive person wants is to people to understand them for who they are, rather than judge them for merely two of the emotions that make up sensitivity.

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Picture Courtesy: Linnea Butler, LinkedIn!

The Strong, Courageous Colors of Today

Burst through red-tinted windows

Into the fiery orange morning sky

Take in the light mist

Take in the springy gait of the early morning risers

Spread your arms wide

Embrace the day as it settles down on you

Embrace it for its newness

Embrace it for its uncertainties

Embrace it for the hope it brings

And the beauty that you could fill it with

A coloring book of unfettered beauty,

Today is a world of possibilities

Fill it as you will, fill it as you must

With colors you deem suited

But remember – there is always a but –

That once the colors sink in

Once the seconds pass, once the minutes pass

They morph into memories

Have-beens that you cannot change

Dreams are reflections of the future

While memories are impressions of the past.

Fill up the colors with wisdom, with intelligence

Let there be hope, let there be pride

In the way you wield your colors

In the way they flow into your memories

In the way you look at what’s to come.

Remember the fiery orange sun that’s rising

Remember its transformation into the prickly yellow of the noon

And its relapse into fire.

You could mirror it in ways the galaxies cannot fathom

You could wrap your arms around yourself

And turn into the phoenix you know you are,

Choosing your colors as you breathe,

Every breath giving you more reasons to live,

More reasons to love the book you’re coloring in.

In the end, when another opens your book,

And is bombarded with the colors you were bold enough to use,

They’d be wondrous, they’d be jealous, they’d be admiring

That you had enough courage, enough strength

To appreciate today, to praise today, and live in today.

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Picture Courtesy: entrepreneur.com

Relationships and Shared Life Experiences!

Have you ever felt left out as your friends share inside jokes? Someone you were once close to is now close to someone else. They interact with them the way you used to interact with them on a daily basis. It isn’t jealousy that twists you from inside – just a helplessness, as you can feel them slipping away. You have friends you are close to now, too. You have inside jokes, too. You keep secrets, too. So who are you to complain?

The reason behind this blog post is simple: an epiphany about shared life experiences and their effect on relationships. These relationships could be romantic or any other that you might maintain. This epiphany came at a time when I was writing a story, the crux of which I cannot reveal yet. The weight of it was crushing, but it also made me feel lighter, and relieved me of the what if thoughts that had been burning in the background of my multitasking mind.

Memories are something that brings two people closer. When you undergo something with another person, this experience bonds you together. It makes you identify with each other on a level that only the people involved can understand. It gives you something to talk about, something to build your conversations on, something to build your friendship/ relationship on. Shared life experiences are the Venn diagrams between the common traits in the people involved and the situation that these people find themselves in.

So as you spend time together, accumulating these shared life experiences as days go by, you grow closer to each other, the bonds between you grow stronger, and comfort levels shoot up to incredible heights. You know you can do anything and say anything and that person will jump right in with you.

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On the other hand, as you begin spending less and less time together, your shared life experiences grow lesser in number. The ones that you already have are so far back into the past that they are now outdated. New memories and new life experiences come into existence with every passing moment and you realize that you miss being a part of that. But then, you also realize that you also have your own set of people with whom you make memories and inside jokes. It’s a two-way street. And you have no hold over it. It’s how the world functions. It’s how human beings function. And that is how many relationships fray.

It is natural that you rue your absence from the memories of people you treasure the most. Even more so when the interaction becomes rare and stiff and is limited to a bare minimum. Forced interaction and making memories does not stay for long. So at a point where you find it too strenuous to be holding up the marquee all by yourself, just let go for a while. It is easier to reduce the emotional pressure of single-handedly trying to make new memories without any help from their end and failing miserably. Be comfortable with the relationships you have going in your life. Make your own inside jokes, and stop worrying about what if.

Many relationships with minimum or no shared life experiences do fray, but you don’t have to discard them. They are in your life for a reason. Even though they no longer put up with you, they did give you stunning memories that you’ll be able to look back upon and smile. Maybe one day you’ll have it all back again.

After all, the world runs on hope.

 

Picture Credit: theodysseyonline.com