As life progresses, you will discover certain inescapable changes occurring. These include social changes all around you and involving you, as well as personal changes in your own life.
Creativity and change are closely related, and in fact, depend on one another. When change happens in your life, it takes creativity sometimes to get through it. Creativity then causes another change in how you respond to a given situation. Both the new change and the creativity to handle it have certain risks involved and will move you in a new direction. You may experience fear and anxiety; and at the same time, there may be joy and excitement.
Sometimes, these changes can occur too rapidly in a short span of time. The loss of much tradition in one’s life and too much newness can cause a person to suffer, and can even lead to a nervous breakdown. There are certain limits to our ability to bounce back and recover from sudden changes. These things take time.
While we may experience strong motivation to certain changes and a determination to be accepting, there are also equally strong inhibitions against those same changes. Humans are contrary by nature.
Here are a few examples of the social changes that occurred between the years 1950 and 1980:
• The percentage of married women who were wage earners, with children under the age of six, went from 12% to 45%.
• In 1950, only one child in ten did not live with both parents. By 1980, it was one child in four.
• Between 1950 and 1980, the divorce rate doubled.
• The proportion of men in the labor force over the age of sixty-five fell by more than half.
You can easily see where changes of this magnitude would require some very creative solutions for all those involved, as well as their families. But change happens; it’s just a part of living. Life is just one change after another, but that’s what helps us to grow and develop as humans. It only makes it harder for you if you fight change.
There are also personal changes that require a great deal of creativity to make it through. Marriage is a change that demands a certain amount of creativity. Adjustments of all kinds are needed here, starting with where to live, money issues, family issues (hers and his), and schedules.
Having children is another huge change that must be dealt with every day by many people. The need for creativity here is equally huge. Caring for another human being requires real inspiration. Then once again, there are adjustments needed, such as providing for a family, aside from money issues, schedules, and family issues. Women especially have to be highly creative to deal with the problems these life changes bring about, since they are often in charge of most of the above-mentioned issues. Of course, single motherhood brings with it a whole new set of problems to be solved as creatively as possible for everyone involved.
The sudden loss of a spouse is another personal change that is very difficult to deal with and requires a great deal of creativity to get through. At this time, it is often necessary not only to make a change. It is equally important to re-evaluate your entire life; and in effect, re-invent yourself and your priorities. Creativity is absolutely the key to making it through this particular trauma. Re-invention of self on a daily basis is essential.
Loss of a job or a home is enough to send many people into a spiral of depression and hopelessness. Real creativity is needed here to turn the situation around to your advantage. You can choose to move elsewhere. If you lose your job, you can find another, or you can start your own business.
Change brings with it an opportunity. You can go with it, or play the victim and feel sorry for yourself.
It’s often said that necessity is the mother of invention. Many great insights, discoveries, and novel inventions have come about because their creators were in desperate need. They turned to their own individual creativity for resolution.
Henri Bergson said, “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”
Like it or not, change will happen to you. And once you realized that change is inevitable and should not be feared, you’re ahead of the game. Maybe a major life change has happened to you already, maybe not. But you can’t avoid it. In fact, it’s actually easier if you try and embrace the change, rather than rail against it. This is a place where you can use your creativity to your best advantage.
Whether it’s getting married, starting a family, losing a job, finding a new job, starting your own business, or any other change wreaking havoc in your life, creativity is the key to success. Go back to the creative problem solving we’ve discussed earlier, take a deep breath, and plunge right in. We’ve all been there, or will be eventually. It’s not what happens to you in life that’s important. It’s how you handle those events that matter; it’s how you allow your creative side to deal with the problems that count.
Adam R. Gwizdala said, “Everything in life changes you in some way. Even the smallest things. If you do not accept these changes, you do not accept yourself. For through these changes brings new and greater things to you, making you wiser, as time progresses. To avoid these changes is a loss. You only live your life once. Do not waste a minute of it avoiding things. Let them come to you, and learn from them. There is always tomorrow.” In addition, George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”