Creativity is the constructive use of imagination in which you give material form to creative ideas. Everything created is first imagined. Being creative does not simply mean having a lot of ideas, but also materializing creative ideas in the real world. This article will teach you how to become creative with inspiration from your favorite movies.
Why You Need to Be Creative
When you stifle your creativity, you suffer consequences: your self-esteem diminishes, you feel perpetually unfulfilled, your life seems boring and small, and you envy other people’s creative successes.
In my coaching practice I see how creativity changes my clients’ lives. When they follow their creative ideas, a whole world opens up for them. They discover a new focus, become fully engaged in their lives. They feel energized and they gain a renewed sense of hope and self-confidence.
If you also want to experience true joy and renewed energy and if you want to tap into a perennial fountain of youth, develop a creative habit today.
How Creative Are You?
Take the following quiz. It will give you good insights into how you treat your creativity and how you use it to improve your life.
1. I don’t know how to use creative imagination for guidance and solutions when I’m stuck with a problem.
2. I don’t have an inner mentor to inspire me when I need a boost of self-confidence.
3. Every once in a while I put a creative idea into action. (e.g.: cook something from scratch, develop a business idea, design an outfit, work on my home, etc.) I should do it a lot more often.
4. I don’t trust my creative ideas and I seldom follow through with them.
5. To me, the word “imagination” means “escape from reality”
6. I don’t know the five characteristics of a creative habit.
7. My friends are not creative.
8. Only artists are creative people. I’m not an artist, so I don’t think I can be creative.
9. I never think about the meaning of these words:
and how they describe my happiness-seeking actions.
10. I’m not used to doing something creative to channel my negative emotions when I feel angry, hurt or distressed.
Give 0 point for each TRUE and 1 point for each NOT TRUE.
Check your score:
10-7: Congratulations! You should consider teaching others how to use creativity like you do!
7-4: Continue being creative every single day of your life. Correct your few “anti-creative” attitudes and become an example of a creative, fulfilled person to your family and friends!
3-1: Why don’t you take your creativity a little more seriously? It will give you many returns that very few activities can offer.
0: You stifle your creativity and suffer the consequences. Your life will change immediately if you develop a creative habit.
How Movies Can Help You Become Creative
The characters in the following films are different but they all share one characteristic in common: their lives are determined by their willingness to be creative. They can inspire you to trust your creativity and follow your creative impulses until they bring fruits in your life.
Choose a film and watch it alone or with a group of friends. Answer the questions at the end of the list in writing and discuss your answers with your friends. Repeat the same with more films of the list, as your time permits:
o Amadeus (1984); directed by Milos Forman
o Artemisia (1997); directed by Agnes Merlet
o Babette’s Feast (1987); directed by Gabriel Axel
o Chocolat (2000); directed by Lasse Hallström
o Frida (2002); directed by Julie Taymor
o Maya Lin: A Strong, Clear Vision (1994); directed by Freida Lee Mock
o Music of the Heart (1999); directed by Wes Craven
o Shall We Dance?(2004); directed by Peter Chelsom
Questions to answer:
1. What role does creativity play in the life of the main character of the story?
2. How does the environment respond to the main character’s creativity?
3. What forces in the character’s life do oppose his/her creativity? Notice that these forces may be not only external, but also internal.
4. How does the character stand up for his/her need to stay creative? How does he/she defend his/her creativity? List his/her actions and evaluate them.
5. How does the story reach you and what lessons did you learn about your own creativity?
6. What are you going to do to be more creative? List 3 things and start doing them immediately.
Tips on Developing A Creative Habit
In order to give you real benefits, a creative habit must have these characteristics:
1. It must give you energy.
2. It must hold your interest.
3. It must give you the freedom to make mistakes and see them as learning experiences.
4. It must challenge your thoughts, stretch your imagination, and generate new discoveries and problem-solving ideas.
5. It must increase your self-confidence and self- acceptance.
With these characteristics in mind, go ahead and explore your favorite creative habit. Here are three tips to help you along the way:
1. Interview three people you consider creative in any domain. Ask them about their creative habits and their relationship to their creativity. Ask them about the gifts they received from their creative habits. Ask for advice of how to develop and maintain a creative habit.
2. Read chapter 11, titled “Practice Creativity”, of Reel Fulfillment: A 12-Step Plan for Transforming Your Life through Movies. It has a list of steps and ideas on how to develop a creative habit. Pick one and follow through.
3. Have a Creativity party with your friends. Show them your favorite movie about creativity and then discuss your thoughts. Ask every person to bring a home-made treat. Now, that’s creative!
Maria Grace, Ph.D., is an expert at teaching people how to learn lessons from popular movies to find the job, home, relationship, and healthy body and mind they want. She is a Fulbright scholar, licensed psychotherapist, sought-after public speaker and coach, and the author of “Reel Fulfillment: A 12-Step Plan for Transforming Your Life through Movies” (McGraw-Hill, 2005). “Reel Fulfillment” was praised by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the top “self help books out of the self-help box” for 2005-2006.