On her interview with Tony Wagner – an Innovation Fellow at the Harvard Technology and Entrepreneur Centre and author of the book "Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World”, Amanda Enayati of CNN reveals how creativity can make people happier and healthier.
Creativity and Mental Health
Creativity and improved mental health has been a subject of many research. And scientific findings reveal that being creative can boost mind power. Creating makes people less anxious, more resilient, happier, and in better position to solve difficult challenges in life.
Imagination and creativity gives people a sense of purpose, Wagner explained. If you lack a sense of purpose, you feel empty inside. Later in life, people who have long felt this way try to fill up the emptiness by pampering themselves with material things, false friends, drugs, and unhealthy habits.
Living a life with Innovation
Studies show that stress is a major cause of a wide range of illnesses. Stress from work is consuming many of us, said Wagner. Stress then leads to weight gain, upper respiratory diseases, heart problems, and so on. Living a life with innovation, according to Wagner needs no justification. But there are several good reasons for it. For instance, if you choose the job you really love, you live your days as if you have never worked at all. Passion gives people a sense of protection and enthusiasm, allowing them to work harder without paying so much attention to time.
What could be hindering many people to choose the job they want is money. Wagner explained that many find it hard to settle for less money due to obligations to their family, mortgages, and the like. But there are people who have less money but are happier.
Choosing the creative path can be difficult pursuit, said Wagner. But it isn’t impossible. Below are his tips and advices:
Sometimes, we just have to stop blaming other people for the difficult things that happen in our life. Wagner suggests looking inward – to your inner strength. The path to innovation requires a kind of inner strength and a sense of spiritual discipline. To do this, we should listen to ourselves. Even if we find no support from others, the most important thing is what comes from inside us.
Setting a goal is the first step towards innovation. Start by knowing what your intentions, plans, and goals are. Write about the things you are passionate about. Say it loud. Make a statement in front of the mirror.
Wagner pointed out that learning is a part of us. “It’s in our DNA”, he said. He recommends expanding your horizon by learning new things, developing an area of expertise, and making efforts to master the things you are passionate about.
Don’t Be Discouraged by Failure
Even the most prominent people experience failures. Although it hurts like hell, it’s through failure that you get to learn the most important lessons in your life. Nobody wants to fail. But Wagner insisted that people can’t pursue their dreams without having a series of trials and errors.
Creativity and imagination are most observed during moments of play. Don’t overwork. Take some time off to recharge your batteries by engaging in creative activities. Wagner suggests going out for a walk, getting regular exercise, listening to music, volunteering in community works, and so on.
Learn from Others
You learn many things if you will practise listening to different kinds of people – different ideas and perceptions. Wagner recommends travelling to experience another culture. Make travelling a life-changing experience, not just a piece of leisure.
Become a Master
Whatever your field is, becoming a master of it makes life more fulfilling. There are no shortcuts for mastery. It’s all about hard work and perseverance.
Exercise Mindfulness Meditation
Self-reflection is crucial to maintaining a healthy and meaningful life. Wagner pointed out that importance of taking time to achieve a sense of mindfulness. You can do it by meditating, writing, taking a walk, doing yoga, and other things.
Creativity is a gift given not just to children but to everyone – regardless of age or status in life.
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