Creativity is one of the underlying forces throughout human history that separates our species from others. Whether it was escaping predators, taming fire, storytelling, crafting and sharing tools, fighting viruses, or tackling climate change, our ancestors worked together creatively to tackle every problem that life threw at them. Our innate ability to move back and forth between the realms of “what exists” and “what could exist” has enabled us to advance at an exponential rate.
Even though Mark Twain said a century earlier, “There are no original ideas,” it was Oliver Sacks' psychological research that attributed human creativity to us simply imitating the world around us. His stance was that we filter those imitations through various mental models and layers. Over time, without or even realizing, the images, experiences, and inspirations we’ve absorbed in our everyday life sink into our subconscious. Then spontaneously, long after we've forgotten the source of our inspiration, we come up with new, creative imaginations. A forgotten spark to your new idea. Based on his research, this is how creativity works within us from a deep subconscious, yet universal, place. Creativity is built on every one of our individual and collective interconnections of ideas, experiences, and imagination. Albert Einstein would’ve never been “Einstein” if it wasn’t for the collaborative ingenuity of the scientists that came before him.
Initially, strictly inspired by nature, we created tools, clothing, and shelter to survive. As we have evolved, so too has our ability to create because our creations are built on top of each other. The energy that flows from one human’s creativity to another, generation after generation, gives us a never-ending supply of new ideas and thoughts.
It's our duty as creatives to participate in this creative ecosystem daily. Embrace new information. Share ideas. Create.