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In Pursuit of Creativity

Mar 19 / Todd Houston

Recently, a friend of mine asked how I keep my creative juices flowing. The question caught me off guard, so my response was, “it just happens.”

But honestly – I don’t think that I’m very creative. I’ve been labeled as being too introverted and somewhat dull in my daily life. My friend’s question made me start me thinking about creativity and what it means. It turns out I like the process of being creative – not the final product.

The process of creativity is about finding that flow in the task at hand. Much has been written about flow, but I define it as when the outside world melts away. I’m so engrossed in the creative process that time seems to stand still. I love that feeling.

I wish that I could achieve that flow state in every task, but that isn’t how it works, not for me.

I think to be creative, we must remain curious about every aspect of our lives. We need to see the world as a child does – in a constant state of wonder. This takes practice.

As adults, we’ve unlearned how to be curious about the world, and we need to foster that wide-eyed excitement again. Curiosity should be our guide, whether natural or forced. Being curious will feed our minds in new ways.

As Walt Disney said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

Some ways to introduce curiosity into our lives might be to:
1. Learn a new language
2. Start a new hobby
3. Travel to a new city
4. Be spontaneous by inviting someone new from your office out for lunch
5. Taking a new route home from work

When we add new experiences, knowledge, and ideas, we create new neural pathways within our brains. These expand how we think, feel, and see the world. This will also help us find latent sparks that light our imaginations, ideas for a story, new ways to solve a problem, answers to old mysteries, and most importantly, even a new perspective about ourselves.

Steve Jobs once said, “Creativity is just connecting things.” I now understand what he meant. He was speaking about taking a step back to see how elements influence each other. He enjoyed seeing the inter-connectedness of things and situations. Jobs’ vision was to create stylish, user-friendly, and powerful computers that consumers would have in their homes. He thought this would revolutionize the world. He was right.

Like Steve Jobs, I like connecting ideas or concepts to create new ways of doing things or addressing a problem. This idea of connecting to communicate and collaborate at 3C is all about creation.

We want you to join us to create new content like webinars, courses, or podcasts that will bring new ideas forward. This is an invitation to be creative, share ideas, and produce new digital products. Will you join us?

You’ve certainly experienced loneliness, right?. But did you know about its long-term effects?

Former surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, claims that: 

"People who struggle with loneliness end up living shorting lives…are at an increased risk for heart disease, depression, dementia, anxiety, and a host of other conditions.”

Now that statement makes you stop and think, “I don’t want that.” Now to clarify, loneliness isn’t inherently wrong; each one of us needs time alone. It also is not entirely based on how big or small your social network encompasses. Instead, loneliness becomes an issue when it turns into something more chronic.

Professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, Julianne Holt- Lunstad, defines loneliness as

"…the discrepancy between our actual level of social connection and our desired level of connection.”

You see, what’s haunting about loneliness is that it shows no prejudice based on race, class, or gender. Anyone can feel lonely, even if it seems like they would be the last person to experience it.


The idea of loneliness can heavily impact not just a person’s physical health but mental health too. Support systems feel like they’re breaking down. All you feel is isolation. Self-preservation takes over.


The point of learning about the effects of loneliness shouldn’t make you dismayed. Instead, it should inform you to protect yourself against chronic loneliness better and assist others when they could feel lonely. Loneliness indicates that we should be connecting with others to live in a community.


Think about what community means or looks like to you:
  • What does community look like to me? In-person? Digital?
  • What are some communities that I could be a part of based on shared interests?


Try to identify what friends you connect with most:

  • Which friends do you connect with the most? Why?
  • Should I start making a weekly or monthly time to hang out more with this friend?


Or you could start making new connections at the park, an event, at school. Anywhere. On the flip side, give people grace when they might be feeling lonely. Their distance and bad behavior may be symptoms of a more significant issue they are internalizing. Better yet, ask them if they need help with anything. You could brighten their day.

If you or someone else you know ever starts feeling loneliness in the worst way, breathe. Realize that often it’s a temporary phase that can be resolved by leaning on old connections or creating new ones. Of course, dealing with loneliness is a personal process. Take your time.

There is no shame in feeling lonely. However, we should remember to do our best to avoid the type of loneliness that affects physical and mental health because there is so much more life to live.

Connect, Communicate, and Collaborate. That is the 3C way!

Thanks for reading,

~Katheryn

Note: This article is a summary and review of a piece done by Freakonomics Podcast. The source can be found here: https://freakonomics.com/podcast/loneliness/.

 

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About the blogger

K. Todd Houston, PhD, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Todd is currently a Professor of Speech-Language Pathology at The University of Akron.

In a career that has spanned nearly 30 years, Dr. Houston has been a photojournalist, an Executive Director/CEO of an international non-profit organization, a clinician, published author, researcher, and an academic. This professional journey has shaped a world-view that embraces diversity and supports engagement across cultures.

Dr. Houston has a passion for ensuring that others have an opportunity to fully express themselves.

Combining his journalism background with more than two decades of focused work with children and adults impacted by hearing loss, Dr. Houston has co-created a company that is committed to producing a range of content that informs and inspires.

Through the 3C Digital Media Network, Dr. Houston will bring together a diverse array of voices who can tell their stories and inspire others to be their very best selves.

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