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We Are All Creators Who Need to Get Lost

Jan 22 / Todd Houston

For many years, I've been fascinated with the concept of creativity. In my view, I see creativity as an essential skill that all of us should continuously foster and grow within ourselves.

Admittedly, I'm more creative at some tasks and activities than others. Just the other day, I thought that I really wish that I was a better artist. I love to draw and sketch, but you'll never see any of my artwork on a gallery wall!

 

From those who say that there are no new ideas, creativity is about remaining open-minded about what's been done before but seeing those situations newly from a fresh perspective. Creativity is about building on what's been done before and bringing new ideas, concepts, or solutions to existing problems or challenges.

 

How can we inspire more creativity? The answer is that we start with our children – at the earliest ages. I like Education Scotland's philosophy, a national body for supporting quality and improvement in learning and teaching. Education Scotland has a unique view about the role of creativity in our lives.

Under this educational system, creativity is identified as a core skill for learning, life, and work and is defined as: 

 "process which generates ideas that have value to the individual. It involves looking at familiar things with a fresh eye, examining problems with an open mind, making connections, learning from mistakes, and using imagination to explore new possibilities."

 

Educators in Scotland see creativity as fertile ground for nurturing every aspect of learning, teaching, and continuous personal improvement. More specifically, teachers use creativity to promote curiosity, open-mindedness, imagination, and problem-solving, and this occurs across the curriculum – from reading, writing, and math to science and the arts (and even gym class!).

 

Like the philosophers of ancient Greece, Scottish educators view creativity as a process of personal discovery rather than focusing on the final product, such as a painting or sculpture. The process of creation is the real gift as it forces the creator to dig deep into his or her life experiences to recall moments of curiosity where inspiration and imagination were released.

Once identified, the creator becomes lost in the process, and time seems to pass without acknowledgment. In this flow state, the creator is channeling his or her creative ideas to solve the problem at hand or to achieve the desired outcome.

 

Creativity is in all of us. We've all experienced the flow state – getting totally and completely lost in a task or hobby – and suddenly, we glance at the clock to see that three hours have passed.

 

As we begin a new year, it is my personal resolution to focus on the process of creativity. That is, I want to challenge myself to set aside time each day to daydream about launching a new podcast, a topic for a webinar, or just doodling to refine a new drawing technique.

 

While I'm challenging myself to let those creative juices flow, I also encourage you to do the same. You can 'get lost' in your own flow state writing, designing a new course, or refining an idea for a new podcast. And if you do these things, we are here to assist and support you.

 

Regardless of the ultimate outcome, tell yourself that it's time to get lost. You and the rest of us will be better off because you did!

 

Connect, Communicate, and Collaborate. That IS the 3C way.

~Todd

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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