Kyung Hee Kim is a professor at the College of William and Mary is the leading researcher on this topic. What I find fascinating about Kim's research is that he compiled and analyzed scores on a battery of measures of creativity called the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (YYCT)-collected from normative samples of schoolchildren in Kindergarten through twelfth grade over several decades and concluded that; “children have become less emotionally expressive, less energetic, less talkative and verbally expressive, less humorous, less imaginative, less unconventional, less lively and passionate, less perceptive, less apt to connect seemingly irrelevant things, less synthesizing, and less likely to see things from a different angle.”. WOW!
In my opinion, creativity is nurtured by freedom. Freedom to be expressive and unique. I see so many parents and teachers stifling creativity in young people by causing them to conform to their standards, also by continuously monitoring and evaluating instead of inspiring and guiding. I believe the best teachers show their students where to look but don't tell them what to see. Teachers are to inspire, encourage and coach. All of this "adult-direction' and pressure to conform has restricted creativity in children's lives today.
I was so disturbed by this research, that I actually Googled, "How to be a Creative Teenager". I was shocked to see that there is actually a WiKi on this topic. The WiKi made a list of 11 steps to being a creative teenager. Read through the list and see if you are doing the things listed below. If you are then you are on your way to "living creatively". If you are not doing the things on the list, consider challenging yourself by adding at least one creative element to your life and see if it makes a difference in the way you view life.
1. Be yourself. 2. Wear funky clothes. 3. Socialize. 4. Eat well and exercise. 5. Have a unique and expressive hairstyle. 6. Try new foods & compare and contrast. 7. Be happy. 8 Care about others. 9. Join a sport or hobby. 10. Challenge yourself. 11. Follow your religious/spiritual beliefs.
"Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought."-Einstein