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Is creativity inborn or can it be taught?

If we know that talent falls under the nature versus nurture argument, can we state the same opinion regarding creativity? Is creativity something one is born with, or can it be cultivated in virtually anyone? Is it like talent, intelligence, or hard work?

What Is Creativity, Anyway?

When we talk about creativity, we often associate this quality with people of artistic persuasion, poets, painters, sculptors, musicians and the like. While there is training that must be undergone to a certain extent to be successful and recognized (except in rare instances of plain inborn brilliance), there is the underlying and unrelenting presence of raw talent that pushes the individuals forward, making them distinctive and, arguably, with few peers.

Creativity is slightly different from talent, in a sense that talent is an ability associated with a certain field, whereas creativity is a personal quality, akin to intelligence itself regarding problem-solving skills. This makes us shift our position slightly towards believing in the intuitive nature of creativity. Can it be honed? Of course. Like any problem-solving, with constant practice and guidance, a person’s mind will become sharper, ask more questions and search for solutions outside of the box.

Typewriting Monkeys and Talentless Hacks

There is a theorem called the Infinite Monkey Theorem. It states that a monkey, given an infinite amount of time, while punching keys on a typewriter, could eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare. That being said, I am personally so bad with a brush, that, under similar conditions, I wouldn’t be able to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The amount of time is irrelevant to the issue, and the perceived possibility is minimal. The point is that, there are valid points on both sides of the issue.

Creativity is defined as an ability to imagine or create something new. Rather than labeling it as present, or absent, we can view it as a type of quality you can gauge. Certain people are overflowing with creativity. They have amazing ideas about the design of their house, architecture, organizing and the like. Others can come up with amazing stories, like wordsmiths that tackle any subject.

Then again, there are individuals that simply do not appear to have a taste for coming up with a new idea in any area. If we, for a second, stop looking at the last group as lacking in the very ability we are discussing, and instead try to view them as beings that need proper motivation in order to spark their creative processes. We will leave you with a quote about intelligence, which we feel could apply to creativity as well: “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”