in Books/Reviews

5 Insights on Creativity from Osho

Creativity is at the core of building quality in design. People rarely innovate when they simply follow instructions. This led me to think more about creativity – the act of doing something in an unconventional way, the act of creating something meaningful that changes you and hence the world. Traditionally (in an industrial world), only artists were meant to be creative – painters, dancers, poets and so on. In the knowledge world, every professional has an opportunity (and a need) to be creative – to see patterns that others don’t see, to create and initiate.

Around the same time I was thinking about creativity, I stumbled upon a great book titled “Creativity – Unleashing the Forces Within” written by 20th century spiritual teacher Osho. I read the book with great interest and gained some very enlightening insights. Here are a few:

Ego is the enemy of creativity. You are at your creative best when you do things because you find joy in doing it, because it has an intrinsic value to you. When you do things with a purpose of gaining recognition (and hence satisfy your ego), creativity is limited. Our need for external validation for our work stops us from being receptive, open and curious.

Creativity is a paradox. The more you try to be creative, the less creative you will be. Conscious effort to be creative comes in your way to be creative – that is because creativity flows. I wrote earlier that constraints help us become creative – but being in a state flow, being with the work, being in the work is the key to be creative. The book says, “It is not a question of what you do, it is the question of how you do it. And ultimately it is a question of whether you do it or you allow it to happen.”

Creativity means letting go of past. Too much reliance on our past stops you from being creative. Creative person is the one who lives in the moment, understands the context and looks at possibilities. As Osho rightly says in the book, “To bring intelligence into activity, you don’t need more information, you need more meditation. You need to become less mind and more heart.”

Creativity is an inner game. It stems from your love for the subject. It stems from your passion to practice, courage to try and learn by doing. Osho says, “If your act is your love affair then it becomes creative. Creativity is the quality you bring to the activity you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach – how you look at things. Whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, then it is creative”

Creativity demands a lot of courage. Because doing something unconventionally requires you take risks, be prepared for failure, and learn from it. Osho observes that once you recognition and respect (external validation) keeps us from experimenting, because we are too afraid to fail.

Bottom line:

Creativity isn’t always about doing something that no one has done before – but in my view, it is always about executing your ideas with great love, great joy and a deep interest. If world recognizes it, you will be grateful. If not, you will still find intrinsic joy and happiness. Being creative is a selfish act!

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Related Posts at QAspire:

– The Creative (Process) – A Few Thoughts
Engaging in Alternative ‘Creative Pursuit’ to Be More Effective
Managers, Nurture Creativity. Don’t Kill It!
Creativity, Effectiveness and Constraints

15 Comments

  1. I found your post thought-provoking, Tanmay. Creativity does seem paradoxical – the more you go straight at it, the more it recedes. Your advice makes sense: to focus on what you love and are curious about, and creativity will arise as a byproduct. You give new meaning to the word “selfish” when you say, “Being creative is a selfish act.” Thank you for that!

    • Thanks Jesse, and I am glad you found it useful. The post was written with the idea that our business needs more people who think creatively, who are passionate about the purpose of their work. Creative thinking is at the heart of great customer service and innovation in design. So in a way, “creatively selfish” people are what we really need! :)

      Thanks for your comment!

      Regards,

      Tanmay Vora

  2. The writings of the great Inidian thinkers is avast sea of innmumerable approaches to the ultimate salvation.
    This, in the current parlance, may mean to be in the mood of ultimate happiness that one expreinces when you achieve some astounding success.
    For universally accepted successful persons such happiness is when they have accomplished a near-impossible goal, in a new or innovative manner, by using the minimum of resources – in other words the ‘real’ for ‘ultimate’ celebration.
    Congratulations to you for so neatly summarizing what you have read.
    All others will be able to enjoy the whole book by reading this post only.

    • @Ashok Vaishnav – Thanks for adding that note. Indian scriptures (specially Bhagvad Gita) is a treasure trove of wisdom on management and leadership. In a modern context, the same lessons are coming to the fore in a different form.

      Thanks for your support and comments here. I am glad you enjoy reading these posts.

      Best,
      Tanmay

  3. Inspirational and spiritual post.
    “It is not a question of what you do, it is the question of how you do it. And ultimately it is a question of whether you do it or you allow it to happen.”
    Similar statement by Shiv Khera “Winner’s don’t do different things-they do things differently.”

    • Thanks for sharing that thought, Devang. Glad you liked the post!

  4. Thanks for sharing this Tanmay,
    Just loved the 2nd, 4th and 5th points. I too can’t get out of the box when I try too hard. It just happens when I am in a different state of mind.

    • Thanks Rushi. I am glad you liked the post. Creativity is paradoxical. You have to know things, and still have courage to ignore everything you know. Your mind is in a state of flow, intricately involved in doing yet relaxed. When you work hard, but also take regular breaks for rejuvenating. When you want to succeed, but also be ready to fail.

      So when you try to be creative, and when your mind gets conscious about being creative, creativity hardly comes. :)

  5. Liked the bottom line very much…

    Infact if one wants to know what is a creative way of living life, then just observe osho’s speeches. You ll understand how a person can bring love in each and every minute of his life.

    Nice article. Thank you

  6. Food for thought about selfishness…everything we do in life is driven by selfishness. Altruism is the positive form of selfishness. Depending on whether your hurting others makes selfishness good or bad. As for creativness…its always derieved from shelfishness…

  7. sir i need your help. i want to know myself. i mean what would be the best way to reach to your passion. i tried so hard. i am still w.orking on it. usally i try to do things with my heart
    but i am not that much satisfied with my job. if anybody could say somthing on it i will b
    grateful.

  8. learn to sleep first and wake up without any alarm, try it first on sunday a no work day.
    after waking up just be a watcher in the first hour after waking up. this is your real self.

  9. learn to sleep first and wake up without any alarm, try it first on sunday a no work day.
    just be a watcher in the first hour after waking up. this is your real self.

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