Are you creative?

And not necessarily in the traditional artistic sense – paintings, novels, songs etc. Being content surrounded by non-toxic crayons and sticky back plastic. 

All humans have a degree of creativity. It’s how we’ve developed, evolved and innovated our way through existence. 

Military folks in particular, thrive on problem finding and solving. And because we serve, we have the ability to empathise with others. 

Now, that’s not to say most military careers don’t also batter that creativity out of you. It’s the nature of the organisation to strive for uniformity and status quo maintenance. It provides a clear set of rules to follow. 

It’s my belief that during a military career, that creativity goes into a dormant state. 

For me, it was always words. Looking back now I enjoyed writing at school, won an award for public speaking (was doing TED before it existed 😆) and whilst my imagination wasn’t in the Neil Gaiman league, I’ve always been able to cobble a relatively coherent sentence together. 

During a military leadership course, when it came to defence writing, most of the class slumped in their chair, rolled their eyes and a little bit of sick entered their mouth. 

For me, I took one look at JSP 101 and it was as though a celestial beam of light shone down on the desk and a choir of angels filled the room. 

Ok, it wasn’t quite that ethereal, but I loved the structure. 

This leads to my ability to create policy documents and process guides. That was my “thing” during my career. And not merely because there were words on a page for the sake of it. 

No. In my mind, if someone didn’t know how to do something – I wanted them to have a resource that helped them do their job more effectively. They would feel they had done good, the patient was happy too, and everyone had a better day. 

When you leave the military, things have the opportunity to take a different turn. 

I let my imagination have all the fun for once. Learned the mechanics of storytelling and the tools needed for a creative process.

Until finally it was time to write about life. That’s my passion. 

What’s yours?

Where did you feel constrained before? 

And now, if you could be creative in any sense, what might that look like each day for you? 

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