A creative life is a healthy life

Take solace in the fact that "the creative process is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."

Story highlights

  • Link between creativity and better mental and physical health is well established
  • Passion protects us physiologically, allowing us to work longer with less stress
  • Take time off and find ways to recharge your creative and physical energy, expert says
There are many conversations taking place right now about creativity -- how our future depends on it, how our kids are losing it, how most schools are killing it, and how parents ought to be nurturing and encouraging it.
I recently attended a lecture on the topic by Tony Wagner, Innovation Education Fellow at Harvard's Technology & Entrepreneurship Center and author of "Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World." The lecture took place in an auditorium that was packed with parents, well-motivated on behalf of their kids.
As the mother of two small children, I, too, am very interested in what enables young innovators to flourish and perhaps even go on to change the world.
But I am equally interested in what reignites "old" innovators. That is, how can people well past what our culture defines as their prime awaken to mobilize dormant creativity?
"I loved your book for young innovators," I told Wagner a few days after his lecture. "But what about the rest of us? Where's our path to innovating, to changing the world?"
"The path is still there," Wagner said with a chuckle, "but it can become more difficult to find later in life."-
Why is that?
"We must work very hard to listen to ourselves, because the distractions continue to multiply."
Living a life of innovation needs no justification, but there are plenty of good reasons -- both pragmatic and otherwise -- to do so.
Creating helps make people happier, less anxious and more resilient, Amanda Enayati says.