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Using boundaries to cultivate creativity!

Generally, people think creativity stems from openness and infinite options at our disposal. But, sometimes, the less we have to work with and more the boundaries, the more creative results we can get. Sometimes, the boundaries can actually help creativity flourish.

There are many real-life situations in which imposing boundaries lead to an outpour of creativity. So, if you are a student, struggling at the moment writing your thesis with the boundaries set by your supervisor, take these as a chance to prove yourself and rise above the challenge.

At the moment, it may seem rather counter-intuitive, but in fact boundaries can actually enhance creativity. For example, deadlines set by the teachers are often the only factor that ensures the project is submitted, as if it was left up to the student; the project would never get submitted. Remember that creativity is driven by boundaries. Take another example, creative thinking flourishes if an individual has limited resources. This is because of the fact that an individual is forced to rely on his own resourcefulness and skill if he does not have sufficient resources available. Generally the possibilities may seem limitless when there are no boundaries imposed, but in fact some of the greatest inventions have been created when the innovators had to face some boundaries.

A common example of working with boundaries and constraints is an actor working with not enough resources, like costumes or script etc. In such a situation, an artist is required to improvise and make the best use of the situation and create more with less. Good improvisation can provide an artist with a golden opportunity to carve a niche out for him but this improvisation also has some unspoken rules which are: the artist must accept all assistance and he must make everyone to participate. Yet by adhering to these set boundaries, good improviser artists know they can be wildly creative in all other ways. I would like to point out that while improvisation seems to imply the absence of constraints for the artist, most scenes have to be based around suggestions from the audience. These boundaries are what make improvisation, both so enjoyable and so creative.

Boundaries are sometimes, an unavoidable part of an individual’s life. A recent article mentioned the effects of hardship on children, and how this hard start in life may have fueled their success as adults. Hardship develops flexibility and ingenuity in individuals. So, concluding the discussion, I would like to point out that boundaries don’t defeat resilient people; boundaries inspire them to keep trying other avenues for success.


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