‘When the going gets tough, the tough get creative” Thomas Edison

In Part I, we saw that we needed to understand our situation, accept our situation, determine what we would like to be different and then decide what actions should be taken. We also recognized that it is our intentions and expectations that will take us safely from one side of the bridge to the other.

Let us now look at ‘creativity’ itself and its role in transitions. Transition phases can be drawn out, attracting new challenges to compound the situation, when the reaction of the person involved is one of weakness and desperation. Within the last two decades the abstract idea of “intelligence” has been accorded different labels in an attempt to clarify this mystifying human trait. As brilliant as the researchers and proponents of these issues have portrayed all the aspects of intelligence, we still have far to go in deciphering one of the most exciting parts of our human greatness – creativity. How do you identify, assess or activate creativity? There is hardly any scientific answer, except what we can observe, listen to, touch or otherwise, as a product of someone’s creativity. However, we can come up with a reasonable definition: creativity is the ability to see beyond the obvious, adjusting and associating disparate elements mentally and physically to reproduce new and original items, which either solve a problem or create new levels of understanding. Do you like that?

If you mostly agree with this, then I will proceed to relate this to transition, especially in the second half of life.

If you approach all your obstacles and challenges with the mindset that there is always a solution and not just a solution, but that ‘ I have that solution available to me’, you are actively practicing the distinctive model. When you start off imagining that what is, does not have to be or can be better, you are already allowing your mind to be creative. It took me a long time to accept geometry as a valid field of mathematics, because I thought “Why on earth should we start off with an ‘hypothesis’ and then base all our figuring on that? I could come up with my own hypothesis.” Anyway, that was four decades ago.

Creativity works around your own private hypotheses which you come up with, and since ‘transition’ in essence amounts to dealing with the ‘unknown’, the unknown you never saw coming and the future that you are never quite sure of, creativity could be seen as playing with same deck of cards.

If you approach circumstances with the mindset that you have the wisdom, fortitude and arsenal of choices on which to draw, there is no end to the variety and magnitude of the solutions you will arrive at. If you doubt this, talk to a colleague or coach who favors this approach. In addition, the stress, pain and anxiety will concomitantly be far less than if your approach were to succumb to self-pity, fear, doubt, anxiety or hopelessness. Before facing any new threatening situation, such as that of losing your job too soon, practice with less disastrous tests in your life. With this creative mindset rehearsed you will surely become a master over time, since all of modern life is made up of transitions.

Author's Bio: 

Hyacinth E. Gooden-Bailey, M.A.is a certified Life Transitions Coach who focuses on the challenges of change faced by professional women at mid-career,pre-retirees, baby-boomers and those facing transfers, downsizing and cross-cultural concerns. She leads weekly tele-classes on Potential and personal empowerment, issues a free monthly e-Zine dealing with related topics, and offers weekly Self-Coaching Tips in audio on her website: www.sapiencecoaching.com. Email:heb@sapiencecoaching.com