There is no greater myth than the myth that creativity is an offshoot of intelligence. A creative person need not be intelligent as intelligence does not always lead to creativity.
I may sound a tad irrational, but I have strong reasons to support my statement. To explain my perspective, I shall switch to flashback mode to reminisce a little from my early life.
I had been a very reluctant, shy and introverted kid during my school days. Neither among the toppers nor among the droppers—just a rank average student. I remember, I was so unsure of myself that any negative remark in my school used to devastate me no end.
Once in class three, my teacher in a fit of rage and fury landed a full blooded slap on my face and branded me –nikamma– in front of the whole class. I cried whole night and cursed my existence. My lovely mother tried to motivate me but I refused to go to school. On her persistence, I agreed to go with a lot of reluctance. That day was a day of cultural programme.
On that day, one of my classmates performed on the stage in front of a packed auditorium and after his performance there was a huge round of applause from the audience. That applause ticked and kicked something within me. It struck a chord within my inner self. I wanted the same applause for myself. But for an applause, you need to have some talent. Now, to know about your hidden talent is a talent in itself. I was so besotted by that applause that I started participating in annual functions in my school. Though I got noticed but since they were all itsy bitsy stuff like singing in a chorus, hanging a band around my neck or dressing like a girl with a lipstick plastered on my lips, I could never get the desired attention which my mind was always craving for. Nevertheless, my persistence to perform never faded.
During university days, that hidden shy reluctant kid made a mark in academics and excelled on stage to an extent that even in my dreams I was mimicking my teachers, politicians and actors and garnering thunderous applause from a packed auditorium of university. Every round of applause after my performance gave a befitting reply to my deep rooted complex, stinging me, deep inside. Though I was scaling ladders of confidence, but my hidden complex stayed put firmly within me and to be honest, I never wanted to leave the cudgels of this deep complex lest I fall in the trap of superiority complex, thereby blocking my evolution.
Summing up my personal anecdote shared above and taking a dive in the opening statement of my piece, I always had a firm belief that I am not traditionally intelligent in the real sense of word. This may sound pompous and an attempt to pose humility but facts are facts. I love to create not because of any genetic or inherent intelligence but due to the fact that I have loads of persistence.
Persistence, at times, gives a flawed impression of intelligence to the audience but fact remains when you repeat an act, an art, a craft, a hobby, a ritual, you tend to come closer to intelligence with or without being intelligent. Persistence can lead us to intelligence but intelligence does not always leads to persistence.
In fact, reasons for creativity are different to different people. Some are exceptionally intelligent but never indulge in exploring their talent. Some are less intelligent but by repeatedly attempting their latent talent, they polish their creations.
A creation is best created when you passionately love to create. Be a Romeo in absolute love with your creation, your Juliet, but do not expect your creation, your Juliet, to love you back. The day you start expecting your Juliet to love you back, you tend to lose your creative power. Your Juliet, your passionate creation may not give you fame, power or money but deep inside you will be the richest man with the richest feeling.
Do not forget, your intelligence can be celebrated through degrees for a very short tenure but your creativity is a life long celebration. It may or may not fetch you an award but the reward of peace of mind with each creation you create is beyond the realms of expression through words.
Towards the end, I shall like to add that in case you are intelligent or think yourself to be intelligent, focus more on persistence than your assumed intelligence. Don’t just keep sitting on your intelligence.
Use your intelligence more as an intelligence used-less, often turns use-less.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.