I have always been fascinated about learning and doing creative activities. However, I never really knew if I had enough creativity in me to perform such tasks.
While taking the ‘What is Creativity?’ course with discovery college, my biggest take away was coming to an understanding of what creativity means to me. I learnt that for me it means overcoming functional fixedness.
Ever used your phone camera as a mirror? Or ever used anything but a hammer to place nails/pins on the wall?
The examples mentioned above are of overcoming functional fixedness. Functional fixedness is a concept about how the mind tends to use an object only in the way it is traditionally meant to be used. Overcoming this tendency makes one overcome the fixedness.
Alternatively, how I would say it, is that creativity for me means Jugaad.
Jugaad is an informal word from the Hindi language popular among the youth. Its close translation would be ‘an idea that helps to overcome functional fixedness’.
Let’s look at some examples of Jugaad.
Re-using tyres as stools
During the course, we were given materials like crayons, sharpies, Lego and books to unleash our creativity. One of the materials was this ‘Little Bag of Hope’. Inside were items like threads and cloth cuttings that could be stitched on a larger piece of cloth (also provided in the bag). Instead of using the threads to stitch, I made an anklet out of it and tied it around my ankle. This was my Jugaad. This helped me make a lasting memory of the course. Every time I look at the anklet I made, it reminds me of the creativity in me.
Anklet I made from my Little Bag of Hope
Overcoming functional fixedness aka coming up with a new Jugaad can help:
Innovation and creativity helps one express oneself. The freedom that comes with expressing oneself can positively affect one’s mental health. It can help one have a more positive outlook on life, overcome anxiety, help gain clarity and feel light-hearted.
Coming up with a Jugaad is how I express my creativity. I am always looking for new ideas and unconventional solutions to tasks. I think of all the times I have come up with a Jugaad and let that give me the confidence to call myself creative.
Written by Neha Khanna
Interested in exploring more about creativity?