We all would like to be seen as Intelligent, don’t we? It’s often obvious if one is and if one is not. Unintelligence is hard to hide away from other people’s eyes and thus we pour over books, watch documentaries, and listen to podcasts, hoping it will help us become smarter. However, creativity is something that is not that easily spotted in everyday life. Usually for creativity to surface one should find himself in a difficult situation that can’t be resolved using traditional approaches. But would only being creative get you far? What if creativity is just one of the faucets of intelligence? 

One could say that intelligence means knowing facts and theories, another would argue that it means being able to apply those facts and theories to solving real problems. Some would insist that intelligence equals analytical skills. Some would bring up emotional intelligence. All of these realms lead to one conclusion: intelligence is not a simple, one-dimensional concept. It demonstrates itself in many forms and situations and can span from knowing all the important mathematical formulas to being able to empathize with a stranger’s tragedy. And creativity is one of those dimensions. Unless you can apply the facts you know creatively within new and unusual circumstance life presents to you, your intelligence is hindered by your inability to use it. However, if you are skillfully creative but due to a lack of emotional intelligence can’t have productive relationships with your colleagues, all of the creative solutions you come up with could be ignored and dismissed by a displeased crowd of coworkers your lack of social graces has alienated. 

Another question that arose from the statement is: can creativity be measured? There are tests that measure IQ and EQ, as well as ways to improve both. As for creativity, it seems like no tools exist that can clearly capture a person’s level of creativity. If it can’t be measured, I would  argue that it consequently can’t serve as a measure. Unless we come up with a scale it can not be a stand-alone characteristic of intelligence. Should we invent such a scale, it would be placed right next to IQ and EQ scales, again, making creativity just one of the signs of intelligence.

Creativity definitely had been once equaled to intelligence. For example, when to survive one had to invent a house, a recipe to not die of hunger, or a way to stitch animals skins together to not be cold. Back then, when there was not much formal knowledge, creativity was intelligence. Creativity was ones key to survival. But people have evolved since then, we are more complex as well as problems we are faced with today. Nowadays, creativity is just as important as other components of intelligence.

Being creative today became a very desirable quality no one knows how to achieve, unless you weren’t born with one. There are more and more complex problems that require creative approach, but only creativity won’t take you far. It can be used as a measure of intelligence in some professions, but overall it should be viewed as just one of its dimensions. 

New York, April 2020