Over Thanksgiving I had a chance to catch up with some old friends from college and reminisce about some of the great times we had. That was several years ago now, and quite a few things have changed, but nothing has changed more than the definition of spending the evening "chasing girls". Just take a look at the difference in the meaning of the phrase in 1999 and present day:

* 1999 - Going to college parties and staying out until 3 am trying to give any attractive single ladies "the eye" in hopes of striking up a conversation
* 2009 - Chasing around my 2 year-old daughter with an Elmo doll and then trying to get her to understand the concept of "Daddy can't fit through the tire swing, he'll get stuck"

As witnessed in the example above, words and phrases can change their meaning depending on the time of life and situation. Another phrase that's recently changed its meaning for me is "being creative". When I was a child I always thought that being creative meant that you could do the following:

* Draw excellent pictures and always color inside the lines
* Be able to master every project in art class within a matter of a few minutes
* Get feedback that sounded like "Oh that's incredible! That sheep looks so lifelike!"

Instead my innate ability for the arts produced the following results:

* My drawings looked very similar to those of a blindfolded person using their opposite hand with a dull pencil
* My in-class art assignments resembled something regurgitated by the garbage disposal
* The feedback I usually received on my projects was "Oh wow... that's really neat... I didn't know sheep had horns and purple wool"

Based on those experiences I always felt very insecure about "being creative" and showing my creations to others. Recently I've come to realize that being artistic and being creative are two very different talents. Graphic designers, photographers, and many other professions allow people to use their artistic gifts to not only benefit themselves but bring joy to others as well. Recruiters, software developers, and just about any other profession can use their creativity to enhance their productivity and better the lives of those around them. While my unique methods for sourcing candidates, retaining talent, and growing our business don't look quite as nice as a mural on the wall, that doesn't mean I'm any less creative then my "artistic" counterparts. I have a genuine respect for people with natural talent in the traditional sense of the arts, and I've come to realize we are both creative just in different ways.

Also if anyone is looking for the perfect holidy gift for a loved one this year I'd be more then happy to sketch you a purple sheep with horns. =)

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