Creativity means change, and that’s the reason it matters

Whenever I think of change I feel a little bit afraid and a little bit excited.

Change often brings with it uncertainty, risk, chance, and hope. Change means different, and no matter how you cut it: different is often scary. It’s not what our lives and minds are really cut out to handle very well. We instead each tend to cherish routine, the expected, systems we can understand, what’s already known.

Change means things might possibly be better. Faster, cheaper, and stronger are all symptoms of change. The problem is, of course, that maybe things will be worse through change too. Maybe the change won’t be worth the risk, or time, or energy.

As a result, any time we encounter change we find ourselves responding either as one type of person or the other. The risk taker worries, but knows that whatever is on the other side of change is typically worth the risk, worth the sacrifice. They know that change always brings with it some certainty after-all. Certainty that whatever happens, you can learn something new. Change exposes you to things you haven’t been exposed to before. New ideas, new ways of doing things. Even if the outcome of change is negative, that’s knowledge earned; you’ll know what doesn’t work, or what happens when things go a certain way.

It’s easy to look at change as a pressure, or as something that takes away rather than adds. But the reality is that whatever change takes away ends up adding to our experience elsewhere.

We can stay safe in routine, always holding onto some semblance of what we know to expect. But sticking to what we know, to routine, doesn’t allow us to benefit at all, or to grow. Routine and expectations are restrictive. They hold us to expectations no matter how magical or wonderful or empowering the world outside what we know may be.

Yes, change can be a scary and intimidating, but if we remember that breaking away from it is how we grow, we ultimately end up being more powerful and better off than before.

And that is why change is something we should not fear, but readily embrace.

When we talk about creativity we typically talk about it in terms of having ideas that are unique and valuable. But when we step back what do those things really mean? Change. When we talk about creativity what we’re really talking about is change, something that is always additive in some way or another. That’s why creativity matters: it’s adding to the world, even when it feels like it’s really taking away.