The struggle with creativity


There’s always been a struggle with pursuing creativity. Routine just comes too easy. Even if things aren’t as great as they could be, habits at least assure predictability, and there’s comfort in that.

For as long as there’s been recorded history, it’s clear that the pursuit of creativity has eluded more people than it has embraced.

As a result: heroes or “geniuses” are carved from stone for everyone to praise, or be inspired by, or idolize. The Einsteins, Edisons, Darwins, and Steve Jobs of the world stand out not merely for what they’ve accomplished or created, but because they seemingly stepped out of sync with the ease of routine. Something you probably struggle with regularly, these “greats” were able to accomplish repeatedly over the span of their lives.

But there’s really little else to it. The way to creativity isn’t through a miraculous accident or by having been born with otherworldly intellect. To be creative is to be self aware enough to realize how you might change your routine once in a while. To look at things differently, to make minor changes in thinking, to remain curious about the world around you at all times.

It’s not easy to do any of this, which is why artists and writers and inventors are so often viewed differently than accountants, service experts, and doctors.

The problem is that we live in a world where predictability and comfort are viewed as safe and sane, and anything else as potentially dangerous. Why shake the box if you don’t know what’s inside? Why risk destroying what already works just fine?

The answer is simple enough: change is how we learn what we otherwise wouldn’t learn. Change is how we push forward and solve problems. Creativity is change. Frightening at times, yes, but always for some benefit.

As Steve Jobs so elegantly put it: “Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it.”