To be creative, start with what’s missing

There are a lot of reasons to get into cooking as a profession, being hungry isn’t one of them.

Instead, a reason to take up cooking is to learn the art behind the dish, or to help satisfy others, or because you really enjoy a finely crafted meal, or—and most likely—to fill a void you felt in your own life. When you went to the restaurant and they didn’t have the dish you wanted, or when you realized they could have easily improved what they offered with just a few fresh ingredients, that’s when you decide to pursue the life of a chef (even if just on the side). Those are the moments you decide to become a chef. Your hunger wasn’t the real problem, it’s not really enough to motivate you to stick with the years of schooling and experimentation to become a chef.

The same is true of creativity. Nobody decides to “be creative,” that’s a myth those at the top have drummed up to keep everyone else in-check and in line.

Those who dabble in creativity didn’t wake up one day feeling hungry and deciding that was enough to put in the work.

In reality, you decide to pursue creativity when you realize there’s a better way to do something, or when something is curiously missing. You embrace creativity when the void you feel inside as it relates to your life, the lives of those you love, or the work you’re doing, starts to grow. When there’s a void.

Nobody wakes up thinking “today is the day I’m going to be creative!” Because the result of that is more of the same, work without depth or meaning.

It turns out that if you want to be creative, the first place to start is to look at what’s currently missing or broken in your life. It’s when you realize there’s something that can be improved, or added, that creativity starts to rear it’s head. Not with the intent to do it, but because it serves a clearer need or desire.