The passionate creative looks back on their work and does not see work, rather they see a natural and physical manifestation of a part of themselves.
Creativity, in all its forms, is what makes humans significant. Not only is creativity the process which can facilitate the progression and advancement of the human race as a whole, it also allows a piece of someone to live on long after their physical body has died and decayed.
If you’re going to make your mark on the world, you’re going to have to explore and cultivate creativeness, this means doing or approaching something in a new and personal way. It also means putting genuine care and effort into whatever it is you’re drawn to, allowing it to grow. Everyone is capable, however, not everyone tries.
Finding Your Passion(s)
The terrific thing about creativity is that it can be found anywhere and it can be used in any area. All too often people seem to believe that creativity is reserved for those who are practicing art, design or fictional writing, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Real creativity is used everywhere; from the science fields which constantly have to come up with new experiments which can test hypotheses, to sales jobs where new approaches and techniques are tested and applied to entice buyers. Creativity is everywhere, it’s just expressed differently depending on the area.
Finding an outlet for creativity is very easy for some, while others have no idea how they want to express their inner drive to create. In Taking on Life’s Apprenticeship I talked about finding that one area of true interest to excel in, this is what I consider to be the very best breeding ground for unbelievable creative achievement, but really you can be creative in whatever area you choose.
Consider what you would do with your time if you had no responsibilities like work, school, social obligations and the like. Sure you may decide to lounge around doing nothing important for a period of time, but eventually, the yearning for significant actions would catch up with you. It would be at this point that you would feel compelled to do or make something. Maybe that would manifest itself in wanting to write a book the whole world could read, or maybe it would come in the form of starting development of a groundbreaking app or a critically acclaimed video game. Whatever comes to your head, why not try it?
Through experience, you naturally gain an understanding of what creative efforts you see value in. There is no right or wrong answer. Where one man sees an insignificant and mundane task, another sees a great canvass where the possibilities are limitless. Stay consistently creative in all the areas you value and you will never stop improving.
Make Your Vision a Reality for Others
No matter how we rationalise why we have this drive for creating new and unique things, it all points back to others. Even the lone inventor creates objects to fill a need, and his need is also experienced by others somewhere in the world, that’s who his invention is for, those who don’t possess the drive or skill to invent something of their own.
Plenty of people in the past have created something useful or inspiring to others which was never intended to do just that. Consider the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius who wrote a book of his thoughts on his own life, others titled this book ‘Meditations’. It’s thought that he never intended for his writings to be published, however. many have benefitted from reading his life philosophy over the years because it was made available to the masses.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have to have other people’s needs and wants in mind when you attempt to create. While this may help some people who have goals of designing something intuitive for others, it’s often better to just create something personal in your own individual way. By doing this, others will be able to see the genuine passion that has gone into creating something that resonates with the deeply primal need to create and discover.
An Example of My Own
It has taken me years to really find my own passions to express my personal creativity, I was never one for writing stories, drawing pictures, or physically building things. Instead, I enjoyed putting across information and ideas in my own style of prose. This is what led me to article writing, which I started doing on the internet across different kinds of content-hosting websites.
I’ve always hated restrictions on creative freedom and I knew that this would affect my writing in ways I wanted to avoid. I needed somewhere where I could be in complete control of the entire environment so that I could put a middle finger up to anyone else’s idea of what is okay to publish for eyes all over the world to see. Thus, Xnanga was born out of this need for freedom and it continues to serve me in so far as I can create as I please without influence from any sort of authority.
More recently, my creativity has also found its way into my first attempt at independent scientific research, something I feel I could flourish in as it follows the same pattern as independent article writing, I can choose the direction I go. With that in mind, I investigated Dark Triad personality traits and their relationship with Belief in a Just World. This was my form of creativity in a scientific field which brought both my passions into one, learning and writing.
This was one of the first times I could take scientific rigour and methodology and fully apply it to whatever topic I pleased. As a result of this, it turned out to be one of the first papers I will submit that didn’t feel like unpassionate constrained work in hindsight.
Below you can read my whole study and its findings condensed into a brief academic poster. The full article is thousands of words long and I hope to edit this vigorously to get it published in a scientific psychology journal one day.
The full project isn’t finished yet, but even looking back on the efforts it took to reach this point, the whole process does not give the same sense of mental fatigue that linear work on less interesting topics gives. This is simply because this is something I would choose to think about and play with in my head even I was not in the position to have to carry out an empirical project, it is part of my passion for writing up interesting thoughts and ideas!
By finding what you naturally conjure up this creative energy and drive for, anyone can create something significant. And while it might not change the world, while it generally may seem unnoticed, someone out there will be able to find value in it.
Experiment with everything, find what feels natural to apply effort to, keep this effort consistent, and create something that will still have some influence long after you are gone.