Sunday, March 4, 2012

How creative people act

Late February, early March can be a dreary time of the year for many of us. Sometimes, it seems as if winter will never end. We’ve given up on the New Year’s resolutions we made so hopefully last month. We are confronted daily with information about a poor global economy, stories of governments in crisis and natural disasters worldwide. Here in the United States, as the elections approach, more and more, politicians are acting like unsupervised ten-year old boys. Not that I have any thing against ten-year old boys, mind you. Fortunately, scientists have pretty much debunked the idea that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world in December. So if you were planning on buying something with deferred payments to 2013, thinking that you wouldn’t have to pay because the world would end, you may want to rethink that plan. Then again, the zombie apocalypse is imminent. It’s only a matter of time before the undead are among us. Gas masks may be in order since those fools are definitely going to stink. So, how do we deal with all this discouraging news and stay creative?

             We act. We recognize that some tension in our lives is a good thing. It forces us to grow, achieve more and appreciate what we have. Too much doom and gloom drains us of energy and is an enemy to our creative flow. It deadens our enthusiasm for our creative ventures. Do we accept the idea that all the pessimism is unavoidable and, after all, maybe we aren’t that creative anyhow? No. No. No. We order cheese with our whine and suck it up, the wine and our attitude. 

            We act. We become aware of what kinds of negative concepts affect us and we take control. More snow in the forecast? We buy flowers. Another newscast showing the decline of civilization? We use the information to write a best selling dystopian novel. Or we change the channel and go wash dishes. Another economic downturn? We diversify. We plant a Victory Garden. We donate to a food bank. We buy new shoes.

            We act. We recognize that we do not create in a vacuum. We create in a world with warts, weirdos, wackos and wonderful potential. We volunteer. We teach children. We serve on committees. We write letters. We mentor. We do not sit on our asses. We share our knowledge and gifts. We understand that our opportunities to create in whatever field exist because of all those that came before us. We acknowledge that if future generations are to enjoy the arts and sciences and the benefits from them, it is because of how we act today.

            Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! I’ve always been more afraid of the oh mys, myself. “Oh my, do you really want to use that word there? Oh my, you hit the wrong note again. Oh my. Do we creep softly then, hoping all the stuff and nonsense of our modern world will go away? No. We act. We use today’s events, both good and bad as inspiration for tomorrow’s creative compositions and innovations. We grasp the idea that there are problems in our world and will always be problems in our world, yet we expect the unexpected. In turn, we find joy, bliss in our ability to create in the midst of chaos.      

This article appeared as a shorter version called Expect the Unexpected in the Creativity Coaching Association's February newsletter. To read the original, click here.