Creativity is so often lost beneath the surface of mundane, everyday routines and tasks. To such an extent, its significance is diminished. We compartmentalize ourselves. A businessperson is often assumed to be just that. Expressing originality is often seen to be eccentric. But what is wrong with being different? What is wrong with seeing the world from another perspective.
The world would be a better place if we spent less time trying to box people into what we think they should be instead of accepting what they are. No two people are the same. The only thing we have in common with other people is the fact that we’re unique. We feel differently and see the world in our own way, and that is perfectly alright.
After working several years in the corporate world, I realize that there is an expectation that you’re either-or. A powerhouse in the boardroom or a writer. An accountant or a musician. That is so far from the truth, it’s scary. Creative thinking is a trait most businesspeople thrive on—it is the key to innovation and ultimately a contributor to the sustainability of a business. Creativity is not only encouraged but imperative to drive an engaged workforce that doesn’t see the workplace as a purpose killer, but a purpose enabler.
We were not born into this great big world, with all its wonders, to exist, trudging through the barrenness of normalcy, buried under the weight of the expectations of society that demand we be ordinary. There is no fun in being ordinary, no joy in living a life that is void of color and texture.
Human beings are deep creatures. We feel so much more than we let on. The more we suppress, the more we suffocate. We crave connection with each other and the world around us, with what is inside us. The harder we deny our desire to create, the more useless we feel.
So many people tell me that working is all they know; others are surprised I want to do more than work 9-to-5 five days a week. Ursula Leguin was right when she said that the creative adult is the child who survived. Society, family, and friends put pressure on children from a young age—the pressure to grow up, to be more responsible, to color inside the lines. Leguin calls the creative adult a child who survived the blandness of schooling, the unhelpful words of bad teachers, and the nay-saying ways of the world. The creative adult has found their purpose and desire to express, and they’ve dived off the edge with wings they created with their talents to fly.
We feed our bodies and we feed our minds, but it is creativity that feeds the soul. The soul craves extraordinary, and we are obliged to give it that—to lose ourselves in our talents, in those things we do that make us feel grounded and whole. How long are we going to suppress that voice inside you begging for more? Every day there are opportunities to express ourselves.
We keep saying we have no purpose because we’re looking for it in the wrong places. We remain stagnant because we think it is the only way. We should be cheering on artists, supporting their boldness. We should be learning from the inventors, celebrating their ability to break the mold. Encourage your children, look in the mirror, and remind yourself to see more, feel more, be more, and create more. Know that it is okay to explore outside those lines. More often than not, you’re going to end up with something beautiful.