I know that sounds like some naff catchphrase but its an important point. We live in a world that is all about achieving goals. Most of us have a list of aims – whether they are about our jobs, study, family, financial position or travel. We undertake these things with the specific objective to master them, to be good at them or to make money from them.
Creativity is about none of those things. The creative side of our brain is woefully underused for most of us. Creativity in its purest form is about doing something just for its own sake. Not to be ‘good’ at it. Not to make money from it. Its about expressing ourselves. Its about moving outside of our comfort zones. Its about joy, simply for its own sake.
So many of us know the joy of reading just for its own sake. We read for work, study and to develop our knowledge but reading for fun is a whole other thing. A great story can transport us from our real life to make believe worlds, beautiful Greek islands, castles, cabins, cottages overlooking raging seas or placid lakes. We take on the adventure or mission of the main character and feel their pain, their joy, their elation, their grief for a few hours, days, weeks and months. It stretches us – we feel sympathy, anger and satisfaction and develop empathy when we start to understand the otherwise incomprehensible decisions of protagonists. We willingly go on a journey with no control over the outcome, with no knowledge as to how these stories will end. We allow it to just happen and we enjoy the journey.
Creativity is just like reading for fun. Whether you sing, dance, paint, garden, draw, write, colour-in, make mosaics, knit, play the guitar – you just do it. If you’re doing it right it doesn’t matter whether you are ‘good’ at it. It matters that you let your brain, heart and soul do it regardless of the outcome. You allow them to play, to experiment and to stretch those comfort zones. You express yourself and your feelings and thoughts in a way that doesn’t need to make sense to anyone else.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, and let’s face it – there is a lot of it! We are not the sum of our actions and achievements – we are so much more than that. As we have all heard before we are human beings not human doings.
Some people go on to make a living from their creative skills but even they need to pursue activities that are outside their skillset that gives them permission to be bad at something or at least not to be good at it. Being a painter, gardener, writer or musician doesn’t mean we don’t need to find time to engage in activities just for the sake of doing it.
Creativity is such an important part of us developing as fully rounded human beings that we really cannot ignore it. Its critical to achieving our goals in the other areas of our lives.
What is it that you do just for the sake of it, just because its fun, even if you’re rubbish at it? What is it you do that is just for the journey and not for the destination – just because it feels good, fun, playful, joyful or expressive?
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