Last weeks tragic events that took two lives- the life of model Reeva Steenkamp literally and figuratively that of double amputee, the fastest runner with no legs, Oscar Pistorious, has left me thinking about creative destruction.
Creativity and destruction are like two sides of a coin. In the most positive sense our creativity helps us iterate our ideas (and ourselves). And in the most negative sense it brings us to some form of (self) destruction.
But this post is not meant to be about the dark side of creativity but more a reflection of what drives us to it.
When our creative genius, in the most positive sense, appears it awakens us- quite literally- and time stops. While it might feel unfamiliar the first time it happens, a sense that your brilliance is revealing itself will come to you. It’s real. And when this happens, hours pass by like minutes and days are literally marked only by our recollection of the rise and fall of the sun. Call it flow, or escapism, or moments of divine intervention. But when these moments/events/life happenings appear you are called to be fully present; to allow whatever is unstoppably determined to come out of you to be revealed.
For those of you reading who have tasted this sea, then I need not say more. And for those of you who thirst for it, I wish it deeply for you. It is why you are here on this earth. To realize your highest potential.
When you find your creative genius it will motivate you like never before. It sees the impossible is possible. It helps us rise to blade runner heights. (How could a man with no legs be good enough- strong enough- capable enough to run in the Olympics without creative genius at work?)
And yet, our human mortal needs do not make this transcension with us. Instead our bodies and our psyches are left on the ground to pick up from the fallout.
To endure what is required from us- to work towards the visions that appear in our heads- after these periods of timelessness pass, is extremely difficult. Our humanness is frail. We need reassurance. We need praise. We need sleep and food and love. We need money. We need enduring bravery.
And yet, none of this seems to matter when we are (re)awakened by our creative genius again and again. It’s voice trumps all. It’s an unstoppable magnetic pull. Like a freight train passing through your soul on a mission. You have to catch the ride!
I think this is what makes creativity such a risky investment. The act of deeply investing in your ideas is a huge personal risk. The human psyche and spirit must be in the best shape and form to endure it and rise up to it.
“I am exhausted. Why do we have to keep trying to do this any more?”, our humanness says. Good or bad. Right or wrong. In good taste or poor. Said with love or hate.
And what if your ideas don’t take you anywhere you want to go? What if you spend a lot of time and money working on something you love and no one gives a shit? Including, you fear, eventually you.
And what if you have poured your heart, your soul, and a lot of your money and time, and sacrificed sleep and relationships for the ideas you invest into only to still feel not one step further? What if you have zero impact- or it feels like you have? There are many many moments like this to endure to realize our genius.
Our creative genius is the gateway to blade runner like miracles or the gateway to death and destruction. What is required is a healthy mind and support systems that nurture creativity; not sneers at it out of jealousy trying to destroy the human being who has been awakened by it.
Our creative genius is a big big gift each of us has and yet it is not easy to control on our own. Our world needs to get a whole lot better at recognizing what is required to properly fuel it productively. How to educate it. How to properly care and feed it. The creative genius inside of us can change or world. Or destroy it.
About Lisa Canning
What motivates you to explore your creativity? Follow me @IAEOU