Stability and Creativity

There are few feelings as sweet as creative juices pumping through your veins, with moths in your stomach over a new idea that you can’t wait to pitch, with the feelings of endless possibilities at your fingertips. You will hold court in a few days and colleagues will walk away inspired and awestruck with how their world has shifted. And, I bet, you would do almost anything to stay in that place for as long as possible. Being “creative” is part of our human nature, it is an almost transcendental experience where we take the best of who we are and try to gift that to the world and inspire it.

However, sometimes we go through ruts in creativity. In a recent book, the accidental creative, author Todd Henry suggests a neat set of techniques for developing your own creativity, even though you don’t necessarily consider yourself a “creative” type. I am with Todd on all of this, however, I am going to add a few things:

To become creative we need to find our place of stability. This does not necessarily mean a geographic location or financial success.

Stability in the traditional sense is not always for the best. Sometimes it really takes one getting out of their comfort zone, really trying to do hard things, pushing your heart and soul to the max that helps them discover what the real foundation for stability is. In Pamplona I see many pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago, all of them looking for something deeper, for some greater stability than just the creature comforts of a comfortable bed and a clean kitchen.

What it does mean is we need to find either faith, a routine, a ritual, a coffee, a ____ that helps us feel “okay.” It’s hardest to  be creativity when we don’t have that feeling of being “okay,” because we are then operating without security, with a sense of fear. For those who are more self aware than myself, they have discovered the capacity to operate in any environment and not be controlled by the environment of where they are. They are almost always “okay.” As a man of faith, I find prayer to be a place of stability, that which allows me to function, even when everything might be changing around me.

The great thing about pushing our limits with stability is that it allows us to have even greater creativity when we are in a more familiar environment. The results of doing something hard are always worthwhile for helping us grow into more of what we are, into being more creative. Pushing ourselves allows us to know our own created greatness and inspire others to become great themselves. Perhaps, this is the most fundamentally important thing to keep in mind about creativity, especially when we are going through periods of instability.

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