Creativity: A Semi-Finite Resource

When our lives undergo tremendous change, be it moving jobs, homes, traveling, marriage, divorce, children, etc, we are required to respond. However, we can either choose to use creativity and joy or we can use fear.

If we look at change as something scary, that is is painful and to be handled, it can easily burn through our energy in just a few hours. We might not feel inspired to “create” because we are “dealing” with change, that is, we are spending down our creative resources.

On the other hand, if we look at it as an opportunity to express our creativity, to solve problems in creative ways, we can actually receive a tremendous amount of energy and further creativity. As I arrived at a creative solution to a problem while on the treadmill the other day, in the blink of an eye 40 minutes had passed, while normally I only run for 10-15. I was pumped!

Fear is the enemy of creativity, but creativity is far more powerful than fear. Fear invites us to burn through our last remaining molecules of creativity by making us worry, making us wonder “what if,” and so we have spent our creativity on a soul-sucking waste of time. That’s why we can become mopey and alone and exhausted. We have spent our last bit of energy being creative through fearing.

In those moments of fear, that is the best time to return to something that you do well, something that gives you joy, something that is of service to others. For example, working on a drawing, painting, singing, organizing something, cooking a meal, planning an event, making lists. All of these things are small ways to actually “do” something and restore the creative juices so that you can start re-energizing yourself.

This is why I say it’s semi-finite, it depends on how you use it.


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