I’ll bet that you believe that you are a creative person. I don’t think you would be reading this blog if you weren’t interested in innovation, startups, and the future. So I feel pretty safe in assuming that you are creative. I love creativity. I think creativity is incredible.
When creativity goes wild and starts to make people uncomfortable, I think I love that kind of creativity best of all. You see, for most people, creativity is scary. It’s something new and different, and as human beings, we are instinctually wary of anything new and different. So if we come across an unfamiliar situation, we are more likely to run away from it in fear than embrace it.
Eons of conditioning – not to mention the oft-quoted adage of “never talking to strangers” when we were kids had created a race of humans who are afraid of everything. That seek comfort at every turn. (When I see the lineups for an 800 calorie Crumbl Cookie with 50 grams of sugar and 60 grams of fat, pitched as comfort food – I have to wonder if we humans need that level of comfort in our lives).
When we were kids – creativity was lauded. We were praised for our ability to think differently. However, as we got older, unless we made our career in the creative arts (which are woefully underpaid if you ask me – why is it that something which gives us so much joy – like art or music – pays the artists so little? – there is a space which needs disruption), creativity was suppressed if not outright banned.
Thinking differently was a bad thing. It’s a threat. If you think about it along Mimetic lines, we can easily see the draw of copying other people. Of doing the same thing, everyone else is doing. Desiring the same stuff everyone else is. It’s easy – simple – it takes almost no effort to follow the crowd – to fit in. It takes no courage, no creativity. Simply copying what someone else is doing – or doing it slightly better – or improving a product feature or two – is safe.
And we are all into safe nowadays, aren’t we?
Unfortunately, to move forward – to evolve – to improve the human race – we need to be creative. We need to edge away from the crowd – we need to do something new and crazy and different. But, of course, whenever you do anything new and crazy and other, everyone else freaks out. Creativity in this way is stifled – or you can be creative – just not too much. Don’t stray too far from what everyone else is doing.
Do you know why people fear creativity and the new? Creativity threatens the structure and function of everyday life. Everyday life is mundane and boring – creativity is the exact opposite. And only a few of us eagerly embrace and creative, new and different. But creativity is the spark of awesomeness that occurs between the stretches of boredom.
Time is a series of moments. It’s up to you to decide how many of those moments will be mundane and how many will be full of creativity. I’d choose creativity every time.