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Day 71: The joy of creativity

December 24, 2023

Meals for friends, cakes for birthdays, essays for university, reports for bosses, courses for clients…

These all have the capacity to bring joy. I thought this capacity lay in the result – the praise, the mark, the promotion, the payment or referral – but my focus on these things has often led me to look right past the joy of creating these things in the first place.

In fact, looking past the creation to the result has often robbed me of the possible joy of creativity. I’ve been so fixated on the need for things to turn out a particular way I made the creative process feel arduous and stressful.

I’ve let my results dictate my enjoyment, change the stories I tell myself about who I am and what I’m capable of, and define what I do next.

But what if I don’t do that anymore? What if I simply engage in these pursuits for the enjoyment of the creation itself? How would that feel?

Judgement, worry, and criticism have always accompanied me on my creative pursuits, even the fun ones…”What if it doesn’t work? What if I look like an idiot? What if I can’t do it?”…But then there’s the other voice saying, “You won’t know until you try. Let’s just see.”

I thought the second voice was an indication of my positive thinking. I completely missed the fact that I only needed the “positive thinking” to combat the “negative thinking” – and both indicated the same thing: I was in conflict with myself.

But the conflict was only there because I was anchored to the result.

This conflicted thinking has held me back in every single big dream I’ve ever had, and I’ve failed to achieve most of them. That’s in spite of my constant pushing, trying harder, learning more, getting up early, work, work, work approach.

My big goals and dreams remain and, fortunately, while I’m still alive I can keep working towards them but now I’m going to change something fundamental about my approach. I am going to work towards my goals with a commitment to the present moment – to the pursuit of creativity and creation – to simply see what I can do and what it feels like to make stuff happen.

After all, isn’t that the entire point of the moments available to us?

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