What type of person is “creative?” What motivates them, what engages them in this nebulous process, where their are no rules, no “desired outcome.” Why do people create?
1. They were born like that, like healers or priests, and to not create is tantamount to psychic death. DaVinci, Einstein, Newton. Everyone wants to be them because they make it look easy. It’s not; it requires a certain dogged bloody-mindedness to be creatively non-conformist. Until you’re famous and vindicated and people ask you to give seminars on how to become just like you (see group 3)
2. Creativity doesn’t come easy, and neither has anything else, to this kind of person. Think Erin Brokovich. She had to think outside the box just to survive. You also hear these kind of success stories when people have hit bottom, experienced revelations and pulled themselves out of the hole by the scruff of their neck. There is an argument to be made that these people are actually members of the first group, but had unfortunate childhoods or lifestyle choices that prevented them from achieving greatness in non-pragmatic arenas in life.
3. Some people have been trained that “thinking outside the box” was necessary for success. These people struggle the most, because they are too goal-oriented and not enough process oriented. These are the people that think reading books like “Think and Grow Rich” and “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci” are sure fire ways to ‘achieve’ the goal of creativity. Unfortunately, the standardized school system has usually crippled them.
4. People create to leave a legacy. This segment is perhaps the most interesting. It comes about when people are forced to examine what mark their lives have left on the world. When people create something, be it a baby, a piece of art work, or a killer scrapbook to record their family history, they do it with the intention that future generations will be able to say: “So-and-so created this: He existed, he contributed. He wasn’t just a placeholder in my genetic code.”
Think of the reasons you think, shape, create, innovate. Which group do you belong in, and in which do you want to be?