It all depends on what you want. Maybe you're happy with the status quo of your life or your job. Maybe you like predictability and having everything in place and keeping to a routine that is rarely interrupted.
But how long can you live that way and still feel alive, the way a young child does (until they're talked out of it)?
Rather than repeat how this past year has shown us that nothing is predictable and that anything can happen at any time to disrupt our sense of normalcy, I want to focus on the sense of aliveness and energy that's possible for all of us, regardless of age, gender, status, religion or anything else.
In business, creativity and innovation are constantly emphasized. Things change so quickly that collaboration, fresh ideas and new ways of operating are now more important than ever. Intuition is valued more highly than ever before.
In our personal lives, too much of a routine can be deadly. We lose our sense of the wonder of being alive, the beauty of nature, the delight that can be experienced when we see something new, suddenly gain a deeper understanding, find a better way of doing what we've always done.
Psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of “Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention” describes creativity as
“a central source of meaning in our lives … most of the things that are interesting, important, and human are the results of creativity … when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.”
There is a process of self discovery inherent in the creative process, whether you're creating a spreadsheet, a business plan, a book, a cake or simply doodling on a page. We have literally no idea what might come out of us if we give it a chance.
What if creativity was not about you? What if it's actually about letting life express itself through you? When it's all about us and our definition of who we are and our self worth, our creativity dries up. We berate ourselves for not knowing more, doing more, doubt our abilities.
But when we let life move through us, it can take us places we never dared to go. I never imagined I would do half the things I get to do now: create an interview series on Youtube and via podcast, write articles for major publications, create videos, learn to be a gluten free baking expert, find joy in painting and just making stuff.
If you look at what's written about creativity, often very practical justifications are cited: problem solving, making new connections, having success increase our confidence, improve our thinking skills, developing new skills and becoming more successful.
As important as all of those are, it's the sense of aliveness and freedom that inhabit the creative experience that are paramount. Unless your safety is threatened, no one really wants to lead a life that is constricted and limited because when we do, we're living contrary to both our own nature and the nature of life itself.
Is there anyone who doesn't want to feel the joy of discovery, the absolute surprise of something new coming out of your mouth or your fingers or your mind? I've found that there's nothing like the feelings of wonder, awe and gratitude to bring a deep awareness of life as an ever expansive opportunity to be who we truly are.