Creativity as survival

There are quite a few of us on the net urging the business world towards creativity.  I liked Sonia Simone’s message yesterday, a straightforward directive to get in touch with your creative side or perish like an old, abused machine. 

I think it’s important to distinguish between creativity and innovation.  The latter is a sometimes result of the former.  But many creative efforts don’t lead to innovations or anything else tangible or obviously helpful.  Still, every time we open wide to possibility, every time we get out of our own way and open to inspiration, we strengthen our survival skills. 

If you think words like perishing and survival are too strong for this context, make no mistake, the counsel of so many bloggers, mentors, experts, and thinkers these days to attend to your creative development is deadly serious.  Unlike a sport or knitting, you don’t take up creativity as an amusing distraction; you don’t practice it only on Saturdays.  Rather, you adopt the creative life like you adopt a nutritious diet, and it sooner or later permeates every waking moment.  You become a person who is open to ideas, and change, and possibilities.  You become a profound listener, a keen observer, a compassionate colleague.  You evolve in every fiber of your being.  You become able to face the future with calm assurance.

And yes, the implication is that if you do not attend to this evolution you will be lost in the rush.  If you accept your sadness or oppression or boredom as simple facts of life, and do not attempt to ‘be the change you want to see in the world,’ your business will fail, and your efforts will go unrewarded.  You’ll be left wondering why you’re not successful when you did everything by the book.

Even though, or perhaps because global population has grown astronomically, we need every soul to seek fulfillment, we need every mind to open wide to ideas, we need all people to learn to respect and appreciate one another.  Unless this happens, our old ways will carry us quickly to extinction.  We’re being challenged to become better than we’ve ever been – more knowledgeable, clever, and compassionate.  And the way this kind of development is most readily accessible is through creativity.

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