Why Creativity is Essential for a Truly Fulfilling Life
It is easiest to embrace life and creativity when we are children. The closest thing to the responsibilities we used to have was two pages of math homework and some simple life. Once that was completed, we were rewarded with any form of expression we wanted; drawing, running, watching shows, and ultimately just playing. Now, as we have grown older and have more responsibilities, we have developed into a society that prioritizes work overload, praises fatigue, and shuns investment into “unproductive activities.”
It may not seem foreign to many to wake up first thing in the morning and tell yourself or the first person you see, “I didn’t get enough sleep.” As the day progresses, other stray and unfulfilled thoughts may enter your mind such as “I don’t have enough time for x” or “I am not enough because I am not pretty, smart, fit, funny, artistic, etc.” A foundation for inadequacy governs our natural mentality and how we perceive our actions, selves, and even others. Before anything happens or the day begins, we immediately consider ourselves not enough, leaving us without a feeling of fulfillment in purpose or being. Most people have developed the tendency to focus on what they haven’t done without acknowledging everything they have accomplished. Without the latter, it becomes very difficult for oneself to recognize progress, feel satisfied, and have a healthy unit for measuring accomplishments.
To combat this it is important to be aware of the situation first. Without acknowledging the environment we are in, we are bound to fall victim to it. The only thing we can do beyond that is to embrace the inner creativity within ourselves. Embracing the “inner child” in you will allow for the more authentic self to come out and provide a healthier measure for happiness and a productive day. Productivity is not solely a quantitative measure, but rather includes a qualitative means of happiness, practice of self love, and a continuous embrace of authenticity with vulnerability. Creativity doesn’t simply disappear because it hasn’t been practiced, but it can be a bit difficult when it is neglected or suppressed by societal expectations. This doesn’t mean going out and buying the 72 pack of Crayola crayons that you would have loved to have as a child, but rather embracing your current interests like going to a concert, going to a wine and painting class, or if you need to express yourself in a more aggressive athletic way, go paintballing.
Although the pinhead may judge you and see you wasting your time by being unproductive, remember that the “wasted time” that individual is talking about is an investment in your health, well-being, and overall happiness. In a world that praises and may reward the exhausting unhealthy behavior of overworking yourself, it can seem impossible to embrace creativity in your life. The reality is that the expression of creativity is something that should be viewed as essential for a healthy and productive individual just as eating, sleeping, and working is and you should make time for it in your daily schedule as you do for all your activities.
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Brown Brené, The Gifts of Imperfection, Hazelden Information and Educational Services, 2020