With just 11 words my friend Mark crushed a label I accepted for 20 years.
“I used to think I wasn’t creative because I couldn’t draw.” He said.
He was speaking to a room of 150, but it felt like intimate therapy.
Mark continued to explain how his typecast as the athletic kid had automatically ruled out also being the creative kid. Like a real-life Troy Bolton, if Troy never tried out for the show.
His words socked me in the proverbial gut.
For some reason—probably the same year I flunked middle school Art—I believed the lie that I wasn’t creative. From then on, there were two types of people in the world. People who knew about watercolors and pottery and music, and the rest of us.
Facebook fundamentalists and VSCO try-hards.
I belonged to the former.
And since that time I’ve said things like,
“Creativity? I can’t even draw a good stick figure.”
“What if we give this to someone more creative?”
“Man I wish I could make something like that.”
Each sentence hammered another nail into a label that never belonged in the first place.
Why do we believe creativity is reserved for the ripped-jean, full-sleeve, kombucha-drinking crowd? We act like God gave the photographers and musicians and artists every ounce of creative juice he had to give.
The rest of us? We’re relegated to the sidelines.
In reality, there’s room at the table for everybody. Businessmen and insurance salesmen and janitors and lawyers and accountants and doctors and mechanics and—God forbid—religious leaders all belong here.
(I’d say politicians but sometimes they’re too creative. 🤔)
And there’s certainly room for you.
Your role on this Blue Dot is to cultivate your small corner of the world into something better. When you label yourself non-creative, you miss out on the joy of contributing something unique to society. You lose your shot at challenging the mundane in pursuit of what is true and unique and yours.
Creativity is risky.
Creativity is awkward.
Creativity is often misunderstood.
And creativity is exactly the kind of work you are here to do.
Get to it.