Certain things must be in place for true creativity to occur. Certain laws have to be obeyed and principles followed if we’re ever going to tap into that creative genius and bring about something of value to the world around us. Apart from the obvious that creativity begins in the mind, everything we see today was created twice, first in the mind of someone and then physically. Certain principles of creativity elude us, and it’d be helpful to know and keep them in mind, so that we remain informed and encouraged throughout the creative process.
First, we must realise that anything truly creative cannot be achieved alone. Creativity desperately depends on interaction with other people. No one is an island and no one should be.
Second, the person we choose to interact or partner with, in order to create something of true value, typically has to be different from us. Sometimes, you have the computer nerd partnering up with a marketing genius to create the most valuable company in the world. Diversity of thought, skill and acumen is a big advantage when coming together to make something great.
Third, it has to be pleasurable. The process of creating is very demanding. A lot of work goes into producing value. It’s taxing. It’s demanding. But at the same time, it must be pleasurable. Enjoying what you do is what keeps you going when the going gets tough — as it surely would.
Fourth, although the process is pleasurable to you, the focus has to be on the other person’s pleasure. The essence of creativity is trying to please someone else. So you must be obsessed with meeting the needs of others, especially those who would use your product or benefit from your creativity.
Last, but not in any way the least, we must never forget that it typically involves a struggle before your concept becomes a reality. Before your product is birthed, or pushed to market, a lot of striving takes place. The kind that could make you want to give up right at the edge of breakthrough. The kind that requires an ample supply of willpower to endure. But after that immense struggle typically comes a big break and celebration.
It’s amazing how true creativity always includes these elements. It could be because they pattern themselves after the process that brings about the highest form of human creativity.
A little over a month ago, my wife and I welcomed a handsome baby boy to the world. We’ve been so excited ever since at this unbelievable materialisation of our conception, and still cannot believe that we’re now parents.
I always knew that I wanted to be a father and that I needed someone very different from me, a woman, to make this dream come true. So I partnered up with my beautiful wife and we began to enjoy the many blessings that marriage brings, among which is the pleasurable pain of making and raising children. We both quickly saw the need to take the focus off ourselves and meet the other person’s needs instead. Focusing on the other person’s pleasure was more important than pleasing ourselves. A practice that is further proving beneficial now that we have to rush to meet this little one’s every need the moment he opens up his mouth to cry.
We remember his first cry too. We remember the struggle it took to birth him into the world. The little conception of ten months ago became a reality in our home on the last day of July. A home-birth offers you a much more unhindered glimpse into a woman’s labour pains and her struggles before she’s able to push a child into the world. No matter where in the house you go, you cannot escape the moaning and groaning sounds. And to think that a celebration is due right after that is just unfathomable.
But celebration did come, as heavy as three kilos! And looking at him cast no doubt in our minds that making a baby is the highest form of creativity a human being can ever achieve. It’s a priceless privilege granted us by God almighty to be co-creators with Him as we bring into the world a creation who, in turn, is capable of creating so many other things, including another human. Talk about adding immense value to the world through just one birth!
We know it doesn’t stop here. Nurture is much more important than the natural process of childbirth. Whatever is capable of creating so much good in the world is equally capable of creating so much bad. So, it’s up to us, his parents, to steer him away from the bad and always toward the good. And God helping us, we will teach him to appreciate the creative process that has led to his life here on earth, and to always stay within the bounds of its principles while endeavoring to be of true value to the world around him.