The suspense is terrible… I hope it’ll last.
It would be so nice to be the person who “makes it look easy?” The one who never sweats because problems are the “small stuff”?
We want to survive, therefore we work to secure income to live. We care for our children, we tend to our families and we devote time to our work. There is very little extra time in the day to devote to creativity or finding a new path … we succumb to life’s pressures.
Pressure is the stress created in our minds and bodies when we are confronted with a situation that requires action or response and there is none. The absence of a response or solution when faced with adversity can cause a total mental meltdown: panic caused by the lack of prior solutions to solve the immediate dilemma or fear that we do not have the skills to address the situation with the requisite speed. It is at that moment where we need the ability to find a solution through creativity.
We would have no pressure if every day was the same as yesterday and foretold the events of tomorrow. We would simply go through life like a goldfish — swimming from day to day repeating each behavior over again and again assuring our survival until the script runs out. But we have pressure and we must always be ready to solve the mystery that the next minute holds. We must learn to adapt and create solutions to problems as they arise. Creativity is not a natural process. Creativity takes time.
It is a function of patience and a summoning of all that we know to find a new way of doing something old, or a way of doing something different in our lives. For most of us it is a forced process. We need something to motivate us to be new and different. We need something to knock down the walls of consistency and normality.
We are creative when it comes to things like talking our children through school troubles. We use our ability to find solutions when we are confronted with tasks that threaten our existence, but when it comes to improving our lives or creating a better tomorrow, we seem to draw a blank. We simply move into a place of comfort. We shut down and trap ourselves in the proverbial box. It is much easier than allowing ourselves to feel the pressure that comes with the new.
In the movie, Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Gene Wilder, as Willie Wonka says, “A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.”
I love the above quote. Nonsense is the seed from which thinking blossoms. It is not only a great tool to call what we know in to question – if we allow it to do so – but it is also the start of a new vision. Flip phones and hand held computers were once the nonsense science fiction of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek and flight was the nonsense of the Wright Brothers and their dreams.
Oddly enough, as I write, I am sitting only a few miles north of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and the field upon which the Wright Brothers worked to write their names in the annals of history. Amid the challenges of other inventors working towards similar goals and the ridicule of the media calling them bluffers. Not to mention the unwillingness of the military to appreciate their value by refusing to sign contracts created pressure for Wilbur and Orville, but never a deterrent. They kept their sights on the sky; moving onward and upward.
See how pressure makes creativity flow? … Pressure will make your creativity flow. I believe panic breeds solutions. The need to succeed will jump start the creative process. For a friend of mine who is a professional writer, humorist and columnist, it is a deadline. For me, it could be anything at any moment…usually self imposed or arbitrary deadlines. For this blog, it was the mere challenge of the aforementioned writer when she wrote to me saying, “I believe your next blog should be about pressure. Grace under it or thriving in the midst.” Nothing works as well as a challenge. Thank you, Plain Jane for the kick in the head. I like kicks in the head.)
If we could always be spontaneously creative, solutions to problems would roll out like a well-orchestrated military maneuver attacking difficulties; finding solutions and advancing our goals. It would not only appear easy to those around us, but it would feel good within. Instead, we must push forward. Continually focusing on developing our abilities.
Maybe if we all take the time to look forward and want to be creative. It is an art for some, but for most of us it is an acquired skill. It needs to be nurtured, fed and allowed to continuously evolve.