Survival versus Creativity

Can a man being chased by a tiger think about music? This man is running for his life. If he thinks about music, he’s dead meat!

A brain that is thinking about survival cannot think creatively. I don’t have any scientific data to substantiate my claim right now, but when I am chased by a tiger or if a tsunami strikes, or even if it starts raining suddenly, I would protect my guitar, camera or paint brush – any creativity tool – and ‘run for cover’.

We have nicer, faster cars. We have homes bigger than we need. We have mobile phones that cost more than computers, which we discard in two to three years. But still, we struggle for survival. A measure of our financial achievement is how good a health ‘cover’ we have. Every moment we are reminded about survival. If you are employed, you’d better worry about survival, or else you’d lose your job to someone else and you’d lose your health cover to your competitor at work. If you are in business, you’d lose your business to your competitor if you didn’t play your cards right. In short, there are multiple stimuli that force us into the fight for survival. If you are in that struggle for survival, would you be able to play music, paint pictures or indulge in any creative activity?

Creative life cannot co-exist with survival. Those crazy creative people forget about hunger and survival to tap the genius within them. At best, the normal people like us can think creatively when our bodies are well fed. In short, the Survival faculty of our life needs to be shut off for us to be creative.

What is the importance of creative stuff? It is all around us. It makes us feel better. It relaxes our nerves. There is music around us, and movies too. That is all creative stuff. Look around, after the billionaires of the world (who own big corporations), it is the creative people who make most money. So being creative must have something to do with money and financial success. Let us consider it to be true. It is a nice thing to be creative. I am not sure if creativity can make us all rich, but creative things surely are nice to do. Playing a musical instrument, painting, colouring, gardening, all these are creative activities and they do relax our mind.

Creativity in one activity makes us creative in multiple activities. Creativity isn’t just about doing things, it is a way of life. Creativity gives us focus. When you draw, paint, play a musical instrument, you are paying attention to detail. Creativity gives us focus.

How does one become creative? Is it really possible for anyone to be creative? I would say yes. But the level and flavour of creativity of every person may differ. Firstly, when things are piled up, i.e. you have a huge backlog, you cannot be creative. So you must finish all the stuff you need to finish. You need to be disciplined. To finish what you need to finish, you must first know what is the most important stuff. You need to know what is important, and what is not important. You need to learn to prioritise. Pay your bills first. That is a part of survival. Buy your weekly groceries in advance. That is a part of survival. Get survival out of the way. Look after your family. That is the most important part of life. With that unattended, you cannot be creative. Learn to love people. An artist or a singer would not succeed if the people didn’t appreciate their art. Whenever you are doing something, think about who you are doing it for, even if it means just yourself. I have been playing guitar for over thirty years. Sometimes I play guitar just to entertain myself. Sometimes, as a side effect even others around me get entertained. You don’t need a reason to be creative. You can be creative for no reason at all. You involve yourself in a creative activity just because it is calling.

To summarise, finish your stuff first. Do what calls you. And mainly, love people. Everything else will automatically get sorted.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.