Meaning of creativity for life

“The phrase ‘creativity for life’ means three quite different things.

First it means creativity can permeate one’s life – a person can be creative in the way she/he handles her/his job, solves problems around the house, plans menus for dinner parties, or takes in a sunset. She/he manifests the qualities of a creative person like imagination, resourcefulness, self-direction, and so on, and shines them like a beacon on whatever she/he thinks about or tackles. This is the ‘everyday creative’ or can be called ‘artful living’.

Secondly, it means that people who  love things like art, music, literature, science, and more broadly, gorgeous, thought-provoking, evocative things, want them in their lives. This is the ‘art-filled life’ or ‘art-filled living’. In this sense creativity for life means filling all your days with art and the joy that art brings.

Thirdly, a person can spend a lifetime creating in a particular domain, a domain to which she decides to devote herself. This is an ‘art-committed life’ or ‘identifying as an artist’.”

“Creativity for life mean all three things: that you want to be generally creative, because that is the was you manifest your potential, make meaning, and feel alive; that you want art in your life, you want to experience the joy of [it]; and that you wan tot be creative in a particular area, because you feel love there, because you want to express yourself there, and perhaps because you consider it your most important meaning-making avenue.”

“As soon as you decide to be creative in a particular domain and that you mean to live as a novelist (or whatever), you introduce a set of profound challenges that you would not have confronted if you had ‘settled’ for artful living and an art-filled life.”

“When you decide to devote yourself to creativity in a specific area, you raise the stakes tremendously, you organize your life around that dream, and you find that your emotions rise and fall with your successes and failures.”

“When you commit to a life in the arts or to any field that demands your full creative involvement and your largest meaning investment then you have made a deal with yourself that you will spend years, decades, even a whole lifetime in the pursuit of real results, excellence, and success, however you might define or measure these. You have said to yourself – ‘I am authentically involved in this. This matters to me‘. You have made a move at the level of meaning an identity; next come the repercussions. ”

Extracts from Creativity for Life by Eric Maisel, PhD

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