Do you have a scientist, artist or an otherwise creative person in your life whose motivations mystify you? Do they seem unfocused, or unrealistic, or unprofessional?
A large percentage of the working people in the world have jobs involving art—but the art itself is not what they do, —whereas with an artist what they do is what they are.
Truly original creations come from someone having a calling, not a job. Whether it is a writer looking for just the right word, or a painter looking for just the right tone, or even a lawyer looking to create a new interpretation of a law, they are all much like the paleontologist uncovering a new skeleton. They are looking to discover or introduce something fascinating, so stopping before they’re done seems insane. But since other people don’t have the vision to see the objective that motivates them, that leaves the creative person often appearing to others to be unfocused, unrealistic, or unprofessional, when in fact they are open, focused, dedicated and ultimately very healthy.
It would do us all good to recognize the valuable mental health that comes through creativity. We are naturally creative creatures. Whether it is through our daily work, our charity work, or even via dedicated hobbies, everyone should pursue opportunities to exercise their creativity because that state of mind is the closest thing to pure childhood any adult feels. Anyone is capable of creating, but as a life’s work it’s ultimately very challenging and so it only attracts a particularly resilient type.
Creative people already carry a heavier than average load so try not to use judgments to snuff out the light in an artist’s soul simply because you cannot see the source of that light yourself. That is like talking them out of mental health. Instead, try understanding the head-space they are in while creating and you might just expand in a healthy way yourself.
Enjoy your day.
Scott McPherson is a writer, mindfulness instructor, coach and communications facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.