Creativity

 

Creativity is something that has been an interest of mine for a long time.
It was one of the things that I wanted to explore during my trip, even though I never really had a plan of what to do or not.

These days, creativity is a very popular subject. Brothers Teo and Fredrik Hären has made tons of money writing and speaking about it and one of their books was recently listed as one of the 100 most important books in business. That shows how something like creativity, traditionally not a very popular subject in most businesses, except among a few individuals, has suddenly become very popular.

We easily associate creaitivty with certain proffessions. Designers, science, product development, musicians, artists and so on. It has not been as common to talk about service, industry or office work as being creative.
Earlier in history, creativity has been a luxury and interest of the few, but for most people, it has rather been avoided. Peasants in feodal europe or the factory worker were not supposed to think too much, that only caused problems. Today, we still suffer from that kind of thinking, while at the same time, people in all types of businesses are expected to be more responsible, initiative-taking individuals that also solve problems in a creative way.

For me, creativity is not something that only matters for the few. For me it is about living. Every human being is creative, it is just as natural to us as breathing. No one is more or less creative, but are born with a full capacity.
What then happens is that we are molded and conditioned through years of upbringning, school and life in a society where creativity is not only discouraged, but also punished.
The ones who we normally refer to as being creative, is people who for some reason has remained unblocked or who for some reason has begun to unlearn that which holds us back.

The last few years, I have come to realize that creativity is both important and fun, and that there is a point in challenging our ideas and ways of thinking. To try new things and explore all aspects of life. Wether my life actually gets better, I don’t know, that’s not the point, the point is that I find it enjoyable.

Change

What is it really, that creates change?

In my last post, I wrote about changing habits. But if it was that easy, wouldn’t we all have changed our bad habits a long time ago?
I think what I wrote to be good advice. It sounds reasonable and attracts us. But the question is if that is the case because it is the whole truth or because it means we can procrastrinate a little bit more? We can set up a plan. Step by step. Steps are easy to like.

But, when do we actually decide? When is the point of decision? When have we had enough?

Our reactions is a mix of our biology, prior experiences in relationship to the current situation. But we had no control on where we were born or in what environment. Who had I been if I was born in China? Would I have had the same view on life? The same values or opinions?
We may say we chose a certain education, a direction in life or that we chose to go to a certain country. But why did we chose that? Did we choose it because of prior experiences? People we met, or books we’ve read? And why did we meet just those people? Why did we read those books? Two people can be in the same spot at the same time, meet the same person or read the same book, yet still have a completely different experience. Why is that?
Every situation is unique. Despite them being apparently the same.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that who I think I am, is more a coincidence than something within my control. All my prior decisions or actions is based on prior decisions and actions, which are based on prior experiences, based on prior decisions and actions.
At the end of that line, who am I? Is there something here making decisions at all? Is there free will? Or are we just like a river. A blob of water following the law of least resistance on it’s way to merge with the ocean?

According to Benjamin Libet, he proves through his research on human conciousness and free will that our brain has already made decisions prior to us becoming aware of it. That processes in our brain has already chosen a direction up to seven seconds before we think we make the decision.
We can choose (or can we?) to not believe in this, quesiton the validity of his methods. But in any case, it brings up questions about something that almost everyone of us takes for granted.

So, if we decide to change our habits. From where does that decision come? How was it made, did we have any control over it? Or is it just something that happened?
And if it just happened, is it then important to write about it? Talk about it? Does it matter wether I write this or not? Or, maybe, by writing this, someone reads it and in that moment, something is triggered in that person. A change is created beyond the control of a someone writing it or reading it.

If this is so, it’s easy to think that nothing no longer matters. There is no point in living or doing anything. But asking yourself that question brings you, immediately back to motivation. Are we motivated because we want to do something, or because life is self-motivating? Maybe I’m writing this, not because I want to or having decided to do so, but just because I do. The law of causality is no longer working. First there is an event happening, then, after there is an explanation saying that we wanted to or that we made a decision. Our experience of control and autonomy is a fabrication, an illusion.

The logical next step is that we really have no control at all. It is not possible to act in any other way than we do. Nothing can be undone and we can be no other than we are. It may sound depressing, but it also bring a huge sense of freedom. Suddenly, all concepts of guilt or shame disappear, thoughts that are based on the idea that we could have acted in any other way than we did. Suddenly our worry disappear that we might not act in the future the way we want to or hope for. Suddenly our pride of past actions and achievements becomes meaningless. The constant focus on what has been or what will be.
Our experience is no longer about things outside of our control and instead on the here and now, being in every situation as it is.

Maybe it is not at all about changing habits in small steps. Figuring out how to create change or make decisions. Maybe it is rather so that we stop worrying about it, live each second fully and suddenly change happens by itself.