Thursday, October 08, 2015

Creativity over comparison

Guidepost #6 in Brene Brown's book 'The Gifts of Imperfection' is on "Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison." This is another short yet insightful chapter.

On. p. 94 she says...
"Comparison is all about conformity and competition. At first it seems like conforming and competing are mutually exclusive, but they're not. When we compare, we want to see who or what is best out of a specific collection of 'alike things.' We may compare things like how we parent or with parents who have totally different values or traditions than us, but the comparisons that get us really riled up are the ones we make with the folks living next door or on our child's soccer team, or at our school. We don't compare our houses to the mansions across town; we compare our yard to the yards on our block. When we compare, we want to be the best or have the best of our group.

The comparison mandate becomes this crushing paradox of 'fit in and stand out!' It's not cultivate self-acceptance, belonging, and authenticity; it's be just like everyone else, but better."

The quotes Laura Williams, who notes, "Comparison is the thief of happiness." Isn't that the truth!

On p. 96 she shares what she's learned about creativity from the world of Wholehearted living and loving:
  1. "I'm not very creative" doesn't work. There's no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. There are only people who use their creativity and people who don't. Unused creativity doesn't just disappear. It lives within us until it's expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear.
  2. The only unique contribution that we will ever make in this world will be born of our creativity.
  3. If we want to make meaning, we make art. Cook, write, draw, doodle, paint, scrapbook, take pictures, collage, knit, rebuild an engine, sculpt, dance, decorate, act, sing -- it doesn't matter. As long as we're creating, we're cultivating meaning.
Writer William Plomer described creativity as "the power to connect the seemingly unconnected."

At the end of each guidepost she has a section called "DIG Deep." It has 3 parts: Get Deliberate, Get Inspired, and Get Going. She shares how that works for her, then asks "How do you DIG Deep?"

Under the "Get Going" heading for this guidepost she suggests taking a class. She says, "Risk feeling vulnerable and new and imperfect and take a class... Try something that scares you or something you've dreamt about trying. You never know where you'll find your creative inspiration."

That sounds like a good suggestion. I never would have thought about the link between comparison and creativity until reading this. Innaresting stuff.