Creativity Sits In Discomfort


Moments of change, spontaneity, and discomfort is where I discover creativity. A feeling of letting go, of freedom, and a complete surrender to the mysteries of the future. Disrupting routine in order to stay agile in a world that's unpredictable and cluttered with ups and downs. Life can't be perfect. It never is and that's what’s beautiful about it. My goal is to live an inspired life, where creativity takes center stage to dictate my everyday decisions. In the face of such ambition, I reflect on the what’s necessary in order to create more opportunities for creativity.

Routine is something that’s ingrained in my everyday. From the moment I wake up, to how I get to work, and to my rituals before bed. There’s a multitude of routines that make up my day. The problem I see happening in my life is when I get too comfortable in a routine, it becomes harder to shift gears. It’s hard to shift behaviors I am so accustomed to because as creatures of habit it’s hard to reverse or do something different from what I am so used to doing. For example, I am incredibly routined in how I get ready for bed. Whether I am at home or traveling I do things in almost the exact order each night. For example, I always wash my hands, then brush my teeth, and then wash my face. When I don’t do it in this order (although rarely) I become aware of a feeling of slight discomfort. The feeling I am greeted with is similar to that feeling of accidentally leaving something behind because when a routine is disrupted, change is forced.

Moments of change is where discomfort is found. In discomfort is where I am forced to react versus performing tasks out of habit. The novelty of each situation activates my mind to think critically towards a solution. If a game of solitaire deals the card in the exact same way each time, then each move isn’t strategically calculated after a few times playing, rather each move becomes intuitive. But, solitaire is a game which always presents a new problem. Each new deal presents a new challenge to solve. A game like solitaire requires the player to think critically in order to win. This type of cognitive thinking required is similar to when change replaces routine. It’s where a reaction is enticed and creativity is catalyzed.

Creativity is usually what’s born out of a desire to do something different or a means to solve a problem. The aspects surrounding a creative moment may be similar or creativity may be born out of the same circumstance, but to truly award something as creative, novelty is a factor. For example, to label an imitation of a painting as creative is false. Although imitating great works by the world’s greatest painters requires a sophisticated skill set which is difficult to possess; yet the art which results is not born out of creative imagination, rather, the art which results is only of imitation. By definition, creativity is “the ability to create” and being creative is “marked by the ability or power to create,” it’s about “having the quality of something created rather than imitated” (Merriam Webster dictionary online). If I am surrounded by the same routine, although creativity is not impossible, creativity can become stagnant due to the lack of change. The lack of disruption limits the capacity for diverse stimulation. The lack of novelty limits opportunities of discomfort and therefore change, nor creativity becomes unnecessary; which is why creativity I believe really only sits in discomfort because when we are uncomfortable is when we are forced to make a change.