"The state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous."
- 1st definition, Merriam Webster Online Dictionary
This philosophy prioritizes being happy and healthy over being prosperous when referring to Well-being. It should be abundantly clear to us now that without our health, we have nothing. We are also being forced to remember what truly makes us happy; gratitude. Our Creative Power is very much affected by our well-being.
The human body is a fantastic technology. When we aren't well, our body can not afford to fully utilize its energy to creative pursuits. It must conserve energy to repair and restore its necessary balance for its survival. Without proper sleep, hydration, nutrition, and exercise, we are on a path towards dysfunction, disease, and ultimately death.
Any person whose genetics have predisposed them to a disease that can't be managed simply through sleep, hydration, nutrition, and exercise can tell you how important good health is. They can also tell you how vital gratitude is to feeling good when the body is compromised.
We are all largely defined by our genetics, and while we have many unifying features, we also have differences that result in different needs for each person. These differences are why each person must listen to their body and be in touch with their sense of well-being. Even in the case of mental health, the body will send us signals when things are out of balance. Being tense or feeling sluggish may be a sign that our minds aren't in a healthy place.
When we are healthy (as much as is possible for each one of us), we are supported in our creative efforts. We think more clearly, we better focus on others and we have access to all the amazing capabilities that our bodies have to express our vision.
Embracing your Creative Power means having a vigilant focus on your well-being, and a deep understanding of its connection to everything you seek to create.
For these reasons, our value that stems from the pillar of Well-being is:
Well-being is a creative's most important asset.
- "A new idea, method, or device."
- "The introduction of something new."
- 1st and 2nd definition, Merriam Webster Online Dictionary
Innovation puts a finer point on creativity as not merely bringing something into existence, but bringing something new into existence. Innovation is a pillar of the Creative Power philosophy because it provides an approach to the ever-present problems that arise throughout our lives. We need a pillar that reminds us to view problems as opportunities, and Innovation does just that.
Innovators see the world differently. We know there is always a way to overcome adversity, even if the macro-level problem isn't solved in our lifetime. Some problems can be solved in 5 seconds. Some will take 500 years. Regardless of the severity, when a problem with no prior solution exists, Innovation is required.
Innovators are continually practicing creativity. In big and small ways, they look for new approaches to make something better. They create value, maximize time, and save lives. And innovators inspire others to access their Creative Power and do something great with it.
Innovation is not limited to technology, science, and business. Innovation is the universal ability to create something new, period. We need to liberate Innovation from the narrative that says some people can do it and others can't. We all can innovate and have done so in small and large ways throughout our lives. We just haven't always been credited as innovators appropriately.
Innovation is a mindset. It is a mindset that says, "you have within you the intelligence to create solutions to problems, both simple and complex." It is a mindset that says, "you can do things in a new and better way than they were done before." Innovation anchors you in your Creative Power.
For these reasons, our value that stems from the pillar of Innovation is:
Innovation is a universal human ability.
(Drive is such a complex and multidimensional word, we must only select one of its more than eight meanings in the noun form of the word)
- An urgent, basic, or instinctual need
- An impelling culturally acquired concern, interest, or longing
- Dynamic quality
- 7th definition, Merriam Webster Online Dictionary
Drive; A simple word, five letters, and one-syllable with tremendous meaning and impact. We use the word 'Drive' for the third pillar with creative license because it suits our needs poetically, symbolically, and technically. While we selected the noun form of Drive for its definition, we ultimately use the word Drive because it implies action. Drive is an action that exists in the unseen before it is seen, even to the subject.
Two moments matter most in the creative process: The start and the finish. Both require Drive, but they each run on a different kind of energy.
The start of a creative process is a spark, similar to the ignition process in an automobile. No matter the size of the action, this spark is a reaction of two colliding phenomena: Purpose and Resolve.
Combining the reason for doing something (purpose) and the commitment to do that thing (resolve) result in that thing getting done. In the context of Creative Power, we see the ingredients of purpose and resolve as the keys to getting Drive started. They are the unseen parts of Drive that result in the seen action that the world benefits from. One without the other creates no catalyst. They are both required.
Resolve is a matter of discipline and confidence. It is a practice. You only get more resolve by practicing resolve. Too often we think we have to be in the right mood to act when exactly the opposite is true. We improve our mood when we demonstrate the resolve to fulfill our purpose.
One’s purpose for being is rarely revealed quickly. Typically, one's purpose must be sought after, contemplated, wrestled with, and drafted over and over again until it resonates. This is why dedicating time to developing one's purpose for being (with the acceptance that it may evolve) is so important. It refines an essential ingredient of your Drive, and without it, your Creative Power will be intermittent, dull, and unfocused. (I find the Ikigai model to be useful in determining one's purpose.)
Finishing a creative process uses a different kind of energy from starting. Ideally, you are already in motion, so you have momentum. You still use your purpose and your resolve, but now rather than creating a spark, you use them to steer and re-engage over and over again until you complete your initiative. Energetically, Creative Power works like a flywheel. Once you generate momentum, it propels you, and your job shifts from ignition to directing the energy with your purpose as a filter and maintaining the momentum through your practice.
Without Drive, there is no action, and Creative Power exists only as potential. This philosophy is designed to be practiced, and understanding how to leverage Drive is key to experiencing Creative Power rather than just intellectually contemplating it.
For these reasons, our value that stems from the pillar of Drive is:
Drive never ends when one's work creates value and is a source of happiness.
"The pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled" - Howard Stevenson, Professor, Harvard Business School.
I veered from the dictionary for the definition of the word Entrepreneurship because I believe the term has evolved to have a meaning that matches Creative Power’s universal ethos. I do believe entrepreneurship is most purely expressed in the arena of business because that is where the tools are best developed to best pursue opportunity beyond resources controlled. But as a pillar for this philosophy, I will not limit its context to business.
One could say the core characteristic of Entrepreneurship is cleverness. Again, Creative Power represents the ability every conscious human has to manipulate matter and energy to change the world. Entrepreneurship reminds us that the rules of the world are constantly being edited by those who understand they are not immutable. The most substantial shifts in wealth that have occurred by non-violent means over the last century have happened because people leveraged Entrepreneurship in the marketplace.
You have unlimited opportunities in front of you. If you choose to only capture the opportunities that you are presently resourced for, then those self-imposed limits will rob you of your Creative Power. This pillar reminds you that you are not bound by what you currently have. You can access more resources; you just have to be clever in how you do so.
Entrepreneurship, like Drive, is a noun that represents an action. You can be completely broke and be an entrepreneur. You can lack credentials and training and be an entrepreneur. You can have a minimal network and be an entrepreneur. What matters is your commitment to go after that which you want. Entrepreneurship is a way of life, and no one can stop you from embracing it.
When applied to business, Entrepreneurship provides structure for how to sustain your creative dreams. Once you move beyond the elementary mode of pursuit, you begin the elegant process of scaffolding your vision in an operation that can support your creative work because it provides for your most basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. Rather than your creativity taking your time but not contributing to your survival, Entrepreneurship offers the framework to design a business around your creative agenda to grow its impact as well as your Well-being.
Creating a business also gives a creative person an experiential education in how the economy works. The economy is a complex, interdependent system of nodes exchanging value. Your ability to navigate a path to capture an opportunity depends on your knowledge of the environment. Entrepreneurship is the path of knowing and understanding your environment for more efficient creative execution. Resisting entrepreneurship as a 'non-creative activity' has the paradoxical effect of limiting the expression of one's Creative Power. Conversely, embracing entrepreneurship multiplies it.
For these reasons, our value that stems from the pillar of Entrepreneurship is:
Entrepreneurship empowers the creative to be fully authentic and resilient.
- Lack of restriction; accessibility
a. Acceptance of or receptiveness to change or new ideas
-1st definition, Oxford Online Dictionary
The final pillar is Openness. One must be accepting of change and new ideas at their core to maximize their Creative Power. A rigid posture does not encourage flow and responsiveness, qualities that creative's rely on. Openness amplifies all of the previous pillars, whereas being closed-minded minimizes them all.
Openness is the root of a positive outlook, the view that things can improve from their current state. Our thinking dramatically influences the energy we use to create. Humans collectively are being reminded in the most visceral way that when things look bleak, keeping a positive, optimistic mindset can be vitally important to achieving the best possible outcome.
There is a fine line between optimism and naïveté. Openness expresses a willingness to listen, but not a commitment to accept that which only makes us feel good but defies logic. Openness and sobriety should go hand in hand. We should disassociate our willingness to listen from our acceptance of falsehood. These are not the same thing.
We can be skeptical and open at the same time. Just don't be closed. When we're closed, the game is over. There is no hope. There is no chance. There is no reason to keep going.
Creative Power thrives on hope. Openness is a posture that allows us to receive as much hope as we can reasonably handle, with the freedom to keep what works and discard the rest. Openness permits us to try new things, consider new ways of thinking, and grants the all-important ability to start again from scratch.
Openness allows us to see more, do more, and feel more.
For these reasons, our value that stems from the pillar of Openness is:
We remain open to all the best possibilities.
These five pillars and the values that are born from them comprise my living philosophy of Creative Power. As the Openness pillar instructs, I remain open to the evolution of this philosophy. I crafted this manifesto as an expression of my commitment to my purpose. I offer it to you as a gift to inspire you to craft your own in good time.
A living philosophy is an empowering thing for each person to create. You may take from mine what resonates and leave the rest. You may adopt this one for a while and evolve it in your way over time. It is now ours.