After years, decades, centuries of people proposing answers to the question of how should we live our lives, it can become downright confusing as to who to listen to and what to do. Okay, so I have a point of view and favor being listened to as well. Then again, there is a difference between my point of view and most of the others, and it is not simply content, philosophy, or battling belief systems that are at odds with each other.
If anything, I begin by suggesting people rid themselves of philosophy or belief. Those abstract ideals don’t help much. After years of people trying their best to be true to this or that philosophy or belief, they still can’t seem to get it together. They can never live up to the ideal that demands strict adherence.
Most people who are ready to tell others how they should live their lives have a notion of just what that person should do in life. Most of these prescriptions come with approved values and morals. Do this, think that, act this way, believe these things, and on it goes. But, the creative process is different from any of these approaches because it is not a belief system, not philosophy, not psychology, not metaphysics, not the “right way to live,” not “how you should be,” or “how you should define yourself.”
Instead, it begins with a very simple yet profound question that only you can answer, which is, “what matters to me enough to create it?” What do you want to create? You can ask this question concerning just about anything? What do you want to create for dinner tonight? What living situations do you want to create? What career do you want to create for yourself? What kind of life do you want to create?
In the creative process, there are no right or wrong answers. Some people think, well, people can’t just create what they want. They’ll be chaos in the streets, and nothing will ever get done. That idea, that people are not to be trusted, comes from a reaction to all the ways we have been taught we are supposed to be, which, of course, no one has ever quite got right. But, as it turns out, when people are given the chance to truthfully answer that question, we find something profoundly interesting. People would rather be productive that lie around the beach for the rest of their lives. Yes, a few weeks of lying around the beach is a very attractive proposition. But, then, there is a human hunger to do something else, be productive, build something, get involved with other people, make a life, make a society, make a civilization.
What is the focus of your life? For some, it is all the problems they have, the built –in limitation, the things that they think stop them. So all they are left with is the question: how to react against all that?
This is not what we might think of as a life well-lived. Instead, it feels like a constant struggle, fighting with the world just to survive. For others, life feels like a prison, and they are doing their time. This is the notion that life is about suffering, and the key is to reach perfection so you do not need to suffer your karma, and can be released from prison. For others, it is the ideals they think they must achieve, ideals that are impossible to ever reach on the planet Earth.
But, to a creator, none of these things matter, because there are always new sheets of paper to fill, new blank canvases to paint, new music to compose, new buildings to build, new frontiers to explore, new wonderful experiences to experience, new and old friends to enjoy, new moments to savor, something new to imagine, that has never been thought of before, that, no matter your age or situation, awakens the call to create, to bring into existence, that which, at first, was only a vision.