A modern Renaissance may have reached us in the early 21st century, and it just may be the time for us to capitalize on our own creativity. While we can learn from mentors and model their behaviors there will truly never be another you. With the amazing influx of technology and information since the 1980s and 1990s, the world has reached an apex of information-facts, figures, communication, connections, cell phones, fax machines, PDAs, and the wonderful World Wide Web. All of these developments have spelled a different kind of working and living life, and has altered things from the way they were in the past. While everyone has access to the world of information just mentioned, it will be up to the individual to utilize the creativity that makes up such a part of life. Will creativity become the new leader?
According to Daniel Pink, “We’ve progressed to a society of creators and empathizers, of pattern recognizers and meaning makers.” This means that this whole new mind has given us the opportunity to abandon a life of fear and scarcity. Thanks in large part to economic uncertainty we have begun to reevaluate what it means to be successful, rich and prosperous. We have been forced into analyzing our lives outside of our possessions and search for truer meaning.
While we have reached a point that everything sold in stores must be useful, beautiful and effective, technology has leveled the playing field for everyone; allowing access to the mechanical tools necessary for creative innovation in this new world that were once privy to only the wealthy and the corporate.
Daniel Pink argues that because people are becoming savvier, the price of essential products like automobiles has been reduced for us to live more comfortably. Our ability to be more creative has allowed for cheaper products, more intensive high education courses, and has allowed us to bring together separate disciplines to more productively live and work our lives.
As we continue to develop our creativity and desire things for their meaning, and not just for their other throw-away intangibles, we are giving ourselves more room and more money to live with these things. We must stop looking at the individual lines and texts of our life-the products and work hours and the gadgets-and instead look at the broader context and concepts that envelop us.
Pull some merits from the other humans you work with, precious people like you. Find some art and satisfaction in whatever it is that you are doing. Do your absolute best at writing reports or closing accounts-be artful with it to a point of pride and perfection. Use the design of your workplace to pull some beauty out of it. Enjoy your surroundings by being creative. Take it all in with the story of your day and your co-workers. Tell some jokes and share some stories, and try to get wrapped up in the giant story that is life and living.
Find a crush or a friend; find it in a person or an animal, a character on your computer, or a spot in your mind. Use all of these things at work and at home to be creative, contextual, and conceptual. Pull them all together into a symphony of your day, and hear the beauty of the life within.
Have empathy for the people around you. Know what makes them tick and what makes you tick. Know that they are trying to work a little, and live a lot, and relate to them. Find the meaning in their struggle, in your struggle, and in every dollar that you make and in every day that you work. Find the meaning in all of your aggravations. Know that that aggravating traffic jam brings you to your pay check, it gives you time to sit and listen to the music of life, and time to reflect.The hours spent at work give you time interacting with coworkers, time with yourself, and time to excel and be the best and be your best.
Perhaps above all of these, above symphony and empathy and meaning, find time to play. Play at work, play at play, and play in between. All of these things will fill you with confidence and with pleasure. Find the right people to play with and the right way to play, whether this is talking about sports, goofing around, going shopping with a co-worker on lunch to buy a purse, or drawing a stupid picture of a bee at your desk, have some time to play. It will keep you alive, it will keep you creative, and it will keep you, you.