How To Be Creative In A World Of Mechanised Convenience
The pursuit of convenience seems to be perpetual. The more convenient we make things, the more convenience we want.
Conveniences are like a modern day false God, touted by prophets of coloured shiny things to be the saviour of your hum-drum, monotonous life.
But life is not convenient, it's not meant to be. Besides how convenient would you have it?
Think about it.
What would be the point of even existing if every part of your life was made convenient? And even if you could, where would it end?
Taking convenience to its ultimate place would mean we would cease to exist, and for many people who try so hard to avoid apparent inconveniences that is what happens.
There always seems to be something else to automate, greater efficiencies to achieve.
Complete automation of everything would render life pointless. Some people believe that life is pointless anyway, so maybe it wouldn't be so dramatic.
The way things are going though, pretty soon all we will need to do is sit there and merely think about something for it to happen.
Yeah sure, everyone would like less hassle and more ease, and that's fine, me included. But life without challenges and stimulation is useful to no one.
A Universal Myth
The greatest myth we hold as truth is that convenience makes life better. It's like all this shit for sale will lead us to the fucking promised land.
Yeah stuff is great, I like stuff as much as the next person, but the truth is that there is a point at which convenience becomes destructive.
It kills creativity, outside the box thinking and innovation. It destroys our ability to find real solutions to actual problems, and it seems to me that most of the world is on this trend.
I think that most of us are doing things we'd rather not do in the belief that we must, then anesthetising ourselves with colourful shiny things.
It's like we're drinking our heads off every night in the bar to numb the pain of unfulfillment and dosing ourselves on paracetamol and alka seltzer the next morning.
Long term we're gonna suffer more.
Look at how our food is produced, how animals are reared in factory farms and how vegetables are grown – by corporations not farmers btw.
Animals are mistreated, food is genetically modified and has become dangerous for humans because of chemicals added in the production process.
Consumer goods are manufactured in third world countries by people with little or no basic rights, and at a tiny fraction of the final sale price.
No stone goes unturned in the drive to create efficiencies in production of food and consumer goods in order to create greater profits and make life more “convenient” for us punters.
More roads, more pollution, more stuff, less quality, more convenience, more disharmony and more unhappiness…
What to do about that…
Find What You Love And Do That.
There is a large surging momentum towards ever increasing convenience and hyper-consumerism. It's a vicious bloodthirsty cycle and it's actually killing people.
Ultimately it's destructive to everyone, and will (thankfully) devour itself eventually. But in the meantime you and I have a responsibility.
A responsibility to ourselves to buck the trend, to follow our heart and do what we love.
Fuck the consequences, you'll be dead long enough.
We've got to take up the task of creating wonderful, valuable things that people can love and appreciate long term. Not mass produced machine made things built with planned obsolescence.
Bigger is not better.
We've got to focus on creating small scale bespoke goods and services that are unique and represent all that is good.
How To Be Creative
Our work is art and each one of us has the opportunity to make great things. But we've got to connect with that thing and get in the zone.
Creativity can't be taught or manufactured. It already is, and so it must be allowed to flow.
When you're making something in the zone nothing else matters, it's like there is no time and there is nothing else to do.
There is a challenge in it for sure, but there's no struggle to overcome anything, there's no inconvenience that can develop into a problem.
Someone looking on from another perspective might see more than simply a challenge, they might see something that they couldn't do in a million years, but it's easy for you.
You become part of the process not separate from it. It's not some alien threat that you need to defeat, which seems to be the case with most things in life.
It's where you were meant to be, this is where your value is and where you feel happiest. When your focus of attention is so laser like it carves out your own special place in the world.
For people like you the challenge is not being in that thing, but rather dealing with the people and circumstances that try to drag you out of it.
Sure, you'll need to come up for air once in awhile, use the loo, make more coffee, answer the phone and sell your stuff, but primarily this is where you are most effective.
So, take a chance on yourself, place a bet. Life is short.
A Psalm of Life
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Larry: I love this. I wish more people valued creativity and what it takes to stand out. On the other hand, I find the ‘do what you love and the money will follow’ / ‘find a new job if yours isn’t creative enough’ to be a very privileged perspective. Health insurance, student loans, etc: these are more than just excuses and barriers, they are very real concerns for people. It’s a toughie.
Larry G. Maguire says
You know it might sound harsh but there’s just no other way to say it… When we are focused on the things that cause us problems, that block our way, we never have anything else other than problems. We’ve nothing to give, not even our own creativity. Nobody wins.
That’s true. One of the most satisfying jobs I had was working as a barista at Starbucks, believe it or not. They gave us room for creativity and the environment prompted me to write on my breaks. If only the pay had been good, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to leave.