If we want to become truly creative people, we have to make the giant step from obeying to thinking. We have to begin looking at our job descriptions and homework assignments not as a list of rules we must follow, but as a call to think and create by expending what Seth Godin calls emotional labor.
What is creating? What is emotional labor? What do I mean when I say “thinking”? They’re all essentially one and the same: (or at least they lead to the same result) the process of using our emotional resources to form ideas. Then mobilizing our physical resources to turn these ideas into change.
I always laugh when people describe creativity as some flighty, spiritual experience reserved for those how can’t handle the harsh realities of the real world. Because when done most effectively, creativity is nothing short of hard freakin’ work. It’s hard to put forth the emotion labor day after day. It’s hard on both the mind and the body. This is why so many people are sliding by in their jobs by simply obeying. It’s easier. It’s more comfortable. The problem is, it gives you zero chance of bringing about change.
Once again we arrive at the conclusion that being creative requires you to make a choice. Will you put forth the effort, the labor, the work? Stop obeying to keep your job and start thinking for a living.
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