I didn’t fully understand the powerful meaning of these words. Until recently. Creativity has rarely been truly fun for me because a whisper in the back of my mind would say: What if it’s not good enough. What if others see it. What if they find out I’m not as good, as smart, as talented as they think I am. What if I’m not invited back… What if someone steals my ideas… What if… What if…What if… —the eternal enemy of creativity and creative fun.
I created a full fledged classroom out of stuffed animals when I was six—because it was fun. I came home every day and taught them what I learned in first grade—because it was fun. I was blessed enough to have a stellar five year old student in my little creative room, my sister Corina—because it was fun. She was so brilliant that she learned how to read and write from my silly and creative lessons—because it was fun. She went on to skip first grade in the process and grow to become a lover of music and art and all things wonderful, creative, and fun.
I kinda became a stick in the mud. An academic. A funless thinker and researcher and technologist and business analyst. Don’t get me wrong. All of the above could have been fun. And it’s becoming fun again. The What ifs killed the fun for me.
Somewhere I misplaced that sense of true wonder and the childlike love for creating just for the sheer joy of creating something from nothing. Writing became torturous. Editing that writing even more so. Creating lost it’s fun.
I know I’m not alone in this. I work and coach amazingly creative people who can’t even see how brilliant they are. I’m in awe of their sheer talent (whether is writing, speaking, building businesses, creating stuff)—all they see is the flaws. All they hear is “What if…”
I’ve been there so I love helping them see again—as I am.
Something magical is happening this year, and many people are going to feel it too. We’re beginning to see hundreds of prolific creators, succeeding because they are having fun creating. Sharing their gift with others. Changing the world with their ideas, the products, their message—their God-given, creative, and perfectly imperfect brilliance.
Slowly but steadily, they’re raising the bar for the rest of us, not the bar of perfection but the bar of ambition.They’re challenging us to think: “Maybe I can do that too.”
Look at me. I just typed this sentiment inspired by five words from someone who has been dead for over a century, containing—no doubt—fragments and a few run on sentences. A typo here and there (and those not having fun will point them out quickly). “What are Marc Cohen and Joan Pedersen, my favorite grad school pals, going to think of me?” The whisper would say.
Does any of this resonate with you? Aren’t you ready to let your creative genius have fun?
I am. That’s why I let the fingers fly across the keyboard just now. If you are too, let your intelligence have fun for a while.