It was a warm summer morning on August 6, 1945. At about 7:15 am, the Japanese early warning radar picked up a signal showing some American aircraft headed for southern Japan. Not uncommon for a country in the midst of war.
The planes approached the coastline at a very high altitude. By 8:00 am, it was determined that there probably weren’t more than three planes entering the area — not enough for a typical air raid back then — and so the alert was lifted.
The city of Hiroshima and its dwellers expected nothing more than a reconnaissance at worst. What actually followed would forever change the course of history as we know it.
At 8:15 am, a blinding flash exploded across the sky. Almost simultaneously, an immense wave of heat and an enormous rush of air permeated through the city and for several miles around it. The dust cloud from the explosion and smoke from freshly formed fires cast a shroud of darkness over Hiroshima.
The world’s first atomic bomb had been dropped, releasing an unfathomable amount of energy, the likes of which no one had ever seen before.
The Concept of Creative Potential Energy
Potential energy, if unleashed, has the power to make a ginormous impact on the world. In this example of the atomic bomb, I think it’s safe to say that the results were overwhelmingly negative. While it did lead to the end of a war, many innocent lives were lost, and the land within many miles of Hiroshima was forever tarnished.
As an engineer, I’m all too familiar with the concept of potential energy. A simple definition is that potential energy is stored energy. It has a certain value of potential work or change that it can cause, hence the name.
Potential energy comes in all shapes and sizes. For example, a sled rider sitting atop a steep, snowy mountain has what’s referred to as gravitational potential energy.
You already know that an atomic bomb, before it’s been dropped, clearly has a massive amount of potential energy. That’s an example of chemical potential energy.
There are a few other types (elastic and electrical to name a few), but this actually isn’t a lesson on physics, even though so far it might seem that way.
What I’m here to share with you is a somewhat new concept I came up with. It’s called creative potential energy, and its scientific definition is the mystical “stuff” inside humans that is itching to get out, but for one reason or another gets suppressed by the world we live in. It’s the potential energy inside all of us that, when set free, leads to all kinds of creative masterpieces.
From movie universes like Star Wars, to comic book worlds such as Marvel. “Creative masterpieces” includes these and the millions of other creations across the globe as well. The homemade shrimp and linguine your spouse cooked for you, the unique tattoo from the artist down the street, the American Western short film made by your co-worker’s zany son.
They are all creative masterpieces. And they are born when creative potential energy is released.
Exploring What’s Possible
For years I sat on the sidelines. Growing up, I watched movies, listened to music, played video games, and read the occasional book (usually when a teacher said I would fail if I didn’t).
I loved a lot of what was out there. I became especially attached to Star Wars, the Halo game series, and whoever invented those delicious Classic Nachos from Chili’s.
The funny thing was that I never once thought that I could potentially be creating those gems for the world. It seemed unattainable, like an exclusive club that you needed thousands of dollars to join. So, I did nothing.
A few short years ago, as I sat in a soul-sucking full-time job, having to listen to good old Becky the quality engineer, on the other side of my cubicle, complaining to someone about not refilling the coffee pot again, I started searching.
I soon realized that there were lots of people out there doing their own thing. The internet was flooded with content created by regular Joes like me. Even rock-stars had emerged from seemingly “mediocre” lives…
Justin Bieber became a megastar from a YouTube video.
Ramit Sethi started blogging about money. Who the hell was Ramit Sethi? Just some college student desperate to help his friends handle money better. Now, he’s everywhere online.
Tim Ferriss was just your average entrepreneur. Then he wrote a book about working four hours a week and the rest is history.
Long story short, I found out that putting my creations into the world was possible, and it worked extraordinarily well for others who did.
Unleashing My Creative Potential Energy
As my mindset started to shift, I began believing I had more to offer the world and that it was in fact possible to get my message out there. Pitching a major movie script or composing a hit song seemed a bit out of my reach (and desire), but I had written before…and I could definitely start a blog.
I thought about all kinds of things I could blog about, but literally all of them had been done before.
It took me far too long to realize that that didn’t matter. I eventually started an extremely broad self-improvement blog, writing mostly about mindfulness, healing anxiety, and ways to build better habits. Sure, lots of other people have self-improvement blogs…but I didn’t.
In the short 21 months since officially starting my blog, it’s gone through many changes. I’ve written lots of posts, many on topics covered all over the internet. But you know what? My readership kept increasing. People might’ve already known about ways to heal their anxiety, but they had never seen it through my lens before.
For one reason or another, my audience and I connect. I’m a weird dude — I’ll be the first to admit that. It feels good to have found others who are weird in mostly the same ways as me. They “get me”, and I understand them. All of this made possible by the internet, having the courage to put my writing out into the world, and thus unleashing a bit of my creative potential energy in the process.
Why the World Needs More of You
Taking the leap to becoming a creative changed how I viewed the world. Every day as I consume content online, watch my favorite shows, and listen to podcasts, I am grateful for the creative people behind the scenes.
They’ve given us so many great things, but…I’m convinced there still isn’t enough out there.
Trust me when I say that the world needs more of you.
Could you imagine an existence where J.K. Rowling never decided to write and share her stories? Or where we’d be if Stan Lee and Jack Kirby never gave us The Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and the X-Men?
Whatever your reserves or fears, set them aside and muster the courage to create and share your own masterpiece with the rest of us. Don’t worry if something has already been done, or if you’re self-conscious, or you think that there’s no more room for anyone else.
There is always more room.
The world NEEDS more of you.
The world needs more people teaching yoga, because the world has never experienced yoga taught by you before.
The world needs more people writing books, because the world has never experienced a book written by you before.
The world needs more podcasts, because the world has never experienced a podcast hosted by you before.
Imagine how awesome it would be if even HALF of the potential creative energy out there was converted into a tidal wave of magnificent masterpieces.
I never knew I had so much in common with random strangers on the internet. I would have never known if I hadn’t started sharing my writing. Think of all the people out there, dying to connect with someone else like them, or dying to experience the next Up!, or just looking to read a poem that strikes a chord in their very soul.
Your potential creative energy could transform into the vehicle that inspires someone else, brings someone happiness, or forever changes a life…maybe even saves it.
That’s why the world needs more of you.
A Wide-Spread Creative Call to Action
Every creative masterpiece started with just one person putting a thought out there. An idea. A speck of dust. Their willingness to share it with the world changed everything.
Last year, I went to a Pittsburgh Pirates game with my wife and mom. My mother has also been a hard-working woman, hustling at various jobs to provide me, my brother, and sister everything she could. At the age of 55, she sat in the backseat on our trip and started rapping. Yes…rapping.
I’ll be damned if I wasn’t blown away when I heard it. The whitest, old lady rap you’ve ever heard. Totally original. Wildly hilarious. But perfectly awesome. I told her to put it on YouTube and that it would go viral for sure. She never did.
I love my mom, but don’t be like her. Share your story, message, creation, or whatever is itching to get out. This is a creative call to action. Unleash your creative potential energy and help make the world a better place.
I guess what I’m really trying to say is, the world needs more of you. Don’t let your fears selfishly hold you back from sharing your gift with the rest of us.