I have this wild theory. As much as we need logic, science, and sound reason to solve the world-changing problems we are facing, none of those things alone will be able to handle the job. For that, we need creativity as well, we need the creatives.
Creativity is what led us to defy every status quo that has come before the present ones — and from those acts of defiant courage, we built layers of history that have led us to great progress and mighty endeavors. Not even the sky is the limit anymore.
Logic and reason are made more powerful when imagination is fused into their purpose, their process and their effort.
Creativity looked at our previous challenges and asked why? Why couldn’t opposite ideas work together? Why couldn’t somebody do things differently? Why isn’t it possible?
There’s power in questions like that. Power to change the world. Let’s take a closer look.
The old approaches can’t solve new problems
Let’s be honest, many of the problems we’re facing or are about to be facing were directly or indirectly caused by old approaches to finding solutions. They aren’t all bad approaches, but, survivability depends on adaptability.
A fixed mindset is a closed mindset.
How the heck are we going to come up with innovative, bold, new ideas at the scale and speed we’re going to need if all we’re working with is what we have right now? We can’t.
But that’s where you come into things. You’re a creative, and you look at things differently. You shrug off the limitations imposed on you by a closed mindset. You dare to ask the bold and sometimes rebellious questions that are vital for us to move forward.
Like Casey Neistat says, “Do what you can’t.”
Adaptation depends on creative thinking
I would argue that one of the most basic things that have meant humanity’s continued survival throughout all of history is not found in our logic alone, but our ability to daydream, to think, “What if?” To imagine things that don’t exist.
It is our creativity that has led us from caves to stealing fire from the gods, building cities, carving our thoughts into rocks and papyrus, building the printing press, questioning the status quo, and eventually learning to fly, and soar to the moon.
Our adaptability is the measure of our ability to survive. But both hinge on the power of our creative thinking.
Finding the connections
Ideas build ideas. That’s why it’s so important that you read, study, research, question, and make time to simply think.
The ideas the world needs right now depends on our willingness and ability to make time for thinking. And not just passively thinking, but proactively doing so. Asking questions you don’t currently know the answers to but are willing to seek them out.
The fate of our collective future rests on us feeding our curiosities, and our willingness and drive to solve what might not seem to have a solution. Creativity whispers, like the age-old Muse, “Nothing is impossible with enough time, effort, energy, and the right circumstances.”
The great thing about ideas is that you never know your part in the grand scheme of things. Solving world-threatening problems, facing humanity-sized challenges, and envisioning the world that can be might be a bit much for one person’s plate.
But if you give time to thinking about these things, and you put deliberate and purposeful effort to those thoughts then you might form an idea that leads to an idea that leads to an idea that solves the problem.
No idea is an island, and neither are any of the thinkers of great ideas. We’re in this together, you and I and all the other creatives.
The power of asking questions
The fate of our future depends on our ability to question our present reality. Questions are the fuel that launches us forward, that feeds the fire, and drives the momentum.
Don’t accept the status quo, change it with the power of your questions.
The world is built by the creative souls that dared to ask the tough questions of their times. Questions like, why, what if, why not? How?
The right question, boldly and loudly asked, repeatedly if necessary, can and with time and attention, will change the world.
Robert F. Kennedy famously ended his stump speeches by quoting George Bernard Shaw: “Some people,” he said, “See things, and say, “why?” But I dream things that never were, and ask, why not?”
The vision now falls to us, to creatives and thinkers of every background and craft. We must envision a bold new world, and then commit to our different roles in building it.
The world is facing numerous challenges and on several fronts. I believe that you, as a creative, are the answer to these challenges.
It might sound a little dramatic at first pass but bear with me. It took imagination, mixed a with a healthy dosage of courage and defiance to figure out fire, to build the first cities, to grow the first crops, to see problems and call them solvable.
Something of that same spark lives inside each and every creative who dares to imagine a world that doesn’t quite exist, yet.
There’s power in that. Power to imagine, the power to envision, the power to declare what can be done, and daring to pursue it. That power is a seed from which a better world can and must be built.