The words don’t seem synonymous. Creativity and Competition. They are opposite ends of the expression spectrum. One comes with inspiration and moments of revelation; the other with striving and hard work.
One of my favorite quotes is a verbal Michaelangelo masterpiece: “If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.” Hard work, competition, challenge – they all inspire growth and performance on a new level. If it was okay to be mediocre we never would have the beauty we see in a priceless painting, a dedicated song, or captivating photography.
A lot of my friends are photographers. Working throughout the world to capture stories or displaying their talent at weddings is their passion. But looking through some recent shots from a variety of people made me realize that there is pressure to be more creative than the last person, to be the one that captures the mood more perfectly or the chemistry in a dramatic black and white image. One after another they are trying to outdo each other and I love it! Here are some of the reasons I think a little competition is good for creativity, be it art or song or problem solving:
1. Push Open the Box! – New creativity pushes open our understanding, and allows us to find new answers to all kinds of world problems.
2. See Through New Eyes – If we don’t change something, nothing will change. Let’s practice looking at the world in a variety of ways.
3. Symbolize – It is hard to connect to some issues, artistic symbolization can help our hearts open up.
4. Hear Something Stunning – Outside the realm of visual creativity is auditory creativity. Beauty in music can speak to the depths of our souls like nothing else.
5. Grasp the Infinite – It is said that “eternity is written in the hearts of man.” The infinite is something only our hearts can begin to grasp and that is the same venue as music and art and creativity.
6. Be Inspired! – It is hard to keep going sometimes, but we can overcome this hurdle!
7. Dare to Dream – Stats and numbers and all things horrific can bog us down, but expressions of redemption, hope, love, life, reincarnation are all the things that help us dream again of changing the world.
8. Share your Heart – You show me yours, I’ll show you mine.
9. Open Doors (and Eyes and Hearts) – Get into the game by helping people connect on a deeper level of understanding.
10. Challenge Others to Do More – Let our cycle of creativity and challenge be what gets us into the deep dirt and brings about the change we need.