I’m a northern boy, so I haven’t had much experience in my life with vultures. That is, until I moved to Florida. (Warning: nasty images coming ahead…) Now I see vultures having a feast every time there’s road kill along a highway or an unfortunate animal’s death along the bike trail I ride. More often than not a vulture is quick enough to get out of the way when there’s an oncoming vehicle.
But I recently saw a vulture that was so focused on its food that it lost its own life. It sat feasting right in the middle of oncoming traffic and didn’t move an inch as it tore apart its prey. Now there were two dead creatures lying in the road. Sometimes greed can be so dangerous that it can kill you. Sometimes selfishness can be so dangerous that it kills your creativity.
Creativity needs more than what’s right in front of us. It needs to be fed. But it also needs awareness.
I was recently encouraged by Seth Godin in an interview he did. Seth Godin puts out a blog post every single day…even on Sundays. He’s one of the most prolific bloggers out there. The interviewer asked him how he did it every day. He asked Seth where he got all his content.
Seth Godin said that it’s his job as a writer and marketer. It’s like a garbage man showing up every day: he has to do his job; he has to pick up the garbage. A writer also has to show up every day. He has to do the work. She has to keep her eyes always open for ideas. The writer can’t focus only on the food of fear. It would be paralyzing. Godin says that for every blog post he puts out, he has written seven or eight posts that he throws away.
He’s not greedy. Creating great content and enhancing creativity is all about making mistakes. Being a perfectionist is like being an unaware vulture. Nothing gets finished. No content is put out into the world. Dreams are never fueled. It’s consuming. The oncoming traffic of time and wasted opportunity might just kill your creativity.
Creative content is worth far more than what’s just in front of you. It comes from all areas of life. It comes from every interaction you have. It comes from dreams, and books, and Facebook posts.
Don’t be a vulture. Be a healthy, creative soul, feeding on the food of creativity in the safe havens all around you, places like:
- Those rare book stores
- Coffee shops
- The office
- The fishing hole
- The theme park
- The internet
- The restaurant
Consuming the food of perfectionism isn’t worth losing your creative life. Feed your creativity, but don’t let your pursuit of perfection kill it. Produce content. Get it out into the world. Save your creative life for another day. Get to work. The world needs what you have to give.
What kills your creativity?