Yes I know, I’m really late with this one. The new challenge will go up in a couple of hours, but I was at a conference and then away on vacation. Nonetheless, I hope this piece makes it’s point. Also I know I’ve gone to this theme a few times recently but I still think it bears repeating.
What could be stupider than a giraffe whose afraid of heights? He was created for heights, his long neck designed to reach the tree tops where he can eat the leaves no other creature can reach, a reward designed for him alone.
I’m a little afraid of heights too, but it’s nowhere near my greatest fear. For years my greatest fear was probably failure. The thing is for a creative to fear failure is to limit oneself to what is safe and predictable and while safe and predictable is very comfortable, very few new exciting things come out of safe and predictable. To fear failure is to severely hamper ones creativity. Somehow we have to realize that to be a creative involves failure.
Now there is nothing wrong with responsibility and practicality. There is nothing wrong with minimizing risk, doing your research and due diligence, but sooner or later we need to create something, take the risk and put it out there for the world to see.
They say Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before he created a working light bulb. I’m pretty glad he didn’t quit. When asked about his failures, he said something to the effect of I didn’t fail, I discovered 10,000 ways not to make a lightbulb.
To be a successful creative, don’t embrace your fear, embrace your vision and the Creator who gave it to you. Small children don’t fear creative failure, they do their best to make what they see in their heads. They create with abandon. Maybe that’s what we need to do. Picasso once said “All children are artists. … The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” I think I know how. We abandon fear and create with abandon. That’s how we reach the heights for which we were created. That’s how we reach the rewards we alone were created to reach.