Creativity Sacrifice

Day 155 Week 23 Q2 Monday, June 5, 2023

Sometimes, creative people are accused of being self-centered because they often have to prioritize their creative activity, seemingly at the expense of others. But some creative people apply some of their creative energies to support others. Many teachers are in that category. I know it has been said that those who can do those who cannot teach, but this is not true at all. In fact, most people in the creative arts derive some of their physical support from teaching.

Now some art professors are threatened by their student’s creativity, but I think they are in the minority. Others who are immensely creative in their own right apply some portion of their creative capability to those they support.

It is not only teachers who apply their creativity to others. There are inventors who not only invent products but also invent processes that are focused on other people, not just themselves. There can be a lot of sacrifice involved in creativity. And it can take many forms, an important one of which is sacrificing your own goals to further other people’s goals.

Sometimes creative people are reluctant leaders, but other times they are the only ones who know which way to go. And once a creative person has achieved traction and moved into scalability, they tend to have stakeholders who believe in that creative leader but also have expectations about outcomes. It’s often necessary for a creator to sacrifice some of what they want to work on to meet the expectations of their stakeholders. If they are too selfish to do this, and are only self-centered, they will soon find themselves alone, without stakeholders, without leverage, and without scalability. In order to have your ideas be adopted, you have to sacrifice in many ways.

It can be as simple as being able to hear yourself on a stage and to make sure of the other musicians you’re playing with if any other musicians can also hear you and each other. Hardly ever do musicians think it is their responsibility to ensure everyone else can hear them. They’re usually mostly thinking about how they can hear themselves, which admittedly is critical because if you cannot hear yourself, you cannot play well.¬† But if you cannot hear what your colleagues are doing, and they cannot hear what you are doing, then the outcome is generally poor.

Of course, this does not just apply to music but to management and to working with others. You must spend some time sacrificing your desires to ensure others are tended to. Ultimately, though the sacrifice is on the critical path to achieving anything, it is not a sacrifice in the long run. It may just feel that way in the short term.