Did you watch any of the Soccer World Cup matches in Brazil?
I am not a rabid soccer fan, I only watched the grinding final and snippets of a few other matches. The whole World Cup charade like the Olympics seems to me more about promoting the prestige of the officials and building empires to control sport, than it does to benefit players or participants.
However, watching and listening to those who are rabid fans both in person and in the media, shines an interesting light on human behaviour and on the link between passion and creativity.
I wrote in this post on 10 June, about how commitment is the fuel that fires perseverance. If that is true, then commitment and passion are the fuels that allow creativity to bloom.
People who show no evidence of creativity or original thought in their day-to-day lives, become transformed when they talk about their favourite sports team, sporting event or sometimes politics. One recent conversation in particular was a shining example. An elderly fellow who rarely has much to say, was a fountain of knowledge about the teams and players in the World Cup. He had opinions as to why teams won or lost and detailed suggestions of how they could have done better. Some of it was factual, much of it creative opinion.
I am not knowledgable enough about soccer or the players to know whether he was correct or not. That is not the point. Here was a man who had worked his entire life in factories where he did not have to think for himself and one who rarely had anything positive to say about anything or any one. When he spoke about soccer in general and the World Cup in particular, he came alive. A different person.
Imagine if he had found a way to channel that passion into a life changing career or entrepreneurial activity, or even into a volunteer role in soccer that encouraged children to play. Imagine for a moment how that might have changed his life and possibly that of hundreds of others.
That story was probably repeated all around the world, people coming alive, fired up by passion for a few weeks of World Cup soccer. Some will continue to get their “fix” by following local or national teams and other levels of international competition. The majority will slip back into their regular unexciting lives.
Others who rarely risk having a creative thought on anything can become masters of creativity when their passion is inflamed by the real or perceived sins of the governing party, or the opposition, or a particular politician, a mayor or other public figure. All types of ideas start to flow.
In the post mentioned above, I wrote about how a mother who had difficulty staying focused and finishing projects, became single-mindedly committed to finding a solution to her daughter’s potentially serious medical condition. Enough was at stake – her daughter’s health – to make her commitment to finding a solution watertight. It gave her the determination and perseverance to do what ever she had to.
Just as commitment fuels perseverance, passion fuels creativity. If we don’t enjoy what we are doing, it is difficult or impossible to create new or better ways of doing it.
Are great artists naturally creative? Or does their passion for their art make them creative and because of that, great artists? Are both important? What do you think?
How well do you enjoy what you do? Are you creative at it? Or do you find other channels to fire your passion, like soccer?
p.s. A reminder that Chris Brogan’s daily OMFG emails are great stimulants for creativity. (affiliate link)
Graphic from Webweaver