Why Passion Fuels Creativity.

Did you watch any of the Soccer World Cup matches in Brazil?

 

soccer player

soccer player

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?

Leave a comment.

p.s.  A reminder that Chris Brogan’s daily OMFG emails are great stimulants for creativity. (affiliate link)
Graphic from Webweaver  Free clip Art

 

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  6 comments for “Why Passion Fuels Creativity.

  1. July 18, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Again, Peter, you have generated thought on a powerful subject.
    One observation regarding the Soccer fan who was a library of knowledge and you alluded to his life:

    “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”
    If his employment had stimulated the “whole person” (as discussed in the 8th Habit by Covey) he probably would still have been a Soccer fan BUT also utilize that passion and creativity at his job and everyone would have scored More Goals?

    • July 18, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      Absolutely correct Chuck, and regrettably as I observed in my time in the corporate world and still do today, a problem that affects too many people. I don’t think all the fault can be attributed to the employer in all cases either, The old saying “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” comes to mind.

      • July 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

        I agree all blame cannot be directed to employer.
        When I learned, many years ago, that empowering my employees and they were involved personally Business increased and the employees were more Content on the job and off

  2. Roberta
    July 19, 2014 at 9:20 am

    WOW!!! You end your post with so many great questions. You could sponsor a symposium on this topic with the most intelligent and creative minds attending and never come up with a definitive answer.

    Asking which comes first is like asking does the chicken or the egg come first. Only God knows.

    I think with creativity and passion they are both there at birth. It is life experiences that spark one or the other to bloom.

    As Thomas Gray wrote several centuries ago: “Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the desert air.”

    Good education/schooling can some times spark a child’s creativity. But if that creativity blooms later in life depends on so many variables, not least of which is desire and work ethic.

    Am I creative? I like to think so. But I don’t know. I simply do things that please me and that I enjoy doing. I write my blog, cook, and because they give me pleasure. If others like it, I am happy.

    I mush prefer hockey to soccer. Soccer is too slow.

    • July 22, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Roberta, anyone who visits your blog would know in an instant how creative you really are. I believe that environment, particularly in early childhood, has a bearing on the development or stifling of a persons creativity. My father’s mantra was that “you can be anything you want to be – if you make the effort”. Both my parents tolerated and answered to the best of their ability, my endless questions starting with why…. I was the same with my boys.

      • July 22, 2014 at 10:22 am

        Are we related, Peter? My father used almost same words. ~smile~

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