October 5, 2022

All of your creative expression is part of a larger whole


The medium itself you’re working in isn’t sacrosanct.

It’s not the end all be all. It’s just your current vehicle. The most recent excuse to bring out the real you.

There will be others down the road. More exciting ways to extend your sentiments and advance your creative vision will be are going to be revealed to you in time.

For now, the question goes like this:

Is this really my thing, or is this just the current incarnation of my thing?

In my own experience, the answer is almost always the latter. Whatever creative endeavor you’re involved in right now, you’re not locked into that single vehicle for the rest of time. There’s no rule that says it has to be your thing until you die.

Maybe you’ll do it for a few years, maybe a few decades. Sometimes it will take on a life of its own and last, other times it will flare and fade. That’s okay too.

There’s no shelf life requirements on creative expression. Motivation is bigger than medium.

I started my creative life writing and performing music in high school, which expanded into hosting a weekly show at my college radio station, which morphed into authoring books, giving speeches, writing articles and producing training videos in my twenties, and later working at startups and marketing agencies while also launching creative projects in my downtime like films, games and software.

But those things were just vehicles. My fundamental goal in making things remained the same:

To deepen my relationship with my emotions, express my unique talents and beliefs, connect with new people, and deliver joy, utility and inspiration to the world. And the sum total of that was a representation of my feelings, ideas and sense of life. A physical index of my human value system.

Motivation was bigger than medium. Format was just a formality.

This is why my biggest heroes are not only prolific, but rangy. They cross domains rather than silo themselves. Keeping all their passions in play, they’re in touch with all the different possible incarnations in which their ideas might be exploited, in order to create more value in the world.

They’re givers. People who use all these different ways to support their ability to freely and safely express their inner resources.

Have you accepted that your expression is part of a larger whole?

If not, and you’re struggling to motivate, inspire or discipline yourself to do something, maybe this thing is really not your thing.

Maybe it’s simply the current incarnation of my thing.

Maybe this realization will give you permission to think more broadly about your creative identity.

And the living, breathing entity that is your soul will continually come into being, age after age.

What is the most recent excuse to bring out the real you?