Last week I asked if it’s possible to innovate without loving what you do. There were plenty of comments and the reactions were mixed. Most think it’s not possible because people have to be passionate about the work they do. I’m not going to argue with that.
What I will argue is that you can become passionate about just about anything if you have the right intent in mind. The context, topic, initiative is just the vehicle towards your purpose.
With that said, I think the next obvious question to ask is: Do you love creating?
I love to play.
For me it’s not so much about creating, what matters to me is making a meaningful impact. Period. If no meaningful impact is delivered, it’s a failure.
It’s not about innovating for innovations sake and to get ‘innovator’ tag placed on me and be recognized. It shouldn’t be this way. Just like schools place a premium on grades and students mindlessly aim to achieve the highest grade possible to get that ‘most intelligent’ tag, it is the same in all areas of life. Sometimes it seems people are pursuing a tag with no meaningful intent in mind (gamification ring a bell?).
Such superficiality won’t get us anywhere.
The spark of creating is stolen (or you let it be stolen) from us as we go through school. Play is replaced with repetition. There are enough arguments out there why this is so I won’t make my own argument.
What I will tell you is that I went to a Montessori school where I was taught concepts by playing games. I still remember it vividly. This is when I was a 5 – 6 year old kid. Later on, I never like school because I felt constrained to learn what others decided what I should learn. I definitely liked to learn, but on my own terms. Getting spoon fed knowledge was not a concept I understood. This created a set of problems, mainly that I questioned my teachers and students. So in order to not ‘become a problem’, I decided to shut up and play along. My logic was to get the knowledge and make up my own mind because I’m in charge of my own potential.
In other words, I didn’t let my creative motivation get hijacked.
Getting people to focus on what they love is a great way to spark the creative juices, it’s an effective tactic. But if we really want to go beyond simple creation, we should be able to be passionate about anything in this world. We should be able to get out of our own way, to get out of our comfort zones. To work on our weaknesses and turn them into strengths. To turn negative situations into positives ones.
Because that’s when our inner child comes out to play. And just like a kid I ask: Why not?
Below is a picture with my fellow Montessori classmates and teachers, I’m the one with the leg up on the chair 🙂