Getting Attention vs. Paying Attention

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Creativity is within everyone. Most of us have some talent or knack that’s uniquely us and definitively original. We pay it time and attention to cultivate and practice into a skill that brings personal fulfillment. It may not be public knowledge or even feel mentionable at all, but the fact is, there’s something creative about each and every one of us. After all, being creative is a part of the human condition.

Creativity means many things to many people but mainly it’s the exploration of interest through expression. Some use creativity to build, others to create, or communicate, define, imagine, solve, share, and so on. We are all artists simply choosing different mediums that fit unique needs for letting creativity flow into something visible, audible, flavorful, tangible, functional, soulful, and so on. No matter how you apply your creative talents, it’s just a way for questioning what is—or what isn’t—and finding new ways to express the answer.

Creativity is most simply a way of looking at the natural order of things through the lens of discovery. However, the nature of creativity is sometimes confused with the attention it gets. In the TED Talk How Craving Attention Makes You Less Creative, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt explains how the motives for attention have a way of limiting creative abilities. Namely, when we act on behalf of the attention we might receive, we sacrifice the attention we’d otherwise pay towards the thing we are creating.

In this way, focus on the value of being creative is often misattributed. First and foremost, it should always bring fulfillment, long before it brings attention. This week, consider your most creative moments. No matter your medium, remember what feeling a sense of fulfilment meant for your creative process. Chances are when you felt the pride of discovery, it meant much more than any attention it received. Find your focus and be creative with your craft. After all, there’s no one that can do what you do—and the world needs more artists like that.

“ You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. ”
— Maya Angelou

Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider

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