The Kind of Decision Making That Kills Creativity
I saw this headline on an article on Business Net and could not help but think how much it can cut the creative process short.
“It is one of the worst pieces of career advice that I bet each of you has not only received but given,” says author Penelope Trunk, “ Forget that. It’s absurd. Career decisions are not decisions about what do I love most. Career decisions are about what kind of life do I want to set up for myself. After all , how could you possibly pick one thing you love to do?”
Well, here’s another way to think about it …
There is no doubt that many people cannot find immediately the kind of work they want and have to settle for what comes their way. But not forever, and especially if it is to be a career. Furthermore it is likely that the average young person entering the market place for the first time will not have just one career but perhaps seven or eight in a life time says Ken Dychtwald, visionary gerontologist. The age of working at something, especially something that is just a job, so that you can achieve the “Golden Years” is model that is vanishing. In its’ place is a short career followed by retooling, or a sabbatical, or a long vacation and then something new. Each new career may create a different lifestyle. So imagining the initial lifestyle you want may have no bearing on what you will like and want in perhaps a brief few years.
Finding and doing something you love does not mean there won’t be bumps in the road, but when you finally figure out what you really like doing and strive to find that, you enlist larger forces in the universe to help you.
I won’t say that not imagining the kind of life you might like is not important, but to accept work that you might be good at but don’t particularly care for is a hollow victory. Yes, no doubt countless people do that but I maintain you can have both the work you love and the lifestyle, because eventually you will come to love the life style that work you love gives you.
I maintain that the proper question is to ask,
“How can I have both the work I love and the lifestyle I want?”
They don’t have to be mutually exclusive and they don’t have to be instantaneously available. But without the vision and the dream you may not get either.
There are many paths that might get you to the destination. Often people have hobbies they love that can be monetized over time.
I loved the work I did, advertising, but did not always love the conditions that came with it. Had I truly settled for a job, just because I was qualified, I would have been miserable.
As Leo Burnett, the founder of one of America’s truly great advertising agencies said,
“When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a hand full of mud either.”
If your decision making doesn’t include trying for what you love perhaps you are settling for mud.