I’ve been thinking a lot about this Scott Adams quote: “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which one to keep.”
Most people are scared of mistakes. They don’t like to put themselves out there at risk of failure. That’s especially true of public failure.
What starts as a fear of failure leads to a skeptical view of potentially productive wastes of time too.
Taken to extremes, the average worker’s end-state is turning into the proverbial cog in the machine.
The cog can’t make mistakes. It’s 6-sigma or bust, right?
But the daydreamer? The world outside the window is full of beautiful mistakes just waiting to be repackaged as art. These aren’t just distractions.
If we can demonstrate our ability to get things done, then we can also flex our creativity and even use it as a business card to take creative risks for others.
Said another way, if we can rise above the fear of failure that paralyzes the cogs, then we can repackage our own creativity and bring it to others as art.
In the Adam Grant sense (combining Originals with Give and Take), we can offer blind gifts of our own willingness to fail in exchange for the pure joy of seeing where it takes us.
Not I, not me, us.
Art takes practice.
The best part about creativity is that if you have it in abundance, you’ll have plenty of material to practice making art with.