What is irritating is when you try to start something, but because demotivation has set into other aspects of your work, it creeps into work that you care more about. The creative energy comes from being productive all around, but by not putting full effort into one creative production it takes away from all creative productions. Maybe it’s a part of the self that worries I’m shirking responsibility causing myself to not write with a clear mind and further blocking the creativity to flow, or that I don’t deserve to be personally creative when I’m not being professionally creative. It’s not about being Creatively Stagnant or Creatively Irresponsible, but I feel that I’m being Creatively Demotivated. Bouncing around from idea to idea, but having little motivation to expound and fulfill each idea.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Whenever being creative comes up, I’m always brought back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I’m brought back to this more and more often because finding happiness from creativity and purpose comes as a very in-essential need of the human life. When I listen to podcasts like the Joe Rogan Experience where the topic of Subsistence shows come up often, or “Happy People” from Werner Herzog where people live essentially with the tools and expertise of the 1800s, they emphasis that the people living in these communities that focus more on their physical needs than their psychological ones are living much happier lives than those in a more civilized, modernized community. I’m not going to say that I’m the first one to bring the two together, but I guess it’s a sign of how good our lives are. I have everything needed to live a physically stress free life. I have food, water, warmth. I’m healthy and have employment. Many of the base needs are already met, so we search higher on the pyramid to find things that are more fulfilling.

The base of the pyramid fulfills our physical needs and the higher we go, we search for psychological fulfillment. And when the base of that pyramid gets shaken, the stability of the whole pyramid gets shaken. And I guess that is why I’m focused on this pyramid for the moment, because my foundation is being destroyed and rebuilt again. Starting Mid-July, I’m transitioning to a new job, which requires a long distance move, which requires a lot of interpersonal and intrapersonal changes to happen. I’m changing homes several times over the next few months and the majority of my belongings won’t be nearby to remind me of my past in a subconscious, non-obtrusive background music sort of way. The friends that I’ve tried to cultivate meaningful relationships with won’t be nearby which may further fracture any sort of active communication that we already exercise. My parents will be further away than before, making it hard to plan anytime to see them without knowing what my commitments are post-move. I won’t be working for a few weeks which changes up my creative routine dramatically. The bases of my pyramid are crumbling for the time being and it’s never easy to assume that it’ll be as well structured as before. Maybe it’s a fault that I built my physical and social needs so broadly that moving causes the base to shrink so dramatically. It makes me ever wonder how some people can live out of their suitcase for years, ready to move to the next adventure, but then looking at Maslow’s pyramid it makes me wonder how strong of a base they have when the top, their psychological needs, comes crumbling over; or, if they have any psychological needs at all. “Up in the Air” was a movie that explored this to a fair degree, where by finding needs higher in the hierarchy it requires a strong base to support the self.

Creativity is also partly like a muscle. You have to exercise your creativity in order for creativity to work more easily. So even though I don’t see myself producing much creative work in the meantime, I’ll keep showing up and trying to get something out, so that when I do come back, my writing won’t be so clunky, my thoughts blocky, my fingers dumbfounded.

Life change creates holes that were once filled but also exposes holes that were unnoticed before. Fresh perspective helps us understand what we want from our lives and what was missing. Meeting new people, seeing different things, continuously learning and understanding the perspectives of those other than ourselves helps to give us a change in perspective. I say this partially to comfort myself but to also remind myself that change is scary but change is refreshing as well. Change may be scary, but it isn’t something to fear. Creativity is hard, but it isn’t something to put off.