Creativity is as basic a human need as food and sex…

Over the last several years, I have been developing an idea about human nature. At first, I thought that people had two (2) basic drives: 1) the drive to eat; and, 2) the drive to reproduce. I believed that any flaw or disruption within these two (2) drives would cause significant adverse outcomes within a person.

However, while I still believe in the two (2) basic drives, I now also see that it’s not enough for humanity to simply survive and pass on genetic information to the next generation. Really, there are two (2) additional ideas that are also basic to human nature. I call these two (2) ideas the Creativity Principle:

  1. All people have a basic need to create
    1. Isn’t necessarily an artistic creativity
    2. Basic expression of identity
  2. Self-judgment is the single most toxic enemy of creativity
    1. Causes fear of self-expression
    2. Leads to an internal belief that one is “not good enough”
    3. Can lead to self-hate

Basically, in addition to the first two basic drives, any flaw within a person’s basic need to create will also lead to adverse shortcomings and emotional issues. The second point is the most basic limiting factor to human existence. So many scholars have said that we are own worst enemy in one way or another that there had to be a reason why. I believe that self-judgment is the core reason people are their own worst enemy.

To illustrate: I was teaching a writing class at an inpatient treatment facility. The class was proceeding as usual, with some people listening intently and others dang near asleep. But there was a young woman, maybe nineteen (19), that was writing with furious focus and energy. Even if I spoke, she continued to write.

After class, I approached her to see what the heck she was writing. “Hi,” I said. “I couldn’t help but notice that you were writing. What were you writing about?”

She didn’t look up from her shoes and shook her head. After some prodding, she relented, “I write and draw all the time – people think I’m weird.”

“Is that why you use?”

She nodded. “If I don’t, I can’t make my mind be still.”

From that point, I realized that creativity is as basic a need for humanity as food and sex. But, people either ignore it or judge themselves as not being “good enough” to be creative. I’m still developing this idea, but I believe I’m on to something here…


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