If you know me, I freaking love Seinfeld.
Hands down - The.Best.Comedic.Show.Of.All.Time.
[Please let the rumors of it coming to Netflix be true *fingers crossed*]
But anyways, that's besides the point of this quick post.
If you are looking for tips on how to be more creative or to become a creative badass, this is one piece of advice that I personally think is the most important thing you could ever internalize:
"Your blessing in life is when you find the torture you are comfortable with."
- Jerry Seinfeld from a Howard Stern Interview
What's the deal with this quote? I mean is it advice? I thought creativity was fun? Who are these people?
I LOVE this quote so much.
The first time I heard Jerry speak it in this interview with Howard Stern (The quote comes in at around the 30:00 mark), it hit me like a ton of Torrance's bricks. At the time, I was really struggling with finding my true creative calling. Like many others, I was operating under the assumption that my true creative calling, once found, would help me live a life full of bliss, complete flow, and just waking up everyday being pumped up as hell and ready to do my fun, wonderful creative work.
Wow. Was that ever stupid.
A lot of us think that when we find "it" that our life will somehow magically unfold thanks to some mystical laws of The Secret. We break away from our commitment to do creative work as soon as we face something annoying, frustrating, or scary. We say to ourselves, "Hey, this must not be my true creative calling if there is an array of things that I dislike about this. Better drop this and keep looking for something that I whole-heartedly love!"
But the truth is, we need to embrace our discomfort. We need to be objective and honest about our creative calling, and realize that no matter what we decide to do with our lives and in our work, there will be things that we just do not like to do, but have to do. Things that are annoying. Things that are frustrating. Things that suck.
Things that are absolutely torturous.
The trick is, as Seinfeld says, is to find the types of torture you are willing to deal with in order to have a great career/relationship/project.
As a researcher, my torture is finding people to participate in my studies, carefully cleaning and restructuring data so it can be useful and analyzed, being succumbed to quite a few tedious and excruciatingly boring tasks that my advisor makes me do (I hope she isn't reading this), and a whole array of other annoying tasks.
I spend a lot of time working, and miss out on some of the social activities that I would like to participate in. But that is ok, because in general, I love the process of research and being able to generate and test new ideas that I think are important for helping people become more creative, effective, and just generally more satisfied with the quality of their lives. To me, all these torturous things are simply one aspect (albeit shitty aspect) of this process to do creative things and help others. So I deal with them and try to keep the bigger picture in mind.
Not everything is meant to be or will be fun when you are doing something creative.
So I ask you, what is your torture? What do you live with in order to fulfill your creative badassness? What do you have to give up in order to live your creative life?
Other News: Check out my newly released Entheos class on how to be more creative!
And if you haven't already, download my free e-book (below) that goes into more detail about why creativity ain't always easy, but shows you 9 easy steps that you can begin implementing in your eve.
Fun little bonus video for all you Seinfeld fans out there...