Free creative expression is central to general health and wellbeing primarily because it provides your life with something truly essential: purpose. If your life has no purpose, you really have no reason for even getting out of bed in the morning. On the other hand, if you are convinced that your life has purpose, you are automatically granted large quantities of energy and, generally speaking, large quantities of life.
Humans are creative creatures. We all have an insatiable drive to put part of our unique selves out there in the real world through creative expression. The specific channel through which this occurs is not important – the important thing is that you get those budding ideas swirling around inside your head out there for the world to see, whether it is in the form of a product, a service, a song, a dish, a team play or a piece of creative writing.
Creative expression is one of the most direct routes to health and happiness, but the opposite is also true. If creative expression is supressed by an overbearing parent, a controlling spouse or a deadly dull job, health and happiness definitely suffer – partly because of a tragic lack of purpose in life and partly because of the self-destructive consumption habits which thrive in such a situation.
But I have come to believe that the primary reason for the lack of free creative expression within our society today is our widespread culture of consumerism. Consumption is the polar opposite of creation and since most of us see our jobs purely as a means to fund our consumption habits, free creative expression is all but non-existent within our society. A widespread mental shift is sorely needed in this area and we will return to this topic repeatedly in the coming chapters of the One in a Billion project.
For the time being, however, we will strive only to tailor our own living environments to allow for free creative expression and also allow for free creative expression within our families and among our subordinates. We’ll take a look at that tomorrow.