Is Creativity a Curse?

Is everyone creative, or is it something we’re cursed with?

I used to think everyone is creative and that someone might just have a different kind of creativity. I also believed that some were more creative than others, because they allowed themselves to be. This, according to my theory, was because they had the confidence or the upbringing with a safety net intact, which gave them the wings they needed to take risks, fail, and dust themselves off to try again.

With this video, Jordan Peterson made me consider the idea of creativity to be something different. According to the video, creativity consists of, and is based on, a high-risk/high-return strategy, which means only a few of us will eventually become very successful, although the word "successful" can mean different things to different people.

If everyone is creative, there is essentially no real reason to have the definition. If everyone was intelligent, then that word will have no meaning.

Due to the video, I have changed my theory, and it’s almost a relief to now be able to see myself as a creative person. I now have peace of mind. And, instead of seeing it as a curse, I see it as being lucky. I cannot imagine not being a creative person, and I definitely do not wish to not be creative. And, I essentially have to choose between being creative and doing something creative throughout my life, or I have to do a job that I really don’t enjoy doing with a regular 9 to 5 that so many have grown accustomed to. With that said, I basically don’t have any real choice. This is who I am, and I’m going to run with it.

Now, if you’re reading this, you’re most likely a creative person who likes making things and playing around with color, or shape, or compositions. You might be reading this in search of a way to do something, what others in the same field are doing, or just for inspiration's sake. If you are, consider yourself lucky for being you, and for being creative.

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14 Comments

Matt Williams's picture

Please, for the sake of everyone here and the credibility of this website, never post a Jordan Peterson video. I'm not even kidding about that last part. This is like posting a Ben Shapiro video here.

Matt Williams's picture

And before people (especially Peterson fans) attack me - I have more than done my homework; I've watched probably hundreds of hours of his videos and debates and interviews. Because I find him to be a very interesting contradiction - he is clearly intelligent, at least in terms of measurable intelligence, but he's also totally full of sh*t. He's not wrong about a lot of things - or at least he's not wrong about the facts - but he falls flat on his face drawing proper conclusions from them. There's also some stuff he's just laughably wrong about and he also repeats his arguments a lot (loves talking about "Scandinavian countries" and lobsters and brick layers).

He also thinks eating only meat and starving yourself is the key to fixing illnesses and being healthy, which is incredibly dangerous and irresponsible propaganda to sell (as he does in his book(s)).

And, then, there's the whole thing where he attracts and emboldens racists, misogynists, white nationalists, and just generally dudes who want to rally against feminism and complain about how hard it is to be a white man. And buddies up to people like Shapiro.

Dana Goldstein's picture

Because there's no one white nationalists buddy up to like Orthodox Jews like Ben. Take your hate elsewhere.

Matt Williams's picture

I did not call Peterson a white nationalist. I do not believe he is that. I think he is sexist and transphobic, but not a white supremacist. I said he attracts and emboldens white nationalists. You can say "well that's not his fault" but ultimately, when you have a massive audience and your words start speaking to people like that, you really need to step back and think about why that is.

Michael Comeau's picture

Ben Shapiro did a really great review of the Sony A7R IV.

Please for the sake of everyone here Matt walk into oncoming traffic lol. :D

Matt Williams's picture

Well that's an appropriate response to being against legitimizing misogynistic assh*les who embolden white supremacists.

I agree it is appropriate, and just in case you weren't totally certain I genuinely meant it. :D

C Fisher's picture

Thank you for warning! If he's slightly like Shapiro I want nothing to do with that.

Matt Williams's picture

He's smarter than Shapiro for sure, at least on a basic IQ level (he's book-smart). Shapiro just talks really fast to sound smart. But they're both awful and crazy.

Deleted Account's picture

Everything Matt said.

Alex Yakimov's picture

Interesting argument, thank you for bringing that up, Wouter. It seem that following statement isn't bullet proof “ If everyone is creative, there is essentially no real reason to have the definition. If everyone was intelligent, then that word will have no meaning.” I believe it is not that black and white. Basically intelligence and creativity could be a quantitative parameters which could be affected by age, training, psychological state. Some just have or use more of it in a given time due to numerous reasons. That is not to spark a debate of what exactly was meant by these two terms.

Matt Williams's picture

I understand the point - everyone can't be "intelligent" since that implies above average and you need to have an average (and therefore below average and above average).

However, creativity and intelligence are not black and white as you say.

There are people who are mathematically brilliant but terrible with other subjects (I knew one in high school who could barely write above an 7th or 8th grade level, but was an absolute mathematical and scientific genius - he ended up going to MIT). There are people who probably would be "below average" on an IQ test but are insanely creative.

Not to mention the hundreds - nay, thousands - of ways a person can be creative.

This is typical Peterson - he applies a basic metric that makes sense on the surface and fails to draw any kind of correct, logical, meaningful, or reasonable point from it.

And, again, he's a right-wing nutcase who eats nothing but beef.