Starting this project
This blog post and this project – the Needs’ Year – is an expression of my own creativity. I’ve had the idea of the Needs’ Year for about six months. Sometimes I am very quick in turning ideas into action, but this time I was preoccupied with other projects. I didn’t do anything to prepare the project for a long time (apart from having some thoughts now and then). To get started I set goals for myself, such as “To start the Needs’ Year in January, I have to finish X before the 1st of December.” When I did not achieve this goal, I reformulated it into something else: “I will be done with Y before the 15th of December”, and didn’t accomplish that goal either. January closed in fast.
When there were three days left of 2021, I thought: “If the Needs’ Year is going to happen in 2022, I have to start doing something now!”. I recognize this pattern in so many areas of my life – I wait and wait until it’s almost too late (and sometimes it is too late) and then I throw myself into frenetic action. So, I started writing blog posts, contacting NVC trainers, setting up documents and structures, writing newsletters and preparing PDFs, while Magda took care of the technical stuff: landing page, graphics, layout and so on (I’m very grateful that she endured my last-minute preparations and that she was able to quickly manifest my ideas).
In this state, my brain works intensively and many creative ideas pop up, are discussed, tried and rejected or launched. It takes a lot of energy and time, but it’s intense and fun. My creative mind goes wild and nothing seems impossible.
Creativity doesn’t mean something completely new
When I look at the ingredients of the Needs’ Year, nothing is really new. Blog posts, webinars, newsletters and PDFs – all of this has been done thousands and millions of times before. But as far as I know, they have never been jointly put together around the idea of presenting a need per week for a whole year.
I have read a lot about creativity and innovation and one concept I have seen several times is that nothing we humans create is completely unique. Almost everything has been done before. Creativity is to combine previously separate elements which results in something completely new.
Creativity as a need
Creativity might be the crucial need that has brought the human race to where we are today. Our ability to come up with new solutions to new problems is probably what made us survive. One of the theories as to why the Neanderthals went extinct was their inability to adapt to new conditions. We, homo sapiens, on the other hand, are masters at adapting and it seems obvious that human creativity is unparalleled among animals.
Maybe the origin of creativity came into fruition in times of challenge and scarcity? As long as we were hunters and gatherers and the growing population could spread to new uninhabited areas of our planet, we did not need much creativity. This could go on for hundreds of thousands of years without our living conditions changing dramatically. We did not have to adapt so quickly. However, over the last few generations, the world around us changes so fast that we need to adapt almost all the time. Here our intelligence and creativity come in very handy.
It doesn’t seem that creativity is necessary anymore for our immediate survival. But in a world that is spinning faster and faster, it seems that we as individuals, organizations and societies need to be prepared and willing to change. Maybe it’s our relative security – that our basic survival needs are met – that makes our creativity flourish like never before?
Meeting the need for creativity
When I examine and think about creativity from a needs perspective, I notice that I’m filled with joy. The thought of a life where my need for creativity is not met at all seems very dull. Creativity may not be one of the immediate survival needs. However, the ability to be creative and being able to express it makes my life so much richer. And still, even today, in some situations, creativity probably contributes to immediate survival.
So, cultivate your creativity. Turn your thoughts into action. Express your wild impossible ideas and enjoy life to the fullest!
Share your strategies fulfiling the need for creativity in the comment below or, if you are a Premium subscriber of “The Needs’ Year”, at the online platform here: https://empathiceurope.com/online/courses/the-needs-year/modules/week-4/
Joachim Berggren (CNVC Certified Trainer)
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On Friday (28 January 2022 at 18:00 CET), you can participate in a Zoom Talk with me and Sarah Dekker. We will talk about the need for creativity.
Sign up for the Needs’ Year and you will receive a link to Zoom.
If you read this afterwards, you can watch the recording when you become a premium subscriber. Check the details HERE.