I’m not sure if the biggest enemy of my contentment is perfectionism or privilege, or how much they go together. They both make me feel entitled to something else because I believe I’ve seen better and should expect better. They both hold me back from the present and the fullness of what I could make of it. So, I started trying to make each seemingly unsatisfying thing an opportunity for creativity, and it has become my tool to find contentment in unideal situations and foreign places.
Creativity changes my experience of something and brings new life to it. Merely creating is to cause something to happen or bring something into existence. But when it’s recognized as creative, it’s a phenomenon of forming new and valuable things, alternatives, possibilities useful in solving problems, communicating, and entertaining ourselves and others. I had to realize that there is always something for me to create that is valuable to the home, community, and culture I’m in whether I realize it or not.
We create connections. We create experiences. We create atmospheres.
And, it takes a lot of appreciation. Groove is a consistent combination of creativity, enjoyment, and appreciation.
The more I am grooving through something, the less I insist on perfecting it. Author Hara Estroff Marano talks about the biggest problem with perfection being that it masks the real secret of success in life: “Success hinges less on getting everything right than on how you handle getting things wrong. This is where creativity, passion, and perseverance come into play. In a flat world; you don't make people powerful by pushing them to be perfect but by allowing them to become passionate about something that compels their interest.”
This means that in the midst of “wrong” or “bad”, we can use our creativity to reject discontentment. We have the power to access it from inside of us even if and especially because it’s easiest to blame everything outside of us. The more we use our creativity, the more it empowers us and the more it grows, so we can keep using it, keep empowering ourselves, and keep growing.