Introduction

Picture this. I was a hotshot in a Fortune 500 company, clambering up the corporate ladder faster than a squirrel on a mission. The suits, the shiny corner office, the impressive title. From the outside, I was nailing it, like a boss. But let me drop some truth on you. On the inside, I was screaming, ‘Why the hell am I doing this?’

Now, don’t get me wrong. I was grateful for the opportunity. I mean, who wouldn’t be? But there was this nagging thought in the back of my mind, like an annoying piece of popcorn stuck in your teeth. Was I doing this for the paycheck, the prestige, or was there something more? Was this my purpose, or just the rat race everyone talked about?

Fast forward many years and a shitload of experiences later, here I am. A seasoned designer, an executive, a founder, and more importantly, a creative thinker. What changed, you ask? I understood that creativity was not just about the glossy final product, the slick innovation or the cutting-edge design. Hell no. It was about why I was doing it. It was about finding the purpose behind the creativity.

Listen up, because this is important. You’ve probably heard this a million times, but I’m going to say it anyway. True creativity is about expressing your values, your passions, your freakin’ soul. It’s not about what you create, it’s about why you create it. That’s the secret sauce, my friend. That’s what separates the mediocre from the magic.

Does this sound a little too Zen for you? Well, buckle up, because we’re going on a journey to bust some myths, challenge some beliefs and light a creative fire that’s driven by purpose. Because, let’s face it, nothing less is going to cut it in this world that’s hungry for authenticity, originality and, yep you guessed it, purpose.

Myths about Creativity and Purpose

Alright friends, it’s time to go myth-busting. I’m talking about those pesky, stubborn misconceptions about creativity and purpose that are as prevalent as cat videos on the internet. Strap in, because we’re about to take them down, one by one.

Myth #1: Creativity is solely about innovation

This is the big one, the mother of all myths. The belief that creativity is all about making something cool or innovative. Like, if you’re not inventing the next iPhone or painting the next Mona Lisa, you’re not really being creative. Well, I call bull on that.

Sure, innovation is a part of creativity, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. Real creativity is about expressing your innermost values and passions. It’s about pouring your heart and soul into your work, not just your brain and your skills.

Consider the case of Vincent van Gogh, the poster child of purpose-driven creativity. This guy sold one painting his entire life. One! But he painted over 900. Did he keep at it because he thought he was going to make bank? Nope. He painted because it was his purpose, his calling.

Myth #2: Purpose needs to be world-changing

Alright, onto myth number two. This one’s a doozy. It’s the belief that your purpose has to be some world-changing, ground-breaking, universe-altering manifesto. Like, if you’re not aiming to solve world hunger or cure cancer, your purpose isn’t valid. Again, this is Grade A, prime-cut nonsense.

Purpose is deeply personal. It’s about what moves you, not what moves mountains. Maybe you love making people laugh. Maybe you enjoy creating something beautiful. Or maybe you get a kick out of solving complex puzzles. Whatever it is, if it lights your fire, it’s your purpose.

Let’s get one thing straight. Your purpose doesn’t have to be world-changing. It just has to be you-changing. If it motivates you, drives you, gives you a reason to get up in the morning, then it’s doing its job. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

In short, forget about changing the world. Focus on changing your world. The rest will follow.

Discovering Your Purpose

Let’s get this out of the way: finding your purpose isn’t a walk in the park. It’s more like a deep dive into the ocean. You might encounter some scary beasts (hello, self-doubt and fear), and it might get uncomfortable, but trust me, the treasures you’ll find are worth it.

The importance of self-reflection

First off, to find your purpose, you need to get real with yourself. Real real. And that means self-reflection. You know, those deep, existential questions that make you feel like you’re in a philosophy class. What matters to me the most? What lights my fire? What would I do even if I wasn’t getting paid?

I know, I know, these are heavy questions. But remember, diamonds are formed under pressure. And the answers you find might surprise you, enlighten you, even change you.

So, how do you conduct self-reflection? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. For some, it could mean meditating or journaling. For others, it might mean going on a long, solo hike or just sitting in a quiet room with their thoughts. Find what works for you, and do it.

Understanding that purpose is evolutionary, not static

Now here’s another thing: your purpose isn’t carved in stone. It’s more like a cloud, constantly changing shape. It evolves, grows, matures, just like you do.

Think of it like a fine bourbon. It takes time to distill, age, and get that deep, rich flavor. Your purpose is no different. It’s a journey, not a destination. It’s your North Star, guiding you, not your anchor, holding you down.

Remember, it’s perfectly fine for your purpose to change over time. It’s not a failure; it’s growth. It’s not confusion; it’s evolution. It’s not inconsistency; it’s adaptability.

Aligning Creativity with Purpose

So you’ve gone through the existential crisis, done the deep dive, and discovered your purpose. Sweet! Now comes the fun part: fusing that purpose with your creativity. Here’s where the magic happens.

The power of aligning the ‘why’ with the ‘what’

Why does this alignment matter? Well, when your ‘why’ (purpose) aligns with your ‘what’ (creative output), you’re not just making something; you’re expressing something. Your values, your passions, your soul – all of it gets poured into your work, making it truly yours.

It’s like taking a bite of a home-cooked meal. Sure, the ingredients matter, but it’s the love and care put into preparing it that really hits home. That’s what alignment does to your creativity. It’s not just a meal; it’s grandma’s recipe. It’s not just a painting; it’s Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

So, how can you align creativity and purpose in your work? Start by examining your creative process. Is it driven by your purpose, or is it just going through the motions? Next, see how your purpose can influence your creativity. Maybe it means choosing projects that align with your values, or using your skills to contribute to a cause you care about. Experiment, explore, and find your unique blend.

The magic of expressing through creation

When you start creating with purpose, you’re not just making things; you’re making magic. It’s a kind of alchemy, transforming base metal into gold, raw emotions into art, ideas into reality.

And that magic touches not just you, but others as well. It’s like lighting a candle in a dark room. Your light sparks inspiration, offers comfort, even brings joy. It touches lives, leaves a mark, makes a difference.

So, my friends, remember: align your ‘why’ with your ‘what’, fuel your creativity with purpose, and watch as you create not just things, but magic.

Conclusion

Alright, creatives, we’ve been on quite a journey, haven’t we? From Fortune 500 grind to existential crisis, through deep self-reflection and finally, finding the magic in aligning your ‘why’ with your ‘what’.

I hope you’ve taken away this vital truth: creativity isn’t just about making cool shit. It’s not about following trends or copying what’s popular. True creativity is about expressing who you are, what you believe in, and why you give a damn. It’s about using your skills and talents to make a mark, however big or small, on this world.

I won’t lie, this isn’t a one-and-done process. You won’t find your purpose, align it with your creativity, and ride off into the sunset. It takes time. It’s a journey, a constant process of questioning, reflecting, evolving. And that’s perfectly okay.

Your purpose might change. Your creativity might take a new turn. Embrace the chaos, the uncertainty. It’s part of the process. And remember, it’s not just about the destination; it’s about the journey.

So, my friends, whether you’re a rookie designer, a seasoned entrepreneur, or a creative spirit trying to make sense of it all, I hope this has brought you some insight, comfort, or inspiration.

Remember, creativity fueled by purpose is a journey, not a destination. You don’t have to have it all figured out. You don’t have to move mountains. You just need to keep moving, keep creating, and let the magic unfold along the way.

And hey, the next time you find yourself questioning, ‘Why the hell am I doing this?’ remember Van Gogh. Remember the power of aligning your ‘why’ with your ‘what’. And remember that no matter what you create, as long as it’s fueled by your purpose, it’s magic. And that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.

About the Author: Geoffrey Byers
Geoffrey is one of the world's foremost Designers. He is also a Serial Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, and Mad Scientist. Hypothesis-Driven experimentation is his love language.