Imagination is more important than knowledge…

Albert Einstein said that. Not me. But I’m glad he said it… For a minute there, I thought I was screwed.

Creativity is beautiful thing. It’s a blank sheet of paper, a blank screen, dead air space and a 35-foot billboard transformed into something magical… Something that excites, incites, unites and invites. It’s inspiring, moving, emotive, funny, gut wrenching and, well, magical.

But “creation” is down-right scary. It’s vulnerability in its purest form. It’s all of our insecurities – and perhaps our inadequacies – exposed for all to see and experience and judge. But that insecurity can also be one of the more powerful motivators in any creative pursuit.

Along with insecurities and vulnerability comes the opportunity to be or become a pioneer… To go where no man, woman or overpaid, big city Creative Director has gone before.

Vulnerability allows us the opportunity to take that blank sheet of paper and create – here it comes – magic.

I am naïve and silly enough to think that everything has the potential to be better – to become great. Without exception, all things can become more than what they currently are or aspire to be. From the best-tasting and lowest calorie beer on the market to the unsigned garage band or singer-songwriter. From the mom-and-pop grocer, to the struggling not-for-profit philanthropy in your community. Even Tiger Woods can be better. It’s all about potential.

Brian Ferren, a three-time Academy Award winner who is now vice president of creative technologies at Walt Disney says, “I’ve never seen a great military leader, political or corporate leader who was not a great storyteller. Telling stories is a core competency in business, although it’s one that we don’t pay enough attention to…”

I imagine telling stories. I imagine other things, too. Important things. Valuable things. I think Mr. Einstein would be proud.

Thomas Merton, believes that “A person knows when he has found his [passion] when he stops thinking about how to live and begins to live… When we are not living up to our true vocation, thought deadens our life, or substitutes itself for life, or gives in to life so that our life drowns out our thinking and stifles the voice of conscience. When we find our vocation – thought and life are one.”

Whoa. Preach on, Tommy!

I believe, with all of my heart, that I need to be writing. In whatever capacity, writing is what I do best. I think about it all of the time. I dream about it. I sit at the kitchen table and at my desk at work and in my car and on the bench at the playground while my kids are running free, un-tethered by a passion of their own… and I do it.

I write all the time. Even when I’m not writing I am creating stories or projecting myself into the lives and loves of others. Sometimes I just make stuff up. Sometimes I don’t even try, but I write nonetheless.

I love to write. I love to open myself to others’ perceptions of me. I love to make people think about their own lives by showing them a little bit of mine. I write about my kids, or my wife, or what I had for dinner last night…

I stray away from the things I do not know. For instance, I have never written anything on the human genome project. I don’t write about Pre-Menstrual Syndrome. I don’t write about the migratory path of the Alaskan Bull Finch.

I write about my other passions: My history. My future. My dreams and goals. Ups and downs. Highs and lows. I write about patio furniture and halogen head lamps and orange juice and politics and God.

There is power in the written word. No matter what the subject, the writer becomes the “end-all” by which the “be-all” is confirmed.

That’s just plain terrifying… and magical.


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