“It’s easy to find something worth dying for. Do you have anything worth living for?”
Lorien in Babylon 5: “Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi?”
I’m currently working on the second edition of my “Organizing Creativity” book. It is still about half the amount of pages as the first edition, but new topics do get in. One — rather accidental — topic is related to setting priorities. If you are creative, chances are, there are different projects you can work on, and there is a lot more to do than you have time in your life. So there are a few lines on “having to many interests” (and how to deal with them) and about “Setting Priorities” (for which an idea collection is actually a great help — and very soothing). However, I also went a step further up — and that question is “What do you live for?”.
The longer I have spend in my working life, the more I notice that — at least today and in Western society — it is meaning in our life that we need, that drives us, that motivates us. A vision of something to accomplish, a personal mission to achieve (or at least contribute to) this vision, which tells you what kind of knowledge and skills you need, and how to evaluate whether you are successful in achieving it.
Or to put in a diagram (very simplified, of course, your knowledge and skills also define your vision and mission):
Thing is, everyone has to find for him- or herself what their vision and mission is. And what they can contribute to it. But whereas this might be difficult, the good thing is, you can define it for yourself. It is much more difficult in the work setting, where others have to set this vision and define the organizations mission. Many organizations do not do it, or make it transparent, or make it believable (and the only way to do it is to really believe in it). And if this is missing people stay below their potential. I think this is one reason why so many people like to be creative in their leisure time, because then they can at least contribute to one vision, to make the world a little better for others.
But even then, the question remains: Your time here is limited, so, what do you live for?