I completed a questionnaire recently in preparation for a radio interview.
One of the questions asked was:
“What personal obstacles stand in your way from living your fully realized creative life?”
I stared at the question for a long time, trying to think of what is preventing me from living my creative life to the fullest. I imagined the possible answers that someone might give:
Inability to manage time
A lack of emotional support
Lack of inspiration
None of these things apply to me. Even when I lacked emotional support in my life, I simply used that as fuel to work even hard. Be better. Produce more.
Spite is quite the powerful motivator.
Time might come closest to describing my primary obstacle, but if I’m being honest, I think I use the 1,440 minutes I have each day the fullest. And if by greatest obstacle is time, it’s hardly personal. We’re all stuck with 1,440 minutes per day.
And I think I use those minutes quite well.
Elysha suggested that my personal obstacle is sleep, and while she’s right about how annoyed I am about needing to sleep, that need is not exactly unique to me. I also suspect that I couldn’t be creative without the cognitive benefits of sleep.
She also suggested that my day job (teaching) is standing in the way of my fully realized creative life, but I think of teaching as a part of my creative life. Not only does it fill my heart and soul with joy, but I think of teaching as a creative art, just as much as my writing and performing.
In the end, I wrote:
“My greatest personal obstacle to living a fully realized creative life is answering stupid questions like this one. They waste my time and make me feel like a jerk for thinking that nothing is standing in my way and that I eat personal obstacles for breakfast. It also probably makes other people like me a little less, too, for saying such things.”
I’m sure the interview is going to go splendidly.