I was introduced to the idea of “Centrifugal Creativity” a few years ago by Patrick Dodson (listen to his teaching on the topic here). It resonated with me then, and I’ve been chewing it again recently.
Dodson talks about a history of art, why our idolization of “the Artist”, self-discovery and self-expression is misled, and why creativity is better when it’s focused on blessing the community.
If I think about my best creative moments and when I’ve had the most fun making stuff, they’ve often come when making stuff for someone else, even stuff as small as birthday cards and the like. Far from occurring in a vacuum of self-expression, in my experience creativity is at it’s best when it’s focused outward.
If you were paying attention in high school physics, you know that centrifugal force is actually a myth. But in the realm of creativity, when you focus your imagination and ideas outward, it seems like you also experience a force that is also real in physics: centripetal force. Focusing on blessing other people has a way of centering you, and gives your creativity a pivot point.
What would happen if we elevated the creative act to its highest level?
To where all of our creativity is given to make the world better;
To make the lives of others better;
To bring beauty and compassion and wonder to the lives of those whose lives are touched by us.
– Erwin McManus