A simple yet powerful idea– happiness is creating! Specifically– if you want to be “happier” in life, seek to create more!
So this is my thinking:
First of all, we desire control and autonomy in our lives. One of the best ways to achieve this is through creation. For example as children, we love LEGO’s, Minecraft, and drawing– because we have the power to create!
They often call God ‘the creator’ — because he is seen as the ‘first mover’ — the supreme motivator behind the universe.
As humans, we are biological matter. We are animals, like other animals– except we are far far more intelligent than them. This is why we called ourselves ‘homo sapiens’ — sapiens meaning “wise”.
Consider that our hominoid ancestors were not that big, not that strong, and certainly not as fast as other creatures. But the way we were able to conquer and take over the world was that we harnessed our intelligence to solve problems (Karl Popper), and I think we feel most alive when we are confronted with interesting challenges, and we have the opportunity to solve these problems, and this is the source of our intelligence and our creativity!
Now in the modern world, the reason why I think a lot of us feel ‘depressed’ is simply because we don’t have enough mental challenge or stimulation. Most of the jobs that we have simply don’t challenge us enough. We mindlessly sift and answer emails, dutifully sit in (very boring) meetings, and we don’t feel the right amount of challenge or mental stimulation.
I know for myself, if I’m given nothing (interesting) to do, and I’m just sitting by myself at home, I feel pretty miserable. My mood feels de-pressed (de: downwards // pressed: impacted). I don’t feel motivated to move or act!
Humans like to do stuff, create stuff, and make stuff! We like to solve problems, puzzles, and utilize our skills. I think this is why video games are so popular nowadays, because we aren’t getting the right challenge and stimulation from our jobs or everyday lives!
Above all, I think we are happiest when we are in the active flow of creation.
I’m currently reading Lucretius’s book “On the Nature of Things”, which is part poetry, part philosophy, and part atomic theory (the theory that the universe is made up of atoms). It is pretty phenomenal– Epicurus, Lucretius, Democritus (and many other Greek/Roman philosophers) figured out that atoms existed 2,000+ years ago — without even having definitive ‘proof’!
Anyways, if we consider that the universe is made up of atoms and “the void” (empty space), we can think of ourselves (humans) as just biological atom-matter.
Now some people might think this as a bit depressing. If we are nothing but atoms– why do anything? Why live? Some fall into the pit of ‘nihilism’ (the depressing philosophy that there is no purpose to life — “nihil” (nothing) “ism” (the philosophy of).
But to me, I am the ultimate positive nihilist (in the footsteps of Nietzsche). I declare that there is ultimately no ‘point to anything in life’ — but this is exciting– because we can create our own purpose, goals, and focuses in life!
Why I like to create
For myself, I like to create stuff for many reasons:
First of all, I like to create because it is fun! I think boredom (lack of challenge) is one of the worst mental states that exist– perhaps even worse than pain and suffering. So in short, I like to create because it is interesting, challenging, and fun — and makes life worth living!
Secondly, I like to create because I get deep meaning and purpose knowing that the stuff I create can empower and help others! As human beings, of course we seek the company of other human beings. No human being (no matter how rich, how much stuff he owned, or how many Lamborghinis he had in the garage, would enjoy his stuff– if he lived by himself or had no other humans to enjoy his stuff with!).
Consider the most fun video games are the ones we play with others. With art, we enjoy the ability to share our artwork with other human beings! With movies, comedy, and music– we like it because it is created by other humans, and of other humans!
Third, I like to create because when I am “in the zone” of creation (the psychological state of ‘flow’), I feel god-like. To me, when I am in the zone of creation, I enter a state of ‘apotheosis’ (the feeling of becoming a god, a ‘theos’). When I am in the active state of creation, time no longer exists. My ego and sense of self goes away. I become totally immersed into the work or the stuff I’m making– it is almost as if the stuff is creating itself! Even as I type these words on my laptop in IA writer in ‘focus’ mode, I feel like the words are streaming from my fingertips onto the digital screen– as if the words are writing themselves! I guess this is what taoists call ‘wu-wei’ (effortless action — meaning, being able to act and create stuff without “forcing” yourself to do it).
When I am in this active zen-like state of creation, I don’t feel depressed, anxious, frustrated, or have any negative mental-mind states. Instead, I feel focused, calm, elated, energized, and strong! In other words, being in the zen-active zone of creation is the best mental-psychological state to a human being.
To sum up, some practical ideas:
- All creation is good: Don’t think of some of your creations as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. It is all good! For example mother nature doesn’t distinguish between an avocado tree and a strawberry bush as one being ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than the other. You are a creator– just create whatever interests you!
- Share what you create: As humans we get great joy from sharing our creations. But this is my practical tip: share your creations with others, but don’t expect others to love it (as much as you do!) This is often what disappoints us, when others don’t like our creations as much as we like it.
- Anything that motivates/inspires you to create is good! If your laptop, camera, phone, tablet, or whatever inspires/motivates you to make more photos, make more videos, make more films, make more poetry or artwork — it is good! Don’t feel guilty spending money on things, experiences, or tools that empower you to create more!
So remember friend– you have the power in your hands to create and craft anything you see fit! Make stuff that puts a smile on your face, and try to enter this ‘zen-zone’ of creation as often as you can, every day.
Let me end you with this freestyle poem I just wrote:
Never Stop Making
Never stop making
Don’t worry about placating the masses
Ignore what your teachers told you in classes or in school,
You got the power of your own creative tools; so build what you desire
Don’t stay low to the ground, soar higher– what is your personal peak?
Don’t think, just do
Just make — make stuff that you consider great, and make yourself great
You’re a super-hero; put on your red cape
You can create your own destiny; you can control your own fate
Ain’t no hate in the world, only love
No need to shove others out of the way, there is enough room for us all
So friend, stand tall on your own two feet
Greet whatever comes your way in life
Channel the strife and the pain to make yourself stronger
Never stop creating; create your own block-chain, and enter this zen-like zone of apotheosis, channel your own creative thoughts from your own creative brain!