Whatever the question, “create” is the answer

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Rosie in the kitchen, solving all the world’s problems with a paintbrush

The night before the Grammys, host LL Cool J was interviewed by Piers Morgan on CNN.

The interview covered a lot of ground, including how LL Cool J (born James Todd Smith) came out of a very tough childhood and created a solid family base and lots of commercial and financial success. He credits his grandmother for orienting him toward the future, by repeatedly quoting “If the task is once begun, never leave it till its done. Be thy labor great or small, do it well or not at all.”

Piers asked him what we needed to do as a country to “Keep America great.”

His answer gave me goosebumps.

“I think to keep America great, we have to keep America creative.”

We love to argue. To point fingers. To debate.

That will not solve our economic problems, nor make us feel powerful.

We are made to create. We get our smile back when we create. We reclaim our swagger, our muse, our hope when we create.

It is not a condition unique to the United States, it is a fundamental part of being human.

It is why Pinterest is taking off like a storm – we salivate at images of beauty that inspire us to redecorate our home office or make a stunning meal or move us to tears.

It is why your particular work configuration does not matter. If you are creating something of value and personal meaning, does it really matter if you are self-employed, freelancing, or employed by a corporation or non-profit?

It is why my 6-year old is asking me when he will be old enough to start his Plants vs. Zombies YouTube channel.

The act of creating is what sets us free, what gives our life meaning. And it is what will put us back on our personal and collective path to greatness.

Whatever the question, create is the answer.

Are you sad? Create.

Do you feel broken? Create.

Are you inspired? Create.

Are you bored? Create.

Are you angry? Create.

Want to grow a business? Create.

What to stand out in your career? Create.

You will go from this:

To this:

P.S. The wonderful Crys Williams reminded us today why only 10% of what we create is worth looking at. More reason to get busy creating!

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15 Responses to “Whatever the question, “create” is the answer”

  1. […] post was also inspired by this Pam Slim blog with an incredible video featuring LL Cool J talking about how to cure America’s problems. […]

  2. […] a state of flow, where time flies by and you feel completely engaged and fulfilled in the moment. Pam Slim wrote a great post about this and shared an inspiring CNN video interview with creator LL Cool J.  […]

  3. […] a state of flow, where time flies by and you feel completely engaged and fulfilled in the moment. Pam Slim wrote a great post about this and shared an inspiring CNN video interview with creator LL Cool J.  […]

  4. […] a state of flow, where time flies by and you feel completely engaged and fulfilled in the moment. Pam Slim wrote a great post about this and shared an inspiring CNN video interview with creator LL Cool J.  […]

  5. […] post was also inspired by this Pam Slim blog with an incredible video featuring LL Cool J talking about how to cure America’s problems. […]

  6. Thrive says:

    […] Commons License.  This poem is inspired by personal thoughts and this remarkable article "Whatever the question, "create" is the answer" written by Pam […]

  7. Mary H Ruth says:

    Yes oh yes oh yes and so beautifully stated! Thank you!

  8. Now I feel better about spending so much ‘work time’ this week on rewriting my children’s picture book manuscript instead of my ‘to do’ list items. It was the most fun I had all week and I loved every minute of it.

  9. Jacki says:

    Thank you for the inspiring piece. The whole post gave me goose bumps and I thought it was especially helpful to remember to create even when we are angry and feeling broken. Probably the most important times to create, actually.

  10. It’s far more difficult to create than to do any of the alternatives (complain, destroy, steal ideas), which is why you’re having to write this post.

    Cracking piece though. Thanks.

  11. Sandra Lee says:

    For the season of lent I have committed to create each day. Whether it is a collage in my journal or writing creation will happen.

  12. Good stuff, Pam. It’s amazing how often simple truths can serve as guideposts to a better situation.

    The business cliche, “I don’t want problems, I want solutions” is used for a reason. It’s a much more productive use of time to create a potential solution, rather than dwelling on the negative (angry, broken, sad, etc.).

    Thanks,
    Justin

  13. fas says:

    Create and you shall reap, well said Pam.

    This reminds me how people think of alternate solutions to problems and seldom does one strive on creating something of value, something which will bring efficiency and reduce the problem!

  14. Irene says:

    Oh my, thank you. My question: how do you deal with the fear of doing somethning wrong, like I want to make something with fabric, what if I do it wrong and I waste the fabric?

  15. […] This piece that she shared in reaction to an interview with L.L. Cool J is a reflection about how choosing to create is the answer to many of our hurts and […]

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