“Which is more important, passion or steadfastness?”
Recently, I was asked this question. Like the debate team trained person I am I began listing pros and cons of each, trying to determine which was the better of the two traits. I looked up their definitions to get an “accurate” representation of the words.
Passion is defined as “a strong feeling or excitement for something.”
Steadfastness is defined as “loyal; devoted to a person or cause or belief. Not changing or firmly fixed.”
Then, like the creative, intuitive person I am, I threw the lists away.
My question is why choose? We ponder the idea of IF YOU HAVE TO PICK ONE, but, you know what…. WE DON’T. We don’t need to pick because the creative process allows, if not demands both from us.
Passion is the driving force. It is what gets us started on a project that may drive us nuts, test our limits and the patience of our loved ones.
Steadfastness keeps us going. It is with us when we have hit the 112th mistake along the way and we feel we might quit. Steadfastness reminds that if we remain steady we will get to where we are going. Steadfastness keeps us loyal to our creative self when the rest of the world is trying to tell us ‘You’ll never make it.”
I wouldn’t choose. I refuse because I know at my source that I need both to be creatively successful. It is the magical ingredients of both of these traits that allows for creative success. If you were to think of the creative process as running a race then passion is what gets you off the start line; steadfastness is the endurance to make it to the finish line.
Lets look at the breakdown of the creative process specifically.
In the first stage, Preparation, passion is part of the process. We have a passion for field or genre’ that we are creating in. It for the LOVE of our art, in whatever form it takes, that allows to be in this stage so that we can begin.
The second stage, Incubation, is still about passion. It is the gathering of our creative spirit and resources. This is the stage of stillness and allowing the ideas to move freely about before we put brush to canvas or pen to paper or flow the equation together. Sometimes in this stage, we get a little restless. We want to begin but aren’t quite ready and we may be moved to not even start. This is where the power of steadfastness arrives. Steadfastness holds our hand and says wait, hang in there. It pulls us through to the third stage.
Illumination. The third stage of creativity. Passion bursts like spring that has been held back to the perfect moment, and our creative soul is off, flying, buzzing, happily creating. But in this process comes so many bumps and bruises along the way. We may want to quit when we have to edit the same page for the fifth time or ruined the second canvas. Whatever the reason, it is a combination of love for what we do and our dedication and loyalty to it that purpose that allows us to finish the last page; put the final brushstroke on the canvas; solve the final equation. Passion and steadfastness work in tandem with one another.
The final stage of the creative process is Verification. Verification reminds us to step back from our work. We set aside both passion and steadfastness to determine if the final project meets the desired outcome. When we determine that we have successfully completed our project, Verification reinforces both our LOVE and our Devotion to our creative soul. So Don’t choose. If someone tells you that you must. Tell them your creativity doesn’t play games like that because you know in your creative spirit you must have both.