In September 2017 I realized that creative independence was not a sufficient condition for happiness. I wrote:
I’ve described the pursuit of these two aspects of my passion under an umbrella term I coined as creative independence. To be able to fully pursue my interests, I reasoned, I had to also solve the challenge of making money from the pursuit itself. I knew that there were valuable byproducts that are produced through my natural activities, so thinking of ways to harness them seemed like a good course of action. In this way, my curiosity is the driver of an overall cycle of self-sustaining endeavor. I’ve been pursuing this line of reasoning for several years now, achieving a modicum of success, and thought that it would be enough. However, I now believe that the missing component is other people; it is creative INTERDEPENDENCE that is what I’m seeking. This is a third aspect to my passion that I had never incorporated into my mission statement! I might express it like this:
I feel a particular joy in the gleeful celebration of the bestest/nerdiest/cutest experiences with others. Actively supporting the creation and sharing such experiences as an important personal mission! And, I most want to share my collected experiences and skills with like-minded people who are positive, self-empowered, conscientious, tolerant, and kind…this is my tribe.
It is this celebration with others that is CRITICAL, I am realizing. Without it, my pursuit of “interesting projects” achieving “creative independence” is an EMPTY GOAL. As much as I like having vast amounts of alone time, it is the emotional response shared with others that gives me that sense of joyfulness. I’ve known for a long time that I seem to like seeing “the spark of awareness” when someone realizes they are more powerful than they knew, and thought maybe that teaching or being the catalyst of such sparks was my calling. I don’t think I am that selfless. I want to geek-out with my fellow nerds and have that feeling TOGETHER.
Another way of looking at this, it occurred to me that there are three main practices I apply to my personal development. In 2023 these were:
- Creative Independence by creating tangible products of value that are not "time for money" gigs. The emphasis is on long-term financial security from multiple sources of income and connection with other competent and generous folks so I can have the resources to fund interesting projects with them.
- Create Conditions for Fulfilling Life by building a community of like-minded people and the accompanying infrastructure and cultural values that can spread.
- Finding the Best Version of Myself by building a community of like-minded people and the accompanying infrastructure and cultural values that can spread.
Taken together, these three practices are part of creative interdependence.