Creativity And Being A Gift | Steve's Quest: The Animated Musical Web Series

Creativity And Being A Gift

If I see myself as a burden, I probably won’t talk to you.  When I see you, I’ll most likely think “oh, they must have so many interesting and fun people around them — they don’t need me taking up more space in their life.”  To make sure I don’t bother you, I’ll avoid you.

Or maybe I’ll approach you, but I’ll carefully plan how I’m going to behave to ensure that you don’t see me as a burden or a waste of your time.  Maybe I’ll make sure to mention how successful I’ve been at this or that, so that you know immediately that I’m “worth meeting.”

But if I see myself as a gift, talking to you will be the obvious choice.  I’ll see you and think “I’ll give them the joy of connecting with me, and make both of our lives more fun.”

What’s more, if I have this mindset, I’ll be okay even if you don’t want to talk to me.  Your rejection may sting, but it won’t shake my conviction that, in the grand scheme, my existence is a good thing for the universe.

The Same Goes For Creating Stuff

In my experience, whether I see myself as a gift or a burden doesn’t just affect the way I meet (or don’t meet) new people.  It also has a big impact on how I approach my creative projects.

If I see myself as an imposition on people, I probably won’t write anything.  Each time I come up with an article idea, I’ll talk myself out of writing the piece, thinking “so many people have probably written about this already — I’ll bet I’d just bore everybody.”

Or maybe I’ll write the piece, but I’ll try really hard to ensure that readers see how smart or original I am, and don’t see me as dull or average.  Maybe I’ll use lots of big words, or take months to write my piece because I’ll constantly second-guess everything I say.

On the other hand, if I see myself as a gift, the act of writing will have a light, “flowing” quality to it, because I’ll be secure in the knowledge that what I’m creating will uplift somebody out there.

Being A Gift Is The First Step, Not The Last

Experiences like these have convinced me that the conventional wisdom about creativity in our culture has it backwards.

We tend to think that, if we want to “be a gift” to others — if we want to contribute something to the world — we have to create something really amazing.  Once we’ve written that groundbreaking novel, we’ll finally become worthwhile.

The trouble is that, if we refuse to see ourselves as a gift until that great project is complete, the project will be painful and difficult to do.  We’ll be constantly worried about putting out inadequate work and burdening or bothering people, instead of feeling excited about how we’re going to enrich others’ lives with what we’re doing.

So, I think that learning to see, and treat ourselves, as a gift to the world — even before we’ve “hit our peak” creatively — is crucial if we want to enjoy, and get a lot done in, our work.

With that said, I’ve got some more gifts to shower you all with.  In my last post, I shared some of the videos I’ve been doing recently, and they sure provoked some interesting discussion.  I hope the next four I’ll share in this post will do the same. Enjoy!

12 thoughts on
Creativity And Being A Gift

  1. Patricia

    I think the videos are creative and an interesting gift to my day – particularly the flowers – always a gift to me, but I do not know what you are trying to convey? or are they just practice and how tos? The house ensure left me baffled, I have to admit because the insurance thing did not lead from the other transformations…of inevitable results?

    I of course, wonder how you learned how to do the videos and found that skill very refreshing, and wondered if that was your voice.

    I consider my work at Wise Ears. com a use of my gifts and worked all day at how to get my message out and build that gift into a useful business.

    I guess the main thing I learned about being in special ed. as a kid and from my mother’s words is that I was a burden…especially when it came to my health and my teeth…a huge financial burden….so I have been motivated to be a non-burden…who uses their gifts to be in the world…not that I am the gift…interesting to ponder this and that…Thank you

    I have worked very hard not to apologize for myself and my being over the years – I am much improved and Davina says I accept compliments sincerely and with acceptance and I think that is true, because I receive the gifts others give me with love

  2. Evelyn Lim

    Your videos are intriguing. I am wondering the same too. It’s that your voice?

    I am glad to know that you have not completely disappeared but instead have found another creative outlet. It’s been the same for me too. It’s why I don’t blog more than once a week. I use the rest of my available time to pursue other areas or channels of creativity. I prefer to add some variations to writing alone.

    I enjoyed your post about being a gift. I don’t know if I see myself as a gift. However, I certainly see myself more as needing to express and share my messages and that they just may be what someone else in the world needs to hear.

  3. Sara


    Coming to your site is almost always a wonderful dose of wisdom. I loved what you said in this one about seeing yourself as a gift, even as you are a work in progress.

    I liked all the videos, but I didn’t quite get the House Insurance one, but I love the “happio day” and the giant ant one. I laughed at the end…gi-ANT. I don’t know if I’m supposed to laugh at these, but I can’t help it. The voice is so serious, yet the words have a delightful humor to them. Anyway, I am enjoying the video creativity!

  4. Joyce at I Take Off The Mask

    Hi Chris, thanks for this enlightening post. We do have a tendency to try to impress people when we’re not certain of ourselves. But if we truly believe we are gifts by just being who we really are, we can relax and just let our authenticity flow and bless other people along the way. ;)

  5. Chris - Post author

    Hi Patricia — it’s okay, there’s nothing to get, really — I only created them for amusement purposes. Maybe it would have been helpful for me to make that clear when I posted them, but I think the lack of context contributes to the humor value of these. It is my voice, by the way (sometimes altered in various hyper-sophisticated electronic ways).

    I’m glad to hear you are getting more comfortable with receiving compliments — I think you certainly have a lot worth complimenting and I’m glad to see you recognizing that.

  6. Chris - Post author

    Hi Evelyn — I’m glad they were at least interesting. It is my voice. I like the attitude you have about your expression — it sounds like you’ve just got some energy that needs to flow, and if someone wants to read it or otherwise take it in, that’s an added bonus. That’s an attitude I share when it comes to making these videos.

  7. Chris - Post author

    Hi Sara — I’m glad to at least almost always be of value. :) Yes, I solemnly declare it to be okay to laugh at these videos and I’m glad you did! It’s great to hear that I’m bringing some lightheartedness into the world with these — that’s definitely my intention.

  8. Chris - Post author

    Hi Joyce — yes, I think I’m starting to have that recognition too — that just by relaxing, I give other people a sense of permission to relax, and that seems to me to be sorely needed in this world. That’s one of the purposes that I hope to achieve with these videos.

    By the way, there’s a new Johnny Signs spectacular now available at

  9. J.D. Meier

    Good stuff!

    I won’t burden you with the gift of me, but here are some thoughts:
    1. I find focusing on the challenge or problem as very focusing and inspirational.
    2. I find that putting the focus on the greater good is a great way to bring my best to the table.
    3. I do play to my strengths, and I leverage my unique experience, so I share my gift with others in that way.

    I don’t get stuck stepping up to the plate because I always see it as a chance to give my best where I have my best to give.

  10. jannie funster

    It really all IS in the mind and attitude, eh Chris? Today I could approach anybody and expect them to be honored by my presence. Amazing what a great relaxing hair day can do! Plus, I’m wearing a wonderful new $3 shirt in one of my 3 top colors!


  11. Chris - Post author

    Hi JD — I like what you said about how focusing on the bigger picture of what you’re contributing is helpful — I know it’s definitely useful for me to step back and ask “what’s the bigger reason why I’m doing this?” whenever I feel myself getting bogged down in what seem like minutiae and boring tasks.

  12. Chris - Post author

    Hi Jannie — I call those days when I’ve got both the three-dollar shirt and the three top colors either a “3 For 3 Day” or a “Threepeat Day.” That kind of day is worth cherishing if anything is.

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