Professor Gibson
Creative Process

Connecting the Dots of Creativity, Intuition, and Guilt

Hello, creative fellows,

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.” – Steve Jobs

As I consider this quote from the late Steve Jobs, a renowned innovator, creative genius, and founder of Apple, I can’t help but reflect on my own experiences with creativity and intuition. Like Jobs, I often find myself connecting dots before others, seeing patterns and solutions that may not be immediately apparent to others. And yes, sometimes, I feel guilty about it.

Intuition and Creativity: A Double-Edged Sword

There’s a certain sense of satisfaction in seeing the bigger picture before others do. It’s a testament to your intuition, creativity, and ability to think outside the box. However, this ability can also feel like a burden, particularly in a collaborative setting.

I remember watching a TikTok video about someone who despised meetings because they would often see the conclusion or solution long before their colleagues. Then they would have to sit, patiently waiting for everyone else to catch up. At times, this sentiment resonates deeply with me.

The Guilt of Seeing First

I’ve often grappled with the guilt that Steve Jobs refers to. When you see the solution first, it can feel like you haven’t truly ‘earned’ it because you didn’t labor over it as much as others might have. You saw the connections, and the solution presented itself. It can feel like you’ve cheated or taken a shortcut.

Moreover, there’s also the guilt of potentially outshining others. You want to avoid dominating the conversation or making others feel inadequate by constantly being the first to see the solution. Balancing this guilt with the need to contribute your insights can be a delicate act.

Embracing Your Creativity: Guilt-Free

But should we really feel guilty about our intuitive and creative abilities? Shouldn’t we instead embrace these traits and use them to make a positive impact?

Yes, seeing first can mean waiting for others to catch up. But it also means that you can guide others along the way, helping them see the connections you see. It means you can foster an environment of learning and creativity, where ideas are shared freely, and everyone is encouraged to think outside the box.

Conclusion: Celebrating Our Creative Strengths

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that creativity, intuition, and the ability to see connections others miss are strengths, not sources of guilt. Instead of feeling guilty for seeing first, let’s celebrate our ability to see the unseen, connect the unconnected, and dream the undreamed. After all, as Steve Jobs showed us, this kind of thinking leads to innovation, progress, and a life well-lived.