From an early age I made a somewhat concerted effort to focus my attention on science and technology. This meant that rather than drawing out my artistic, musical, and creative capabilities, I was memorizing facts, completing calculations, and following procedures. By the time I found myself in university math and science, I couldn't have been happier. Everything was wonderfully challenging; The formulas and concepts were impressive, which made me feel impressive for understanding them. I was proud to be in the sciences and embraced the mindset wholeheartedly! I wouldn't say I looked down on the arts, but I didn't consider them to be something I needed to practice myself.
I was wrong about that. The phrase 'everything in moderation' is one to live by! Without getting into too much detail, I realized that immersing yourself in science and technology can have strong impacts on the way you think and behave in your everyday life. Obviously there were both positive and negative impacts, but overall I felt I had developed some imbalances. And so for the past 3 or 4 years, I have actually made a somewhat concerted effort to redirect attention towards creative pursuits.
The reason I bring up this experience is that there is a tendency for society to place value on STEM careers above all else. While I understand that the world can't run on art, life would be incredibly bland if too many people followed the trajectory I found myself on. Therefore, we should be wary of brushing off creative pursuits. The technical side of me is eager to outline why in a point-by-point fashion, however I creatively decided to try stream of consciousness writing and came up with an interesting result. I made some minor edits for the sake clarity, but otherwise this is written mostly as it appeared in my mind.
Art is a valuable tool to help us think a little differently and escape the limits of logic. It stimulates breakthrough moments and also helps us be in the moment. Without creative thought there is no beauty, only sensical boringness. There's nothing interesting about conversing with a robot. Interesting conversations require thinking differently and art helps us think differently. On the other end of the spectrum is complete nonsense. We need to strike a balance between the two. This is actually kind of offensive. I'm basically equating science with sense and art with nonsense. This is more a failure of communication because nonsense is perceived to be bad, or maybe that's just me. Maybe for someone more artistically inclined that's not as much the case. Stream of thought is great because it brings all this out. I hadn't really even considered some of these points and it might keep me from publishing this.
Obviously I did not let my thoughts keep me from publishing this. I actually decided shortly after that this was a great demonstration of why creativity is important. Although I'm not sure there's any convincing arguments to be found in the passage itself, my creative decision to try a different writing style definitely furthered the development of my thoughts and made for a more interesting post.
There are no formulas for achieving breakthrough moments. It takes a flexible mind to elevate us beyond our standard confines, so find creative exercise wherever you can.