Years ago, when I first started thinking about life and its meaning, I came to realize that achieving personal freedom was one of the necessary prerequisites to a meaningful life. Indeed, without the ability to determine my own purpose guided by my innermost interests and passions, life seemed dull and colorless. No one from without could bring as much satisfaction as I could operating from within.
But there was more to freedom than that. Indeed, freedom was not only a prerequisite to a meaningful life. In a way, freedom itself was to have found meaning already. Exercising my artistic passions freely was and still is the freedom that allows me to transcend the pains inherent to life. Being healthy, i.e. free to use my body as I wish, allows me to find satisfaction in sports and exploration of the world. Freedom of speech allows me to have my ideas heard and acted upon.
Through a deeper analysis I gradually came to another important realization. The reason why freedom was important to me was because it allowed to me to create a world closer to the one my heart and mind desired. So perhaps not every exercise of freedom made sense after all. However, every creative one did. And so my search for meaning led me to explore creativity.
But what exactly is creativity? In a narrow sense, it’s what artists, musicians, painters, photographers and a few select others do. It is certainly connected with art, but little else. In other words, it’s a specific skill that is certainly far from universal. Indeed, how could creativity understood this way ever be relevant to an athlete?
Yet, there is a way to understand creativity that stretches outside the boundaries defined above. In a broad sense, creativity is the ability to come up with novel ideas and produce new things. It’s what remains from an action once all the elements of imitation have been removed. It is a a window towards the creator’s unique individuality. This sort of creativity can be found everywhere. It is a human universal.
The reason this creativity brings meaning is because it speaks to our deep longing to make a difference, be noticed, exist in the world through more than ourselves.
When, on one hand, some make art, what they are bringing about is not only the expression of an idea, but the opening of a new channel of communication. The artists speaks to others, but also to his/herself. In that way, art is very much a public journal available for all to appreciate. It therefore carries with it the power to change minds and alter the world. When, on the other hand, others start companies and organizations, they often explicitly talk about a new vision for a changed world. They seek impact through business and government action — tools not in the least like the ones used by an artist. Yet, the difference is mostly superficial. What is important for both artists and businessmen alike is a sense of purpose and the freedom to pursue it. This is how meaning comes about.
So, to the extent that any action can be used to communicate and express individuality, creativity can infuse every one of our actions with a sense of meaning. Athletes, businessmen, scientists and everyone in between can pursue a (hopefully) better world that they can directly relate to. Creativity allows everyone to make the world their home.
With all of the above in mind, I started Young Meets Free to help everyone on their journey towards freedom. I wholeheartedly believe that creativity is crucial in this endeavor and that it is the best way to achieve a meaningful and a deeply satisfactory life. Moreover, I see creativity as the most attractive sign of vitality that youth carries within itself. Young people, unlike many older ones, have not resigned themselves to the world as it is. Young people dare to play with the world and in so doing change it. In other words, youth is a natural blessing that predisposes us to create and find meaning. Midlife crises are a poignant reminder of what happens when humans get off the youth drug. But youth for me is more than a number. It is most of all a state of mind. A state of freedom, vitality, creativity, mischief and curiosity. And that’s what I want Young Meets Free to be about.
At present, there are two main projects that I am excited about. Firstly, this blog. This is the place where I will be posting my thoughts and everything that I find helpful in pursuing a greater state of freedom. The blog also has a mailing list through which I will communicate and engage with my readers on a more personal level (you can subscribe to the mailing list on the right/below the article). Secondly, I am in the middle of producing a series of ebooks on the topic of freedom through creativity. The first one is already on Amazon. It focuses on the mental health aspects of creativity — fears, doubts, insecurities, stress, depression. It’s admittedly not a fun topic, but one that is highly necessary. As I discuss in the book, the first step to creativity is learning how to stay sane in the process. I plan on producing others book, each building on the foundation laid down by the previous ones. The ultimate goal is to discuss the freedom we all have in our dreams — traveling the world, reaching millions with our message, making a difference. But you cannot learn to run unless you first have mastered walking.
In the future, I intend to also produce videos and podcasts, host Q&A sessions and much more. In general, I got wild dreams about the long term of this project and would love to try and achieve them. Actually, I will share some of them in this week’s newsletter. In any case, the important thing would always be a practical exploration in search of freedom in all its manifestations. That includes creativity, but it also involves topics such as mental health, finance, self-love and many others.
If you, like me, believe that everyone can and should strive towards personal freedom, then please feel welcome on this journey. Visit Young Meets Free regularly, read, comment, share, subscribe. If you find my thoughts worthwhile, you can always support my work through my ebooks on Amazon or simply by saying hi. I appreciate both.
Stay young and free!
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