Does God Love a Creative or a Consultant?
If you want to make God laugh, show him your plans is a popular new age expression meaning we dream too small, we ask for too little.
Our meek humility is actually hilarious to a parent as abundant as the Almighty. This is the same new age philosophy that advised us to follow our heart… our muse… our bliss after which wonderful things would follow. Howard Thurman said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Currently people in the creative arts — people who followed their heart — are struggling to keep their head above water, while business consultants — people who completely screwed up the track and trace system — are earning £6,000 a day.
Over the years, consultants have been called many things, like someone who describes the water while drowning, someone who takes your watch then tells you the time, and Suits — implying they’re just a piece of smart clothing, not an alive thing at all.
Was Howard Thurman wrong? Is God laughing?
First let’s look at the God part…
In the old days, people believed God was a large man — sometimes kind, sometimes angry — who answered prayers.
As the New Age was born, praying got turned into The Law of Attraction. God is energy. God works with emotions, not words. If you want a Ferrari, just imagine how you would feel if you already had it and the Ferrari will magically appear. This new age God is a large magnifying glass… you can have as much stuff as you want, because the universe is infinite. Just expand!
Thousands of Law of Attraction coaches sprang up, to teach people that the only thing standing in the way of them and their dreams was self-confidence. Looking around, this kind of makes sense. The consultants currently earning £6,000 a day (while failing) have absurd levels of self-confidence.
The bankers who failed in 2008 and thought it appropriate to take bonuses while people lost their houses have stratospheric levels of self-belief.
Now let’s look at money…
Money was invented to stand in for gold, because obviously it’s tedious to carry around gold, should you wish to barter for food. Nowadays the only value money has is whatever value we want to give to it. Business consultants will say things like “this is the price the market can stand,” which is taken to an extreme by drug companies who say “this is the price someone will pay if they’re dying.”
Coaches and therapists who are supposedly in the market to help people say things like “if the punters don’t pay a lot of money, they won’t value it.” The most popular seminars at the moment teach “how to get high-paying clients.”
The answer is always… increase your prices, amp up your marketing and stand in front of a mirror saying “that’ll be $10,000” until it sounds normal, and not what it actually is… completely absurd. This is not a joke, by the way. Rich Litvin advises doing exactly this, in his book The Prosperous Coach.
So which version of God is next? Our current God is the internet. We pray by clicking, and our prayers are answered by likes, loves and connection. Unlike magnifying-glass God, the screen of the internet doesn’t have emotions, so it works on eyeballs… if you watch something, it figures out you must like it and offers you more.
Algorithm God knows you better than you know yourself, and predicts what you’ll want to do, watch or buy in the next moment. Because our brains have become lazy and frightened, our news streams are currently full of marketing copy, car crash politics and COVID-19.
Fear is the circuit breaker for creativity, just when we need people to come alive or, at the very least, to wake up.
Data analysis works when you’re about to do something similar to what’s been done before. You can compare the numbers. You can say “last time we did this and that happened.” But we’re now in a situation unlike anything that’s been before, so surely creativity has more value than data.
Creative people like Ken Robinson and Steve Jobs knew this and for a while we got very excited.
Ken Robinson’s TED talk on the value of creativity has been watched 67 million times and been translated into 62 different languages. Steve Jobs famously said, “The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.” This was after management consultants almost bankrupted Apple.
Unfortunately, fear has caused a U-turn from all this optimism. The Suits and narcissistic politicians are winning, the consultants are fiddling the books while the planet is burning. It’s the revenge of the boring and uncool… the people who refused to come alive, the people whose only visionary aspiration was passive income: getting more back than they put in.
God isn’t the guy on the Sistine Chapel. God isn’t a celestial Father Christmas or a cosmic ordering service. God isn’t the internet. God is us… all of us, minus the fear, arrogance and bullshit. God is us, once we find the love, find the aliveness, find the music inside.
The Titanic sank due to an arrogant, over-confident captain. Musicians played while the ship went down. The band’s heroic leader, a fiddle player called Wallace Hartley said that music was a bigger weapon for stopping disorder than anything on earth.
Our current politicians would be wise to take that into consideration before they sign off the next load of invoices to their pals.
Eleanor O’Rourke is a writer and creativity coach, specializing in creative blocks. She is the author of 40 Days 40 Nights: One Woman’s Quest to Reclaim her Creative Mojo, Breakdown: A Rebel’s Take on Depression, and The Freedom Project: How To Find Contentment in a Crazy World. She believes that creativity is the birthright of every individual, and that if we don’t collectively learn to tap into that, the human species will have a tricky time evolving to the next level. You can contact her via her website, Twitter or email.