When I was young, my mother always said the quality she most revered in me was my resilience. The quality I admire the most in others is resourcefulness. Being able to garner information and make informed decisions after patiently spending hours researching the pros and cons of any situation was something I could never really grasp; it’s hard to be be ingenuous when you’re such a hyper-active child, one that waved her arms up and down while jumping, like some sort of deformed bird. Yet, I often wonder, is my cogent creativity enough to surpass my inability to be typically ‘resourceful’ ?
All across the world, people with different talents and different resources make the most of their situations to drum-up unique ways to make a living, or express their creative talents in tangent. As we speak, my husband and I are enjoying the last stretch of our honeymoon in Boracay, Philippines. Quite aggressive in their manner, rows and rows of “salesmen” adorned with beach hats, selfie-sticks and waterproof phone cases approach you, one after the next, offering up the same products; after a while you begin to feel like you’re in one of those staging neighbourhoods in Nevada used for housing “families” during WWII- repetitive, lifeless, vapidly copy-paste. A diamond in the rough, the actual artists here (and of course their slew of imitators) spend hours constructing the most exquisite sandcastles. These men do not make their living selling the conventional canvas but rather by encouraging passerby to take pictures next to their creations, and charging them a fee for their supposed ‘portable vacation art’. These beach merchants have found a way to marry their creativity and their resourcefulness, using the earth as their canvas, and the clients as their ATM.
High-level executives at big-name companies were either born into it, or worked hard to get into it. Often times, when you move-on-up to such an illustrious position, you are afforded the ability to take long lunches and play golf to fill-up most of your day. But other times, you need to be the best businessman, the best salesman, the best dressed, and the most creative thinker to keep the business going in a sea of other large organizations and ‘next great ideas’. And despite seeming to ‘have it all’, so many of these executives are required to bring creativity (whether they have it or not) to the forefront to make that big deal, or sign that big client, sometimes it takes more than just a smile and a handshake. And not so different than the aforementioned sandbuilders, this feat takes patience, imagination and pulling at all of the strings at your disposal. In this case, these suited professionals utilize their many connections and their rows of researchers and assistants over saltwater and sand to reach their end goal.
If we take these examples at face-value, being the best researcher doesn’t necessarily mean being the most resourceful person. I always used to equate the two. I think the lessons in life we learn, the people we meet along the way, and the tools we were given are meant to serve as our canvas, and we can paint it and sell it how we see fit, whether conventionally or unorthodoxly. Finding creative ways to express our passions or make a name for ourself is the best gift we could possibly possess: our talents and abilities are our tickets to constructing our own creative careers or serve as the paths to true self-expression.