Scarcity breeds Creativity

After losing my luggage last week and dealing with the inconveniences of not having all of my stuff, I realized how going without some things actually forces me to think differently, to think creatively.

No make-up… hmmm… I scrounged up some powder and an old eye liner and a different shade of lip gloss.  Guess that will do.  Maybe I could start a new ‘no mascara’ look.

No flat iron… well… I have hot rollers so I guess we’re going curly.  A new look that I haven’t been motivated enough to experiment with but got several compliments about (maybe they just felt sorry for me).

But in spite of all these trivial things, it got me thinking…

Oftentimes scarcity breeds creativity.  Think about it.

  • As a little girl all I needed was a pair of mom’s high heels and a hair brush to be a superstar pop singer
  • When the pantry is sparse, I often come up with the most creative meals
  • No flat iron, go curly

What I’ve observed is that this often happens in businesses, organizations and churches too.  I think sometimes we are tempted to think that once we have this amount of money or that facility or those employees we’ll be able to realize the big dreams.

However, more often the most creative ideas come from those with who don’t have access to endless resources.  They are not relying on the big systems, budgets and technology to do great things.  Because of the lack of these resources, they are forced to think differently to accomplish their dreams.

I absolutely love this principle!

It reminds me to not get complacent with what’s comfortable.

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  • janowen October 8, 2008  

    One thing I observed when we moved into our oh so grand facility (not really – we’re in two trailers, a sprung structure and two metal buildings – quite ugly aesthetically speaking) is that people settled. We had arrived (really????). We quit being quite as concerned about growing and reaching and instead became concerned about decorating, adding more classes, etc. In other words, we settled in and wanted our comforts. I think it has been devastating for our church but it is insiduous, creeping in when I think no one was aware.

    True, we were in a itty bitty storefront before that…..but still, this is not where I want to stay!!!

  • Rachel October 8, 2008  

    I LOVE IT! It’s so true!!!

  • October 8, 2008  

    I’ve totally experienced this. I created this messy-haired, mascara-only look which is now one of my favorite looks for a quick fix!

  • holly October 8, 2008  

    I agree – we can all do with a lot less. As much as I hate our current “economic crisis” in the US I hope that it makes us take stock of what’s truly important in our lives. Americans are the wealthiest people in the world, and yet often times we are the whiniest. Why is that? Why do we “need” a new car, new TV, etc. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of always wanting more, but in a way, I’m kind of excited to see how people may change (hopefully for the better) through this. I suspect that we’ll come up with a whole lot of ways to creatively use our resources and I pray that some will finally take responsibility for their own financial well being.

  • holly October 8, 2008  

    Oh yeah! We miss you too!!!

  • Jenni Catron October 8, 2008  

    @Holly – I totally agree. I think we have become so complacent and comfortable, we don’t know what it means to truly appreciate what we are blessed with.

  • tam October 8, 2008  

    um. if my makeup and hair tools were lost you all would be scrounging to help fix me fast. trust me. it would be very hard on the retinas.

  • David J Golden October 9, 2008  

    Money cannot buy happiness and it would be great if the world would start to share with each other. However, this would not happen why, because of greed. If you was to share and give without excepting to receive, then your rewards will mulifply in LOVE. Love is a four letter word, But the most important word in the dictionary. Love is used many times in the wrong content. Our domesticated animal show us Love, and thats unconditional.


  • Rachel Rowell October 10, 2008  

    This is amazing! I needed this today. More than anyone knows.