Deep Necessity: The Secret of Success for Artists and Creatives?

deep necessity

I’ve been cleaning out my studio and office this week in preparation for a few girlfriends who are coming for art camp next week. And in one of the piles of paper I came across an article written by Brendon Burchard for Success magazine on the topic of Deep Necessity.

Brendon Burchard is a high performance expert, best selling author, and coach to people like Oprah. He’s a smart guy and a successful one. The article is about what makes high performers unique. While there are a few characteristics described in his article like obsession with mastery of their particular field of interest, think Michael Jordan or Frida Kahlo, he cites deep necessity as the quintessential differentiator.

What is Deep Necessity?

Burchard describes necessity as the emotional drive that makes great performance a must instead of a preference. It’s deeper than desire, deeper than success, it’s a drive to keep going.

“When you feel necessity, you don’t sit around hoping for success. You get things done. Because you have to. There’s not much choice; your heart, soul and the needs of the moment are telling you to act. And if you didn’t take action, you’d feel as though you weren’t living up to your standards, meeting your obligations or fulfilling your duties or your destiny. Necessity inspires a higher sense of motivation than desire because personal identity is engaged, creating a sense of urgency to act.

When asked why they work so hard and how they stay focused and committed, high performers say:

There’s also a sense of obligation and urgency:

  • People need me now.
  • I can’t miss this opportunity.
  • If I don’t do this now, I’ll regret it forever.”

Reading this article was one of those lightbulb moments for me. I can see clearly the aspects of my life where I practice and experience Deep Necessity and others where I lack the depth of desire and obsession necessity asks of me.

How do you get so much done, Minette?

I get asked over and over how is that I get so much done? I am perceived as prolific. 

The answer is Deep Necessity. I can’t NOT create. To do so is to go against my own nature and my personal identity. 

  • For a decade my obsession was academia and literature. 
  • The next decade was parenting and publishing. 
  • The past decade has been creativity and productivity. 

There are many through lines and themes but the strongest is my personal commitment to and obsession with creativity, especially the visual and literary arts. If I reflect back across my life, this has been true since childhood. I’ve been an avid reader my entire life, a lifetime writer and lover of all things artsy.

Which led me to this question:

What would it take to make your artistry a deep necessity?

And by artistry I mean that unique, personal expression of your deep genius. The definition of artistry is simply skill or talent. We all possess our own artistry but is the expression and mastery of that artistry a deep necessity for you? It is for me.

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1 Comment

  1. Francine on February 20, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    This totally clicks for me! And we have some parallels, because for a number of years my deep necessity was for parenting, and now I’m back to it being creativity and making.

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