There is an old fairy tale that can be summarized like this:
Once there lived a stonecutter who loved his simple hard working life, and what little he had, he enjoyed. One day he delivered work to a wealthy man who lived in a mansion. He became so envious of the wealthy man’s ease of life, he became miserable and hated his work.
He said to himself, “If only I were a wealthy man, I wouldn’t have to toil any more under the hot sun.” The spirit of the mountain spoke up, “So it will be.” He soon discovered he had become a wealthy man with servants and all the luxuries of wealth and he was happy. One day he looked out the window and saw a prince with a golden carriage and he thought to himself, “If only I were a prince and had real power.” So he became a prince with real power, power that allowed him to command people and rule everything but the heat still scorched him. He once more thought, “If only I were the Sun.” Becoming the Sun, he found that he could send heat down on the earth and burnt and scorched everyone to his pleasure, and he was not hot because he was heat. Soon storm clouds rolled in, and no matter how hot he got or how hard he tried he could not budge the cloud, and thinking that there was something greater than him, he said, “If only I were a cloud.”
As a cloud, he discovered he could make it rain, and not only turn the scorched ground into green, but flood it. He enjoyed watching his rain pelt down and flood, moving all in its path...all except a rock. A rock that despite how much he pelted with his rain and water would not budge. Annoyed that there lied a rock that had power over him, he thought to himself, “If only I were that rock.”
There he sat as a rock nestled in the mountain, finally at ease that he had become the most powerful thing around...that is until a man hobbled up the mountain, and to his surprise begin to cut him from the mountain. There was yet still one more powerful than he, so at last he cried out “If only I were a stonecutter,” and he became the stone cutter.
He lived his days happily as the rock cutter, enjoying his simple yet meaningful life.
If only....how many times have I uttered those words in my heart believing that if only my circumstances were right, I could truly be creative. I could truly be powerful, I could truly be me. Yet no matter how hard you wish or want, if only will only ever remain a "if only".
If only is the death of creativity, it shifts the attention off your responsability to create, to what others can do for you. Creativity is not about what others can do for you, it’s about you expressing your life before others, in a way that touches them.