The Best: Creativity from Carbon


I like the best.

The best food.

The best technology.

The best movie, book, play…you name it.

But isn’t ‘the best’ subjective? Sometimes I have to slow myself down and ask why do I believe this is the best?

  • Who determined that gold is more valuable than silver?
  • When was it decided that if I pay more for something it’s therefore better?
  • Why do I think “the best” is “the best”?

The concusion I came to…

Take Diamonds

Well, don’t take them. You’d get arrested for that…

But I was thinking about diamonds. And I think I heard somewhere that they are formed from coal, so I had to look it up.

Here’s what I found:

  • They’re formed from carbon (not necessarily coal, though coal is comprised of carbon).
  • Under extreme pressure, carbon becomes diamonds. The pressure is equivalent to the weight of over 4,000 grown men standing on your big toe.
  • Under extreme temperatures–2,700 degrees Fahrenheit–carbon becomes diamonds.
  • Diamonds form in the mantle of the earth, well beneath the crust–usually around 100 miles deep.
  • Where one diamond is found, others are usually present.
  • Kimberlite is a molten lava that acts an an elevator, transporting diamonds to the earth’s surface–expediting the process.

“You don’t have to have the best, to make the best, to be the best.”

Like forming diamonds from carbon, as creatives we must…

+Embrace pressure to create from whatever materials we have–even if we don’t deem them ‘the best.’

+Clear away the surface–the crust–to get to the creative mantle beneath–even if it takes work to drill hundreds of miles deep.

+Mingle with other creatives to create–even if we’d rather live on an island.

+Bask in the kimberlite fire to expedite the process–even if the fire leaves a few scars as it carries our creativity to the surface.

“You don’t have to have the best, to make the best, to be the best.” 

Question: In your quest for the best, how’s your journey going?

What diamonds are you unearthing in the process?

[box options]Side note: Using what you already have is my tenth commandment for creatives. For more on the ten commandments check this out.[/box]


Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • That’s awesome. I won’t go into all the details, but there are times when I feel like I need more to make more, and I’m reminded of exactly what you just reminded me of. I think that’s where real genius shines, when something great is made out of something ordinary.

    • I think we’ve all been there and felt that way!

      Amazing what we can create… from nothing. Heck, that’s pretty much what a blog is!