What will you create?
“True creativity often starts where language ends.” —writer Arthur Koestler
A yearning exists within each of us that resides in the part of the inner self that has yet to be fully explored and nurtured. We have a choice at each moment to follow the yearning or to push it away and move on with life as usual. This yearning, if acknowledged, will be the catalyst for creating the life we deserve and the future we desire. However it is a choice. Do we decide to push the inner voice away and keep “putting up” with the life that falls in front of us, or do we decide to listen and create the future of our dreams?
Perhaps you are wondering, “Who on earth has time to create a dream life?” I know there are life obligations we must deal with, such as taking care of a family, paying bills and working, just to name a few. But every second, we are flitting away precious moments, and when added together, these create a lifetime of missed opportunities.
On average, we spend three hours a day on our phones. Multiply that by 365, and that equals a total of 48 days we could use to stop checking the past and invest in creating a magnificent future. What if today is the day we decide to put our phones down, look up, and begin to create something new and wonderful?
Always be connecting the dots
Creativity means taking risks and stepping into the unknown. Creativity dares to imagine the yet to be imagined, thinks outside the box and maybe even creates a completely new box. It takes an idea, tries it on for size, learns from the misses and then starts all over again, utilizing the feedback from the failures. Entrepreneur Richard Branson has a simple mantra he uses to keep his companies at the forefront of creativity. It is ABCD: always be connecting the dots. But to connect the dots, we have to have our heads up and eyes open to be able to see them in the first place.
Creativity allows us to build a life on our terms, not advancing at the expense of other people’s happiness but also no longer living in a way that is at the expense of our own. There is a middle ground in which creativity resides. It does not call for being selfish or being selfless. Rather it occurs in that sweet spot that enables us to excel in life and then help others do the same.
Two elements need to come together to create. The first is thinking and the second is doing. We have become human doings, and that is why I believe most of us are losing our creative juices. We are so busy looking down into our phones and living life through the lens of social media that we forget to nurture a sense of wonder. The excuse of “I don’t have enough time” needs to go out the window unless you are never scrolling on someone else’s news feed. Now is the time for us all to stop watching what everyone else is doing and starting living life to the fullest, in real time and with meaning and purpose.
“Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
—poet Mary Oliver
Five tips to jump-start creativity
If you are feeling stuck in a rut, here are five tips you can use to get your creativity flowing again:
- Create a healthy headspace: For creativity to thrive, it needs a place to flourish and grow. The first step is to create a mind space that is open to possibilities. We need to constantly feed our brain with new ideas and inspiration. This creates a space for awe and wonder to thrive. Find a new class (I just started DJ school), read a new genre of books, watch TED talks, listen to new podcasts or read poems.
- Create in community: Ideas die in isolation and thrive in collaboration. Who can you collaborate with to light up your creative spark? Start a monthly meet up with one or two people. Every 30 days, come together and brainstorm to create one new idea. It could be discovering a new place to take a day trip with your families, a new museum to visit or a new career you want to begin as a side hustle. Meet up, think up and then start up.
- Don’t wait to feel creative to create: Sometimes you will feel a burst of inspiration, and other days, not so much. If you always wait for the perfect time to begin, it is possible you will never start. Sometimes it will be getting started down a new path that will spark the creativity within you. You may find that what you start is not something you want to continue, but even in that lesson, you have new data to fuel your future.
- Seek out the unfamiliar: We tend to talk to the same people at work, at the PTA meeting, at the gym. Talk to one person every day with whom you would not normally strike up a conversation. You may be amazed at what is sparked through conversing with someone out of your comfort zone.
- Give yourself space: Power down your phone, get out into nature and move. Walking in nature frees up the mind and gives it space to daydream and create.
Finally, try this small exercise. Sit down, think and then write about the following: If there were no obstacles (including fear and willpower) in your way, what would your life look like five years from now? Imagine all had gone well, you had followed through on placing action behind your desires, and you made a daily choice to create a life of your dreams. Where would you be? Whom would you be with? What would you be doing?
Now go and create that!
Photo credits: (hero, last) Death to the Stock Photo; RossHelen, Thinkstock