The Secret to Success: Care Less?

{Etsy print by Art Problems}

{Etsy print by Art Problems}

I always believed if you work really hard and you really, really wanted something, you’ll get it. If I’m going to be honest, it’s how I’ve gotten everything I wanted or avoided what I didn’t want. It’s how I’ve accomplished the big things like get my first copywriting job with no prior experience and get out of things-paying tickets/admission/etc.

Besides that, it just makes sense.

Hard work = big pay off.

But there’s another important ingredient in the recipe of success that I often forget and that’s much harder than any time you put into working.

Doing. Nothing.

It’s something I don’t do enough of. I actually created a challenge for myself and you guys to do more by doing less in 2011. I can’t believe it was 3 years ago! It’s still an important reminder.

You can only do so much before you reach that point where you’re either going to burn out or become ineffective.

During moments when I’m feeling desperate like I’m trying to force something to happen, I take a breather. If you’re like me, you’ll need a little push to do nothing.

Nothing, after all, feels like failure. It feels like laziness. It feels unproductive.

But when we give ourselves time to sit and stare off in space, to read a book just for the fun of it, to draw even if our scrawls resemble our child’s, we open the door to inspiration. And in that place, life rewards us with the thing(s) we really needed anyway. So let this be your excuse to play.

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The Power of Creativity

{Queen Anne Lace Settee from Joss and Main via Pinterest}

{Baxton Studio chairs from Amazon.com}

 

{Boja pendant lamp from Ikea}

I’ve been in the process of buying our first home so forgive me if this platform has been sparse lately. But don’t forgive me for neglecting creativity.

Creativity is the undercurrent of this blog. It is the root of anything worth its beauty and within its process contains the very essence of life itself. It doesn’t matter if you’re uber creative and masterfully write, paint, or craft for a living. It matters only that you try.

Every person is creative. The need to make something out of nothing stems from a sacred place. We were all “created.” Anyone who has temporarily put down a paintbrush and taken up their computer instead has nostalgia for the first time they created something.

For you who sit and work and live and tend to your children, but do not tend to your own creative garden, this post is for you.

If you are harboring fear, anger, resentment, jealousy, discontent, boredom, lack of meaning in your life, you may be neglecting your creative self.

There have been many people I’ve met who are creatives at heart. They are dramatic and over-the-top, fun to be with, energetic, passionate. But the energy that could be spent on their creativity gets transformed into obsessively worrying, overworking, or an unhealthy focus/obsession on others.

Why would we miss the chance to paint or draw or be out in nature? We deem it unimportant. The older we are, the more we lose the voice that tells us this is important too.

I love what author and speaker Dr. Brené Brown says about creativity on her website and in her book The Gifts of Imperfection:

 “I’m not very creative” doesn’t work. There’s no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. There are only people who use their creativity and people who don’t. Unused creativity doesn’t just disappear. It lives within us until it’s expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear.

What have you given up as a result of neglecting your creativity?

Is it your life, your freedom, your sense of meaning, your self?

I’ve learned that when I choose to watch TV or internet surf instead of create, my personal and professional life takes a hit. The only way I can continue to grow, to feel purposeful, to feel grounded despite the chaos of daily life, is to partake in an act of creativity.

I vow to take up a creative task daily.

What will you start to create today?

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