From the title of this post you might be expecting an article about colouring outside the lines or making mess, as that’s something that three years olds tend to do with joyful abandon.
Whilst this is something very valuable we as more mature and world weary artists can learn from, it’s not the most vital thing we can emulate.
If you’ve recently spent time in the company of a child of around three years old or younger, you’ll probably have noticed what I have noticed about how they create.
They set about each task they’re excited about with their whole heart, soul, mind and body. There’s no half measures when you’re this age, it’s all or nothing.
If it means standing on one leg, or your head, sticking out your tongue or screwing up your face in concentration, it just happens without question.
The benefits are obvious, especially to us slightly older artists who may have forgotten the devotion and focus we enjoyed at that tender age.
A three year old has a very limited world. Although this sounds at first like it might be a hindrance to their creativity, it’s in fact a great blessing.
It means that when they’re doing a jigsaw puzzle, for example, pretty much their whole world IS that jigsaw puzzle.
Their biggest ambition in their life during those moments is to enjoy putting the right pieces in the right holes and finishing the jigsaw puzzle.
And, if they’re like most mischievous three year olds, pretending to put the right pieces in the wrong holes to then recover gloriously and triumphantly as they match the piece to its place correctly in a fit of giggles.
They’re able to switch off the rest of the world around them and give such focus to the task in hand, that they can’t help but give their all. They pour all they’ve got into it, because it would seem unthinkable to do anything less.
When’s the last time YOU created with such focus and commitment?
Without thinking about that never ending to-do list?
Without drifting into thoughts about what to prepare for dinner?
Without worrying about an argument you had a week ago?
Or without wondering whether you should stop creating and check your email again because it’s been at least 15 minutes since you last did?
I expect it’s longer ago than you wish to remember.
Of course you might say that three year olds don’t have a care in the world because they don’t have a to-do list, or have to prepare dinner, or brood about arguments, or check their email, so they’re free to create and play all day long.
But that’s missing the point.
We’re not talking about you giving up all these things, magically making them vanish forever. We’re talking about how you can learn to become focused on whatever creative project you’re currently into DESPITE all these other parts of your life going on.
Focus means in its simplest terms picking one thing, setting a dedicated time aside to do it, and giving it your all for that time period.
It’s doesn’t mean you’ll never create a different project in the future, and it doesn’t mean you have to set aside days, even hours at a time.
Fifteen or twenty minutes of focused creating every day could produce in just a matter of days the best artwork of your life.
Maybe even in a matter of minutes.
You owe it to yourself and your waiting audience to stop being such a dull grown up with a head full of everything BUT the project in hand, flitting from one to another like a butterfly on speed.
You owe it to yourself and your waiting audience to get focused and throw yourself wholeheartedly (whole-soulfully, whole-mindfully and whole-bodily) into your next creative project like a three year old.
Go, no excuses, create!
If getting focused is something you struggle with in your creative life, you might like to check out my forthcoming ebook – How To Get Focused And Create What Matters – A Practical Guide for Choosing Your Best Ideas and Bringing Them To Completion.
It does pretty much what it says on the cover.
I’d like to invite you to join the Priority List list now to get access before it’s released publicly.
And if you enjoyed this post, please share it with others you think would too.
Thanks for reading. : )