Probably the single biggest struggle I have as a Creativity Coach – before we get anywhere near issues like procrastination, perfectionism, too many ideas, lack of focus, inner critics or time thieves – is helping people realise how important their creativity actually is.
If you don’t value your own creativity and its fundamental irreplacable role in your life, then you simply won’t make it a priority and give it the time, energy and focus it needs.
There’s no point even trying to tackle some of those common issues I mentioned before because you won’t have the motivation or urgency to overcome them and end up even more frustrated than when you began.
Let me share a short story to illustrate what your creativity ISN’T:
A friend of mine was looking to replace her car, and visited a Mercedes dealership. The car salesman was virtually beside himself with excitement over one particular feature on the new car my friend was viewing.
Was it the smooth efficiency of the engine, the incredible fuel economy, the comfortable ride or the huge boot space?
No. It was the automatic windscreen wipers.
Apparently, when it rains, instead of going through the torturous and intensely time consuming act of moving a single finger two whole inches to switch the wipers on manually, this car senses there’s rain on the screen and switches them on automatically. I know! Please pick your jaw up off the floor.
“Once you have these,” he whooped, “you’ll wonder how you EVER lived without them!”
This is a wonderful example of not only how the salesman completely misread his potential customer’s priorities in a car, but also a brilliant example of what your creativity is NOT.
For you and me, creating is not the equivalent of an optional luxury extra on a car, like automatic windscreen wipers or heated seats. Our creativity is the beautiful purring engine. It’s the transmission. It’s the wheels.
It’s the fundamental parts that make a car a car and allow it to take you anywhere in the world (and beyond) you wish to go…
How much importance do you place on YOUR creativity?
Is it the wipers or the engine in your life?
If you see it as something you might just about allow yourself to have a few minutes to indulge in once a month but only when every other task and chore has been struck off your to do list, then it’s no wonder that how and what you create is mostly a source of great frustration and disappointment.
If you want to enjoy your creating, if you want to get better, if you want it to be the life enhancing, good feeling giving, happy smile and positive energy making activity it can and should be, then you’re going to have to start changing the way you see and do things. Right now.
Think about this question again carefully:
How important is creativity in your life?
If I was to guess at an answer for you I’d say it was absolutely fundamental. But you have to answer for yourself.
You have to give yourself permission to realise and believe how vital it is for you to create and let your creativity express all those amazing ideas bubbling away inside.
Vital to your wellbeing and happiness.
Once you start to give your creativity the value and place it deserves, then you will automatically want to find more time, energy and focus.
It will come far more easily and naturally because we all like to have more of the good things in our lives, the things that can make us (and those around us) very happy bunnies indeed.
Those struggles we first talked above will start to fall away because you know it’s worth keep showing up each day and creating, you know how irreplaceable it is.
Ditch the madness of the Mercedes marketing method, and forget about luxury optional extras.
Being creative is at the absolute core of who you are – the beautiful purring engine of your life and how you’re going to live it and be the best you can.
Start giving it the prominent place it deserves.
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