The word “simplicity” is a hot topic right now. It’s trendy. If you’re a minimalist, you’re part of the cool crowd, and you’re doing things right. And this is nothing against minimalists—I tend to be one myself, and I think it’s great—but if we define simplicity as synonymous with minimalistic, we’re missing the point.
Simplicity is not a “trend” to be attached to one specific “lifestyle”. It’s not about having less, or religiously shunning any type of privilege or convenience. It’s not a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s a lot simpler than that—really.
I know how it is. You’re tired. Life has thrown you under the bus and you’re defeated. Burnt out. How can you ever keep up when you’ve fallen this far behind? It’s like you’re waiting for the dust to settle but instead, it becomes a storm; a vicious howl around you. And you just can’t. Listen up, hero—I get it. You are weary.
Weariness. We’ve all felt it, haven’t we? Yet it’s not so easy to describe, because “I’m tired” implies you’ll be okay with sleep. But you won’t. Because weariness is beyond that; it’s like inspiration—the very breath of your soul—is being sucked from your lungs, and you don’t know how to get it back. How do I know? Well, I’ve been there, too. Right now, in fact.
Generous people make the greatest impact. It’s no secret, really; just a plain, simple fact. The more you give, the more lives you are able to touch. People who are characterized by an open hand are some of the most well-respected and successful people in society.
One of my goals this year has been to cultivate a more generous mindset. I want to give freely, no strings attached. Generosity is one of the most attractive and outstanding traits a person can develop.
I’ve talked before about how creativity—the thirst of our souls for wonder and beauty—is a part of us all. It’s something we were born with; something we connect to in our innermost beings. The magic of imagination is not just the talent of a few, as we sometimes tell ourselves, but in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “[It is] the health of every man.”
Did you get that? Imagination is health. Health. And not just for those people we refer to as “creatives”, but for everyone. Something we often write off as a pastime or a mere hobby is actually critical to our mental wellbeing. And not only that—creativity is absolutely vital to personal development and growth for several reasons. When we neglect to foster it, we don’t mature.
We all grew up with fairytales. Stories such as Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland can probably be found scattered throughout your childhood, and for good reason. There’s just something fantastic about them.
Children everywhere are fascinated by fairytales. They have always been had a high value placed on them in society. Albert Einstein said that if you want your kids to be intelligent, read them fairytales. There’s something about these stories that makes them very special—something that many adults no longer recognize.
Our generation is having difficulty leaving childhood. We readily embrace the Peter Pan-like admonition to “never grow up” without really understanding what that means. Adulthood is a Perilous Realm we Millennials collectively hesitate to enter.
As creative people, we are sometimes even more reluctant to embrace growing up; entering the real world. We’ve believed the lie that doing so will damage our creativity—but what if the opposite is true?
Some days creativity comes easier than others. It’s always nice when the stream is flowing and the words and colors and ideas are coming, but we all know it doesn’t last forever. Sometimes you don’t feel creative. Sometimes, you might even wonder if you’ll ever feel that way again.
When I was in high school, I focused all my spare energy on writing novels. I wrote and wrote and wrote; hundreds of thousands of words. And at first it was easy. But there came a time, shortly after I graduated when I stopped writing almost altogether. It was like the spark of passion I’d had had gone out.