If you’re anything like me, nothing has ever sounded as dull as simply “being normal.” Having a normal job and doing normal things like normal people. It turns you off because, deep down, you know you were made for more than that. You have a purpose, and “normalcy” is your enemy—or is it?
I just want to take a minute to say something that should be pretty obvious, but for some reason isn’t: People are not normal. People are complex, vibrant, mysterious, and deep—often beyond even their own realization. You are one of those people. But unique people like you and I sometimes find ourselves doing “normal things”—and we beat ourselves up for it.
We’ve all heard it proclaimed from Facebook to Instagram to Pinterest: “Hustle, hustle, hustle!” Pithy quotes from overly-ambitious bloggers tell you that “Good things come to those who hustle!” They warn you against “nibbling on mediocrity” because it’s better to choke on greatness.
Now before you write this off as an excuse to laze around in the comfort of mediocrity, let the record show: I believe in hard work. I’m all about dedication and achieving excellence. But this idea of hustle—of constant motion—has to go if we are to achieve anything beyond absolute burnout.
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.
If you’re like many creatives, you probably find yourself struggling with productivity. I know I do. Some days, it’s painfully difficult to get “into the zone” and start creating. And quite often, it’s not for lack of inspiration, but focus.
Maintaining focus is key to achieving the kind of productivity you strive for—and it’s something that’s become increasingly difficult in our distraction-plagued first world. I’ve already had to spend most of my morning fighting off Facebook and Instagram. If you’re anything like me, this is a daily struggle, and so I want to share a few tips I’ve been using to help enhance my focus.
Did you know?—clutter is killing your creativity. Little by little, it accumulates in corners, files, and even in the recesses of your own mind, draining away your creative well with distractions until you’re left feeling helpless, frustrated, and completely burned out.
I’ve talked before about simplicity, and how it is not the same thing as minimalism. However, it is not uncommon for minimalism to become part of living a simplistic lifestyle. The truth is, these two often walk hand in hand, and today I want to talk about a few ways that minimalism, specifically, can help to rejuvenate and enhance your creativity.
The internet is an integral part of our world today. It enables us to obtain knowledge, maintain connection with friends and family, and, for many of us, it plays a huge role in our daily work routine. However, for all its incredible benefits, the internet can be a slippery slope to navigate.
In a society constantly buzzing with motion and information, we’ve become dependent—sometimes to an unhealthy extent—on technology. We have smart phones, laptops, iPads, and more, all within arm’s reach at all times, and this level of dependency often turns out to be more of a hindrance than a help—especially when it comes to functional creativity.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a perfectionist. I’ll often spend more time analyzing my work than I do actually working. (Oh hey, I’m doing it right now with these opening sentences. What a great start.)
If you’re a perfectionist, don’t feel bad. You have great qualities, such as diligence, loyalty, and a desire for excellence. We need people like you and I in this world, but as perfectionists, we’ve got to learn how to manage our gifts, lest they become a hindrance.