How to Design a More Fulfilling Life by Being Creative in 6 Simple Steps Part Four

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock


Last week we looked at how to gain wise advisers, create or find an inspiring environment and how to practise creativity regularly by installing routines. This week learn how to avoid the number one pitfall most people who start being creative make and how to avoid it, as well as an extensive list of creative activities that will have you itching to get your creative hat on.


Step Six – Enjoy the Process and Forget the Outcome


I am a self confessed perfectionist. If I do something I like to do it to the very best of my ability. Whilst there are definite advantages to being a perfectionist, such as having high standards, it can also be very damaging when applied to creativity.


For example, if we are too invested in the result of our creative efforts we actually harm our creativity. By focussing on the end product we constantly evaluate our work and inhibit our creative flare. Ironically, our performance is far better when we focus solely on the process, whereby the means is more valued than the ends.


How to Design a More Fulfilling Life by Being Creative in 6 Simple Steps Part Three

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock


Last week we looked at how play and quality alone time can boost our creativity and lead us to live more fulfilling lives. This week we explore how to maximise our creative potential through seeking advisors, creating a tranquil and inspiring environment and installing daily creative routines. Be prepared for your creativity to shine through brighter than the north star!


Step Three – Acquire a Cabinet of Advisors and Know Each Members Specialism


When I started to write one of the first things I did was to acquire a cabinet of advisors. I enlisted a practicing therapist to approve the psychology content of my articles and I got my mom, a teacher, to proof-read my articles for grammar. It was easy to recognise the specialism of my mom and the therapist straight away but it isn’t always so obvious.


For example, I sent one of my blog articles to my best friend who gave me some invaluable constructive criticism. As a result of her feedback I realised her specialism was content evaluation from the readerships perspective.


One of the reasons why my cabinet was so effective is because each member was honest with their feedback, they weren’t simply ‘yes people’, they gave me genuine guidance. When choosing your own advisors make sure you select people who will deliver honest advice in a sensitive and diplomatic way.


How to Design a More Fulfilling Life by Being Creative in 6 Simple Steps Part Two

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock


Last week I spoke about how important creativity is in helping us lead a more fulfilling life. Now let’s explore how we can foster more creative inspiration and expression in our day to day lives.


Step One – Play More


Dr. Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, claims that playing promotes our being open to new ideas and increases our creativity. Play can be defined as something we do for the sake of it, with the process prized above the outcome.


Without realising it, I was playing all the time by singing but not all play is necessarily creative – laughing with friends is just as playful as singing! Dr. Brown cites play as art, books, movies, music, comedy, flirting, sport and even daydreaming. Adventure can also be an integral part of play, with novelty often adding to our sense of enjoyment. Create more time for play in your life and have fun whilst boosting your creativity.


How to Design a More Fulfilling Life by Being Creative in 6 Simple Steps Part One

Creativity Article

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I loved being creative as a child. I used to sketch for hours. I used to make up songs about unicorns and sing them in the car to my mom. As I matured my creativity was stifled by my burgeoning ‘adult’ perspective which constantly evaluated my work and told me that my creativity was childish. Little by little I became more inhibited and less creative until the day came that I ceased being creative altogether.


It was only in my twenty-eighth year, when I sang along to a tune on the radio, that I was inspired to take up singing again. It was such a spontaneous moment, filled with the joy only creative self-expression brings. But for years I had no creative outlet.  With benefit of hindsight, I can see clearly how comparatively empty my life was without one. It was as if I was trying to speak but my vocal cords didn’t work and no matter how I tried I couldn’t ever fully express myself.


Over the many years I lacked creativity, I had actually come to believe that I wasn’t the creative type, that it just wasn’t something I could do. But I was missing the point entirely. Being creative wasn’t about the end result; it was about the process. It was about expressing yourself, something that everyone was born able to do and is as natural as speaking itself.


Septembers Hot Topic Is… How to Lead a More Fulfilling Life by Being Creative!

This coming months hot topic is very close to my heart. After spending most of my life without a creative outlet I rediscovered my creativity aged twenty nine. Since being creative I have found a new level of self expression, a level I believe I could not have reached, had I not rediscovered the importance of creativity.


Since being creative I have been more fulfilled and cannot wait to share with you how you too can rediscover your creative flare. I will share the six fundamental steps I took in the series articles (posted each Monday) which will also feature exercises you can do to help you practically implement these steps into your life.


On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays there will also be more linear posts featuring topics like ‘What is creativity?’ and ‘Ten quick tricks to inspire creativity’ to compliment the series posts.


Join me on a journey of self-expression that will leave you in a state of joy and abandon this September!


7 Steps to a Happier You; Part Three

Step Six: Hobbies and leisure pursuits


Having hobbies and ways to creatively express ourselves can also significantly boost our feelings of happiness. Why not try taking a class of something you have always wanted to do? When we creatively express ourselves we experience a deep sense of personal satisfaction, pride and achievement which all work to boost our happiness. Check out Tasterlab for an extensive directory of hobby taster classes.


Likewise, having leisure pursuits is essential as they serve to both reduce stress, relax us and are a valuable source of fun and enjoyment. I have an unlimited cinema card which I pay for monthly so when I need to relax I can get lost in a movie. Other fun leisure pursuits include bowling, a meal at a restaurant, fishing, roller-skating, exhibitions and museums and even karaoke with friends.


7 Steps to a Happier You; Part Two


Step Three: Live for the moment


In all of my happiest memories I was totally absorbed and engaged in the moment. These moments were so crystal clear it is as if I had experienced them with eyes which were seeing for the very first time. Amazingly, we can all learn to develop this close relationship to the present moment. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the man responsible for bringing mindfulness meditation into the mainstream medical arena, defines mindfulness as ‘The awareness that emerges when we learn to pay attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally to things as they are.’ Mindfulness has been found to reduce stress, anxiety and depression and to help us better deal with pain. It also serves to help us fully immerse ourselves in the moment and allows us to develop a sense of appreciation and gratitude, both essential components of a happier life.


7 Steps to a Happier You; Part One


According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary happiness can be defined as ‘A state of well being and contentment’. We all want to be happy but is it something we can actively pursue? For years I struggled with depression and so I began questioning whether I could reduce the possibility of further bouts by proactively seeking happiness. I was fortunate that I began my research into happiness at a time when the area of positive psychology had exploded and was grateful to discover that there was extensive information and findings surrounding the field of happiness. In fact there are many things we can all do if we want to increase our happiness and live more contented lives. These changes may be small and manageable, like keeping a daily gratitude journal, or could be fundamental changes like integrating meditation into our daily lives.


The Many Roads To Happiness…


“People take different roads seeking fulfilment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” H Jackson Browne


Whilst there are certain universal principles which lead to greater happiness, like living in line with ones values for example, the path to happiness is just as unique and varied as each of us. Although our humanity unites us all, we each have idiosyncrasies and distinctly individual likes and dislikes. What brings me laughter and joy, another may not even find funny, and so it is with happiness. Even the basic principles of happiness, like living by ones values, are different for everyone. What struck me most about readers’ comments was the diversity of them, however, this should not really have been surprising when considering the wide spectrum of human nature.