self expression

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.

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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.

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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.

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Harness your inner voice by creatively expressing yourself

I often say that creativity is the purest form of self-expression and whilst I believe that’s true of almost any creative endeavor, some creative pastimes are more self-expressive than others. So I’ve taken it upon myself to list the most self-expressive creative activities you can engage in. Though some may sound like endeavors which only skilled artists should pursue, anyone can delve in and find true joy from either writing song lyrics or singing.

 

  • Singing
  • Writing song lyrics
  • Creative writing

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

Creativity Article

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

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.

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How to achieve greater fulfillment in life by fostering more creativity

 

During my series posts this month I will reveal the six fundamental steps I took to foster more creativity in my life and gain greater fulfillment.

 

Here is a preview of the steps featured in this month’s series posts, due to start next Monday:

 

Step One:            Play more

Step Two:            Quality alone time

Step Three:        Acquire a cabinet of advisors

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Why being creative is good for your emotional health

 

To feel understood is one of the greatest human needs. When we are creative we express our inner-self in a way that language often cannot. The resultant joy that flows from our artistic self-expression is not only therapeutic but fulfilling too.

 

When we use creativity to express ourselves it is fun and freeing – we feel liberated, as if we have just found our vocal cords for the first time.

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What is creativity anyway? (And why it’s a big deal)

Rollo May, defines creativity in ‘The Courage to Create’ as:

 

“Creativity is the process of bringing something new into being. Creativity requires passion and commitment. It brings to our awareness what was previously hidden and points to new life. The experience is one of heightened consciousness: ecstasy.” 

 

To me, creativity is divine. It is the process of creation and is self-expression in its purest form. When we express ourselves so authentically the result is utter elation and fulfillment.

 

I am saddened when I think back to the years of my life when I didn’t think I was ‘the creative type’. Had I known that the process of being creative was as natural to the human race as breathing, I could have had many more years reveling in the joy of being creative.

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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!

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