Monday, March 14, 2011

Motivate Your Creativity: Who You Are & Who You Will Be

The vision : sense : ideas created the UAE and Dubai, the vision and inspiration to do something new, better, higher and indeed stronger was the driving force! Enjoy! :)
photo by Ugg Boy Ugg Girl via Flickr

"Never mind searching for 
who you are.
Search for the person
you aspire to be."   
-Robert Brault

There comes a point in everyone's creative life that, in order to grow, you must critically assess both where you are and where you want to go.

Life happens to us when it presents us with circumstances beyond our control- this forms who we are.  What we do with these circumstances, however, starts a chain reaction that determines who we become.

Stone tower
photo by rasmithuk via Flickr

A creative life cannot be a passive experience.  Like delicately stacking stones, we must consciously choose our associations and activities if we hope to grow in a specific direction.  To nurture creativity, it is essential to be disciplined about honing our creative skills, yet we also have to attentively balance our other commitments. Recognizing our responsibilities is who we are, purposefully regimenting our schedules, with an eye on the future, is who we can become

What obligations do you have that are non-negotiable in your life?  

This is who you are.  I'm a wife and mother who is determined to stay active and healthy.  These occupy a great deal of my schedule!  Time spent with my family, nurturing their spiritual, academic and physical growth is a big commitment.  I also have creative endeavors that must be prioritized if I want to succeed professionally.  These aspirations require a commitment of time, money and space, and concerted discipline to use those finite resources wisely.

Nature Sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy
Nature Sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy

How do you visualize the person you aspire to be, and put that vision into actionable steps?  

This is who you can become. Here we've arrived at the heart of the issue!  To grow creatively, we must take our natural surroundings and shape them to fit our needs for the future.  What does that look like?  For me, it looks like a lot of lists and a limited social life! Time spent working in the studio during the week, participating in family activities during evenings and weekends, volunteering at school, and staying healthy with good cooking and exercise creates a saturated schedule that occupies virtually every moment of my time.

My first step toward building the future I aspire to was to cut out the "dead-weight" activities in our schedule and focus on those that are most important.  I'm going to let you in on a secret... you actually know this, but if you're like me, you have a really hard time admitting it: You can't do it all.

Here's what you can do;
In fact, what you must do to reach your goals:

Climbing Mount Feathertop
photo by earthkath via Flickr

You can begin living life with an "abundant" mindset, honoring the small achievements of everyday that contribute to long-term success.  Instead of lamenting over what you didn't achieve, celebrate what you accomplished. 

Sometimes that means you created a masterpiece to be "ooohed" and "ahhhed" (or maybe sold!).  Sometimes it means you spent your day networking and returning emails.  Sometimes it means you spent hours pouring over your art/craft supplies, putting them back in order.  Sometimes it means you washed your clothes, dishes and tidied the house, and sometimes it means you held a beloved family member's hand while they were ill.

Each one of these is an accomplishment.  Each one of these is a building block in the foundation of your future.  With self-discipline and a strong-work ethic, actions like this honor who you are and prepare yourself for who you will become. 

It may be months or years (all good things take time), but you will become that person you aspire to be.  Focus on your goal and prioritize your daily actions that will take you there.

14er Portrait
photo by Zach Dischner via Flickr

Want more creative inspiration? I've contributed a few thoughts on an inspiring post about "Fasting for Creatives" by my friend Parisa, author of Lighting Little Fires.  Her blog is full of insightful and creative musings, with gorgeous photos and heartfelt writing.


  1. This post gave me a great sense of calm. I have been struggling to balance commitments to family, craft, and work. After reading your words, I see these as related, not exclusive of each other. An abundance mindset of TIME will help me the most.

  2. This is the one post I am thankful I read today. I'm always trying to balance ever day life, wife, mom, art, horses it's a bit overwhelming at times. Thanks for your inspiring, encouraging words.

  3. I am so glad it was a positive point of the day for both of you! Martha, I actually felt a sense of calm when writing this (not always normal for me!) and am so happy that feeling came through! Christine, I understand that overwhelming feeling- you're not alone (and it's a sign you have a lot of great stuff going on!)

  4. Thank you for your great clarity!!! A great reminder today as I'm writing my lists for the week.

  5. This post really made me stop and fact I have a good few filled journal pages thanks to the questions posed!! I think these are such important things for all artists to contemplate. We never make Art or Create in isolation from the rest of our lives...everything inevitably, and should, seep into and colour each other. It's handling this overlap and blending in a dignified, organised manner that is such a challenge...something I am nowhere near working out for myself.

    Erin, you are fabulous and I love your writing!!

  6. Yes I feel like you and I are very near the same place. It is a constant struggle to balance my time CONSTANT. This year I did step back for the year from volunteering at school. It was eating up large chunks of time and I was constantly in and out of the house the last couple of years. I do try to do the occasional volunteering but I finally realized little chunks of time are not as productive as big ones!I am home everyday when they get home and we have dinner as a family evry single night. I've been home for 13 years it's time for me to take some time back!


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to join in the conversation!