Creating More Than You Consume
There are no shortages of prevalent issues plaguing modern day professionals in today’s challenging job climate. Each day the news runs the gamut serving up a platter of unemployment numbers, wage stagnation and job market saturation. But lurking behind the scenes is one of the greatest challenges facing this cohort.
Never notarized and even more rarely identified, the loss of personal creativity is causing more problems that we might think. Professionals have succumbed to the monotony of job applications and cover letters, rarely thinking creatively about how to separate themselves from the rest of the 250 applicants that an average job will get (according to LinkedIn).
Viewing ourselves as a creator can empower us to get in touch with ourselves more clearly and to create a version of us that we once dreamed of. As I write about in my book Becoming Spreadable, congruency between your story and your promise is ultimately what builds a meaningful personal brand that people spread amongst others. What I put forward is that your road to a better career and a better life starts with a simple challenge: to create more than you consume.
“Whether we realize it or not, everything we do is an expression of either how alive our souls are or how much we have allowed ourselves to be deadened over time.”
― Erwin Raphael McManus
When I look around, I see that the world is made-up of souls repressing their natural, innate and beautiful artisan souls. Countless times I’ve overheard people say that they don’t view themselves as “creative” or as “artistic.” They say things like “I’m a realist” or “I’m not a dreamer.” In fact, studies have shown that only 25% of us consider ourselves to be creative. They believe those creative terms and mindsets are reserved for some exclusive clubs of hippies and artists with little berets. This perspective is fundamentally flawed and it inhibits success.
At our core we are all born with wide-eyed curiosity and open-mindedness. As children we saw the world as it truly was undisturbed by forces of evil, harm, injustice…and perhaps worst of all, failure. In many ways, this was the most creative time of our lives as we were building our personalities, displaying unfiltered releases of passions and generally going about our days with the utmost in mindfulness and presence. We were undeniably creative and wondrous in our pursuit of it, whatever “it” was.
So what changed?
We were creative before we even knew it, but we have gotten lost in the outward display and definition of creativity. We have let the claws of failure chip away at our being. We have let doubt win — doubt in ourselves and doubt in the power of creativity.
For all of us, returning to this state of an open mind, an optimistic outlook and becoming a collaborative being will make us more creative without us evening knowing it. It is in you to regain, you just need to find it. Creativity is not about art, drawing, or music…it is about freedom, presence and expression.
A fundamental belief I hold dear is that the more you create, the opportunities will come your way. With these opportunities, your life will open up. By taking time to become present you can begin to see you for who you are. With your thoughts and preconceived notions striped away, you are left with only your authentic self. And this is what will be the jumping off place for you to become creative with the most most valuable canvas that you have: you!
To start yourself on this journey on harnessing your inner artisan soul, remind yourself of the creative times from your childhood. Feel those times. Feel them with all of your being. The excitement, the freedom, the energy. It’s within you. Release the failure, the rejection, all that is holding you back.
One tactic you might use to truly harnessing these feelings is meditation. I have found personally and have seen it as well in other people, that when you start practicing mindfulness to get to know a new side of yourself. Only that this new side was there all along, it is in fact exactly who you were meant to become. To start you on this journey, I recommend the Headspace app and doing reading by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Inside all of us is a child with an artisan soul. Find him or her. Nurture it. And everything good will follow. By creating more than you consume, opportunities will follow and your life will open up. You will become the person who is authentically you, and there is no better personal brand than that.