The most successful people cultivate creativity, but many of us forget about the importance of creative time and play. We turn up our busy noses at artistic exploration, when the reality is that making time for a creative outlet enhances our ability to be more effective in other areas of your life — including at work (it doesn't matter if you are a CPA).
Our younger selves understand the importance of creativity, imagination and expression, but as we grow up it tends to get lost.
Here are seven ways to reconnect with your creative, authentic self:
1. Ask yourself what you loved as a child.
Writing stories? Painting? Dancing? Building? Playing detective? Whatever it was, there's an adult version for you! Some of the coolest people I know in New York take singing classes for fun, participate in different dance classes, attend and speak at poetry readings and spend their Saturday mornings painting furniture.
2. Don't overthink it.
Creativity can be found in many forms. Putting together a perfect brunch outfit, exploring a new cuisine, and testing fun recipes to sneak vegetables into your children's food are all forms of creativity. Start somewhere by doing an old, regimented task in a new way.
3. Include others.
Creativity can really be enjoyed in groups. Find your tribe. Some of the greatest, newer friendships I have made have been made through a shared love of writing, success psychology and spiritual literature. Get around people who love what you love. Introduce people to your creative passion; you may be surprised at who else would also love to learn Italian! You may also create some of the greatest friendships of your life this way.
4. Set the scene.
When I need to sit down to write or prepare a topic, I get myself into the zone by playing an upbeat playlist, putting the kettle on, lighting a candle and arranging fresh flowers in my work space — even if it's just one. Surround yourself with an uplifting setting to inspire you and want to keep you there.
5. Remove limits.
Our greatest ideas come from an unlimited source of imagination. Lose the mental (fake) boundaries of what's possible for you to enjoy creating.
6. Don't worry about the outcome.
Creativity is about the journey and enjoying being in the flow. Surrender the outcome to whatever it will be. Commit to enjoying the sheer process of creating.
7. Remind yourself that you are talented.
What past creative achievements are you proud of? You might have to think deeply here as so many of your achievements are creative without your knowing it. Did you build an original PowerPoint deck? Did you buy some tulips and arrange them beautifully? Did you find a vintage chair and find the perfect spot in your apartment to place it? This is creativity in motion!
Once you pay attention to your creative tasks and make increasing their frequency a priority you will be amazed at the positive impact it has on your life.
In order to maximize your potential and emotional well-being, it's crucial to bring light to your creative essence. It's at the core of your being. When and what was your last creative project?