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5 keys to living a creative life

Five keys to living a creative life 

When I talk about living a creative life, I mean it in the broadest terms. So many people tell me they don’t have a creative bone in their bodies, but they seem to think that being creative or living a creative life means:

  • Being an artist or active creative of some sort
  • Regularly spending hours on creative projects
  • Making money from our creative endeavours 

Personally, I think this is a bit reductive

All of us have creative minds; the ability to dream, problem-solve, and find out-of-the-box solutions. All of us can imagine how we would want our lives to be, or how we’d like things to be different. It’s just that when it comes to actually putting this into practice, things get a little sticky. 

Which is where my keys to living a creative life come in.

1- Let yourself dream

Everything starts with a dream. It doesn’t have to be big, but it should be meaningful. Something important and desirable enough that it will keep lighting your way; even if the path gets a little dark and uncomfortable.

If you’re struggling with this one, you could also try imagining yourself as the main character in the movie of your life. What would you want to happen? What would be your dream come true?

2 – Take the first step

This is the thing that really gets the ball rolling. Even if it’s the tiniest thing, it still says “I’m serious”. It takes the intangible dream and brings it into a physical reality. 

3 – Be experimental and playful

It often takes a while to find our groove, especially when we do something totally out of our comfort zone and different from what we’re used to. Embracing the beginner’s mindset and letting ourselves see the early stages of anything as a playful experiment is a great way of relieving the pressure we put on ourselves when we set our sights too high.

4 – Lean into what feels good

All too often, we beat ourselves up about where we “should” be or what we “should” be doing. We compare ourselves to others and come up wanting. We’re our own harshest critics, rather than our own biggest supporters.

Remember, you’re not pursuing a creative life because you want to break yourself into submission – you’re pursuing it to find an expansive and joyful life. This means chasing that joy from the get-go, rather than seeing it as an afterthought. Be the carrot, not the stick.

5 – Give yourself permission to change your mind

This is my favourite point of all. I despise the whole “You’ve made your bed now you have to lie in it”, thing. We humans were not designed to die on a cross. Our minds are flexible enough to change based on feedback and new information.

This ability is pretty much the sole reason we’ve been able to reach the lofty heights we have; which is funny because now looking at my list it feels like it’s the entire ethos behind any other technological advancement, too:

  1. You start with an idea or a hypothesis
  2. You give it a go
  3. You experiment/use trial and error
  4. You see what works and lean into that
  5. You decide if it’s worth continuing or starting over.

In a nutshell, though, I guess that’s exactly what this creative life is. It’s all about letting ourselves try something new – something that has the potential to elevate our lives to the next level of contentment – and seeing what happens. 

Of course, like anything, it may not work out perfectly. But I’ll let you in on a secret: perfect doesn’t exist. Not in nature, not in art, and not in life.

All we can do is try. Trying gets us far closer to where we want to be than if we never try at all.

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