Articles

Can You Create On The Spot?

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When it comes to creating something, are you a planner or an improviser? In my work, I've started to distinguish between different creative approaches. Some people are much more comfortable with a well-planned and thought out process. Certain projects or situations necessitate this kind of approach. Other people and circumstances call for a more spontaneous experience of the creative process. Its about allowing ideas and expressions to flow through you in the moment. Stage vs. Street One of my guilty pleasures is watching So You Think You Can Dance. As a dancer-at-heart, I live vicariously through the amazing people on the show. I love watching them overcome their fear and give it their all. This season, the show has split the contestants into two groups: Stage vs. Street. What I noticed is that the stage dancers are more on the planned side of creativity. They rehearse their routines, knowing every move in advance. They are used to learning choreography, and what they are able to produ…

Never Before: Two Perspectives On Creative Achievement

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"Art is when a human being does something for the first time." - Seth Godin "The point is not to do something that's never been done before, but something you've never done before." - Liz Gilbert These two quotes are both from people I highly respect and admire. I came across them in completely different places. But, together, I think they bring up a very important question. In Seth Godin's view, art and creation is that moment when something completely new happens for the first time ever. That thing had never been done or thought before in the history of the world. While it may not be clear from the quote that that's what he meant, he went on in his talk to describe it. He highlighted new inventions and concepts that transform the world and change how things are done. Granted, those are amazing and important moments of creativity and inspiration. But it also somehow makes creativity or art feel inaccessible. "How can I think of something brand new? …

3 Successful Approaches To Consistent Content Creation

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Everyone has a different approach to creative projects. I've worked with a lot of clients, and there isn't a one-size-fits all solution to getting it done. Some people are great with structure and planning while others are okay with a more seat-of-your pants approach. It isn't about being right or wrong. There are pros and cons to each of these approaches. It's just important to recognize which approach is the best fit for you so you can plan accordingly. Regulars Some folks get into a content creation practice, and show up for it on a regular basis. That could be every day, every few days, or maybe once a week. These people are committed to putting out content consistently, and it becomes part of their routine. Deadline Meeters For this group of people, the idea of creating content every single week (or more!) is overwhelming. They understand the importance of content creation, but aren't always able to prioritize it when there are so many other things to do. But, give…

Gratitude and Blessings

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This morning I met an older lady in the elevator and she began a little conversation about where we were going. I stated "I'm off to work" and with a big smile she replied "That's good. You get paid for that, don't you?" I couldn't help but smile back. Then, just before getting off at her floor she said "At least I can get up, walk and do things". What a good attitude! It reminded me of the importance of being thankful for the little things. So many people complain about HAVING to work or about their jobs. Some are unhappy about doing exercise or think that returning phone calls to family and friends is a chore. Well, my sister has been trapped in a body by Multiple Sclerosis for several years and there are so many things that she wishes that she could do - like walk to the bathroom - and then be able to sit on the toilet without help! Things that we take for granted are often impossible tasks for others who only wish they could do them. …

The Freedom of Spring!

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Winter is a lot of work! Hats and gloves, scarves, boots and jackets have to be donned before one can even leave the house. Vehicles must be serviced with winter tires and safety kits. There is snow to shovel and treacherous roads have to be carefully navigated. Extra time must be allotted for travel. Sporting equipment designed for the weather conditions must be properly prepared before it can be used. But then spring arrives and there is a new freedom that comes with it. One can head outside without adding extra layers of clothing and just keep on walking. We arrive at our destination in a short period of time without worry about being delayed by weather conditions. Outdoor activities seem so much simpler. We can sit outside for hours, toss a frisbee or just watch a ballgame without fear of frostbite. Spring also surrounds us with new life. Baby birds chirp from their nests and flower buds are coaxed open by the warm sun. A gentle rain washes away the dust from yesterday. Everythin…

Stumble Forward

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I recently watched a program about Samuel Clemens, the author who is perhaps better known as Mark Twain. Most people have read two of his most popular books in which he created the fictional characters of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Clemens grew up in Missouri and spent time on the Mississippi River surrounded by an environment that allowed slavery. He always wrote what he knew and these experiences were therefore prevalent in his books. Clemens worked as a typesetter and as a riverboat pilot in his youth. He later became a journalist who used his sense of humour to write about situations where he didn't do well such as when he failed in the mining industry. He educated himself in libraries in the evenings because he felt that they provided more information than could be found in schools. He also educated himself through extensive world travel and that also provided content for his writings. In 1870 Clemens married Olivia Langdon and they had four children. Over the years, h…

Addictions and Boredom

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I have a very interesting client who shared his theory of addiction with me. He stated that he and others use drugs because they are bored. This thought has caused me to think about some of my other clients who have come for treatment because of alcohol, gambling or pornography issues. Although there isn't just one specific reason for an addiction to start, I think that perhaps boredom can be a factor for many people. A January 24, 2017 article by Emma Young of "Mosaic" that was posted online is headlined "Iceland Knows How to Stop Teen Substance Abuse but the Rest of the World isn't listening". Ms. Young states: "Today, Iceland tops the European table for the cleanest-living teens. The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 per cent in 1998 to 5 per cent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 per cen…