Between the day to day routines of sleeping, waking, eating, commuting, socializing, answering emails, being entertained, and moving about, how much space do you set aside for your imagination? How much time do you set aside to create something?
Being creative is not (as convention would have us believe) something available only to mad geniuses or the talented.
Being creative is a choice and a commitment to make something you want happen. Whether it is making a dish for supper or tinkering with computers or bringing people together, all people create to some degree. To those in the know, creating and recreating is a truly fulfilling (and sometimes frustrating) process.
If you’re looking to up the quality of your creative space, here are some suggestions to work with.
I. You have to WANT to…
Why would one want to? Perhaps you want to make your ideas concrete. Perhaps there is a need in society that demands your attention. Or perhaps you are just dying to know how or why something works.
Or perhaps, as I believe, every individual has a creative fire that cannot be contained for long or else it gets snuffed out.
You get to have the new skills, the Eye-Opening experiences, joys and frustrations, SUCCESSES! and failures of embarking on your Creative Venture.
In such a privileged society as ours, we get to create something hopefully for the better.
Exciting isn’t it?
II. Clear out a space…
Imagine the difference between spending five minutes preparing a meal, five hours preparing and a lifetime preparing? It’s the difference between a microwave’d TV dinner, a sumptuous dinner, and Jamie Oliver.
Creative space is the time and place in the day where you give your own energy and resources into making something. The larger that space, the larger the possibilities of what can happen. Regardless of whether you know what to do in that space, you need to have the space to begin with!
It might be hard to clear your “life” calendar to free up space, but bit by bit you can grow the workshop for your project.
- What tools will you need?
- What materials?
- What resources?
- Where should this space be?
- When will you spend time in it?
This might be the perfect time to re-evaluate the schedule so that you can spend your energy where you want.
Invite in the possibilities.
III. Begin it NOW
Start now! If you don’t know where to start, then this space is an opportunity for you to find out where to start. If you’ve already started, then each day is another day to remind ourselves to create again. Creation is an iterative affair with little pieces building on other little pieces.
In Myths of Innovation, Scott Berkun says, “…there can be no perfect beginning: it’s only after you start – no matter how roughly – that you can evaluate and build on what you’ve done, shift directions, or start over with the insight and perspective you’ve gained in the process.” (pg 39).
You are the captain… so just give the order to go.
When you watch children play, you can see a sort of boundless energy and curiosity about them. You might feel jealous of their energy. However, I have this idea that adults have MORE energy than kids because we are more capable and more efficient. Adult energy can be directed.
The problem is where we direct our attention. How much energy is wasted on small worries or fears or activities that sap our brilliance?
Play is a crucial part of creating. Not only does it tap into your innate sense of curiosity, it also frees you from having to be perfect. In fact, you absolutely must let go of being perfect. It’s like learning how to use a new gadget…don’t read the instruction manual, but play with it. Push all the buttons, activate all the menu items, try all the features… if it breaks… well, luckily there’s warranty. So make sure there is a warranty.
But there is a deadly seriousness about adult playing too. As you play, you learn, you figure it out, you imagine possible uses for it thinking about how it could be better. Children play carelessly. We adults play intentionally.
But it is also not just about spaciousness of creative space, it is also about the depth. Continue to Part 2 here.
Chris Hsiung BSc. CPCC
Chris Hsiung graduated with distinction from the University of Calgary in Electrical Engineering. He is a certified professional coach through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI), accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). He is learning, teaching, presenting curriculum through Leadership Calgary. Currently he runs a practice (U Venture) guiding and coaching professionals who are choosing to engage in significant life challenges.