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If you feel a need to create change in your life and to make a better mark on the world, you will need to cultivate a new mindset. Putting yourself into that mindset begins with clearly visualizing the outcome you hope to achieve.
Envisioning the end result you’re pursuing has a powerful effect on your ability to make it happen. Holding that vision in your mind makes it easier to avoid distractions and to keep moving forward. With each step that takes you closer to its fruition, you move beyond just aspiring to, and toward actually realizing the new reality that you’re creating.
In my work as an executive and creativity coach, I’ve had a chance to work with artists and business leaders who must regularly draw on their core creativity. The mindsets and habits that they employ can serve as inspiration as you embark on a journey to reinvent your life.
The following is a compilation from my book, Core Creativity: The Mindful Way to Unlock Your Creative Self, of these mindsets and habits to employ in your own pursuit:
- Focus on the solution, not the problem.
For many people, their default is to focus on problems. It comes from our ingrained negativity bias. Reject that way of thinking and, instead, embrace a solution orientation. This means focusing on what you’d like to create and experience, and crafting a vision that inspires you even when you come up against challenges and obstacles.
- Pinpoint a winning formula to utilize.
Find a blueprint for success that you or someone else you know has benefitted from and put it into play. Alter or adjust its structure as necessary so that it applies to your idea for reinvention. Make it your game plan to stay motivated, create something fresh, and open the door to new possibilities.
- Use rituals to help you stay on track.
A good ritual for beginning your day is to start by visualizing yourself accomplishing what you’re setting out to do. Imagining yourself focusing on your three or four most difficult and important tasks. Do you know what they are each day? Identifying them can help you avoid feeling scattered and unproductive and keep you on track.
- Step out of your comfort zone and take risks.
Creative people aren’t afraid to break the rules. One of the rules you can break as part of your reinvention is the one to “stay in your lane.” Great musicians, for example, are known to venture into film, painting, and sculpting. We wouldn’t have multi-track recording or electric guitars if it weren’t for guitarist Les Paul stepping out of his lane.
- Recognize and capture moments of inspiration.
Often, ideas come as mere snippets. When I swim in the ocean, I often get downloads of ideas. As soon as I get out of the water, even before I towel off, I record them. An idea that seems too brief and lacking detail can be built upon and might become a full-fledged creative way forward if you give it time and attention.
- Turn any failures or setbacks into learning opportunities.
If you’re willing to detach from your frustration or sense of failure if your plans go astray or you come up on a dead end, you will find that your mistakes can be viewed as “mis-takes.” Just like how a director tells an actor “Let’s do another take,” you can tell yourself to give it another “take,” but this time integrating the lessons learned from the previous mis-take.
- Acknowledge your successes to maintain motivation.
When you’ve completed a project or overcome a challenging a hurdle, take time to revel in the feeling of satisfaction and pride. Journal about your creative successes, capturing all that you did right. Share your achievement with supportive people who will acknowledge your progress and creativity and give you encouragement.
Applying these mindsets and habits of highly creative people will help you enter what I call “open mind” so that you can access your core creativity. With this mindset, you will be able to see your way forward as you reinvent your life in a way that brings you greater joy and fulfillment.
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Printed with permission of the author..
BOOK: Core Creativity
Core Creativity: The Mindful Way to Unlock Your Creative Self
by Ronald Alexander
Core Creativity employs stories of ordinary but highly creative people alongside the latest research that helps people get unstuck. Too often, the mind’s Wi-Fi signal is too weak for the really big ideas to load, but Core Creativity offers readers help with establishing a mindfulness practice; exercises for enhancing creativity and fostering better decision-making; key insights from personal interview with highly creative artists including music producer Val Garay, director Amy Ziering, and actor Dennis Quaid; and guidance for reclaiming your creative self so you can achieve profound transformation.
For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Also available as a Kindle edition.
About the Author
Ronald A. Alexander, PhD, is a psychotherapist, an international trainer and a creativity, business and leadership coach. He has a private psychotherapy and executive coaching practice in Santa Monica, California. He’s the executive director of the OpenMind® Training Program that offers personal and professional training programs in mindfulness-based therapies, transformational leadership and meditation.
Dr. Ron is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change (2009), and the new book, Core Creativity: The Mindful Way to Unlock Your Creative Self (Rowman & Littlefield, June 21, 2022). Learn more at www.CoreCreativity.com.