This is a reprint of an article that was published during the summer of 2016.
“There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.
This ecstasy, this forgetfulness of living, comes to the artist, caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame; it comes to the soldier, war-mad in a stricken field and refusing quarter; and it came to Buck, leading the pack, sounding the old wolf-cry, straining after the food that was alive and that fled swiftly before him through the moonlight.”
— Jack London, The Call of the Wild
The Call of the Wild is a story that I read as a child that still stands as one of my favorites.
I believe that all people have the capacity to create art. However, your success is partially determined on the ability to turn yourself over to your work.
How many of us can say that we have done that in our lives? To be clear, I'm not talking about ignoring responsibilities, but rather freeing your mind.
This is generally accomplished by letting go of all preconceived notions, unlearning what you've learned, and developing a heightened awareness of what is going on around you.
I work daily at the process of letting go in order to go to a place where I can focus on my work. And I loosely define work as anything that is occupying your time right now... aspects of your job, family time, hobbies, sports, etc.
Being creative, in any discipline, requires patience, discipline, and space. Obstacles can exist mentally and physically, and can be imposed on us by others. Removal of these ties that bind people to existing mental or physical states requires discipline and mindfulness. The mental barriers can be the toughest to overcome.
There's a process to it that you've got to figure out for yourself. It's important for the process to work for you. Getting to that point is half that battle in any project on which you may be working.
Once you've created the physical and mental space in which to work, the act of creation should just simply flow. Creating flow in our daily lives allows people to move fluidly between activities, relationships, and tasks in harmony with their environment.
If I'm not flowing on a moment to moment basis, then I know that I have a problem.
I try to give people the space they need to grow and achieve their goals. As a parent and coach, I find it helpful to give guidance to kids when needed and then back off and see how they respond. I believe that it works the same way with adults. Like the development of ideas, people simply need space to develop.
Once working in a barrier-free environment, people are often amazed at how effortless things can be.