Comfort Zone Creativity: Possible or Impossible?

Comfort zone. Creative zone. Are there magic recipes to create masterpieces?

I saw this simple drawing here and was given permission to repost it. [Update: the original post is here along with a ton of other gems! Check it out!]

Man I love this concept… and hate it.

Can we create in a comfort zone? Aren’t there ways we MUST be comfortable to create?

What’s been your experience you writers, actors, teachers, moms, pastors, trainers, and other miracle makers?

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Creativity, Rule Breaking, and Growing Down

Mastering the art of when to break and not break the rules is a never-ending exercise in creativity. As creatives, we live with the privilege of learning that tightrope walk.

Today’s my birthday.

I’m 36.

I used my birthday money to buy this…

Birthday Helicopter Yes, it’s a remote control toy helicopter.

Yes, I’ve played with it a lot.

Yes, it’s amazing.

Some justification. A friend posted a quote on my Facebook Page today by Chili Davis, a Major League baseball player: “Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” Chili Davis.

Chili? His name is Chili. No, for serious. I checked it. It’s for real.

So yeah, I’m just following Chili’s advice. (Said that in my head a few times… “I’m just following Chili’s advice.”) I’m gonna break a few rules, make a few, and keep a few rules this year to keep my creative juices growing.

~I’ll do my best work this year rather than rest on my laurels.

~I’ll learn what my ‘my laurels’ are.

~I’ll love better.

~I’ll keep rules, break rules, and sometimes make my own rules.

~I’ll live like a disciplined rebel with a cause.

~I’ll not just dream about ideas; I’ll do the dream, and take the steps to see the idea grow into a reality.

~I’ll explore like a toddler, dream like an adolescent, and work like a ‘responsible’ adult.

Today may or may not be your birthday, but we can always focus, define, and set the tone for our lives as we walk that creativity tightrope.

How are you growing down, growing up, and keeping the balance of rule keeping and rule breaking?

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An Actor in the Office: Tips to Making Your Day Job Creative

6 Similarities of Working in an Office and Working on a Cruise Ship

I used to do this:

Now I do this:

As creatives, we have a challenge before us: to live a life filled with joy, connection, and fearlessness, and share those traits with others via our chosen medium of expression. How do we do this? Even in a cubicle?

6 Similarities of Working in an Office and Working on a Cruise Ship

  1. Both jobs involve a performance for an audience. Aren’t all jobs about helping people do something?
  2. Both jobs can become tedious and boring… if we let them.
  3. Both jobs have a dress code. Granted, one is more ‘flashy’ than the other.
  4. Both jobs require skills that can be learned, honed, and perfected.
  5. Both jobs afford to opportunity to pack on the pounds. I’m speaking from experience here. Just sayin’.
  6. All jobs are creative. Really. No, I’m serious.

All jobs require time and effort. I’m a wee bit selfish with my time and the idea of ‘renting’ myself out 40 hours a week feels a bit like a modern form of prostitution… if I let that attitude creep in. We have to choose to see every thing through artist eyes.

Hmmmm. I just looked at those pics again. I really ought to smile more. Although in the “Top Hat Happy” pic, a smile may detract from the beauty of the purple sequins.

What are your tips to keeping your day job creative? How do you think like an artist while shuffling papers, answering calls, or replying to e-mails?

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Hot Air Ballooning in Amish Country: Six Facts

Last week I had the great fortune to do this:

“Balloon with a View” This balloon launched with ours.
*It costs money. Fortunately, for me, this particular trip was a gift. Thanks Dad.
*Fear of baskets is a no-go. If you fear floating around in a human-sized Easter basket, this isn’t for you.
*It’s not like Pixar’s movie “Up.” Wasn’t “Up” a sad movie? I didn’t cry once while on this ride.
*It’s hard to catch a football from a balloon. A few kids tossed a football up to us (while flying much lower, of course, than the pic above) and we missed. Twice. Leaning out of a basket to catch a football = not a good idea.
*People love balloons. It was fun to see all the people waving, cars crashing from watching us and not the road, and the dogs freaking out.
*Amish people love balloons too. Here’s how some arrived in their Amish “car” to scope out our balloon landing.
“Amish Auto”
Time to check something off your bucket list?

Big Fat Loser Confession: The ‘I’ll Try’ Enemy

I’ve said it at work while training sales consultants: “I’ll try” is a disease.After teaching, coaching, and seeing an employee experience a eureka light-bulb moment, I’ll sometimes hear two dreaded words: “I’ll try.” I honestly wish they’d just say “I won’t and I can’t.” No commitment, no change, no results. Just be honest with your life.

Now the confession: I’m sitting on my can, watching NBC’s The Biggest Loser. I often feel a bit guilty watching this show. Shouldn’t I be burning some calories, learning something, working on that project, I’ll think. Heck, at least I’m not downing chocolate and pizza… yet. Anyway, there are a couple big losers on the show and I’m not talking about their weight; I’m talking diseased minds.
My blood boils when I hear one of them say “I’ll try.” As in:
  • I’ll try to do the workout.
  • I’ll try to finish.
  • I’ll try to eat better.
  • I’ll try to make a change.

One of the participants just ate 37 mini doughnuts. Thirty. Seven. Doughnuts. That’s where the “I’ll try” willpower gets us–nowhere.

As creatives, let’s harpoon the “I’ll try” from our vocabulary and our mindset.

I’ve had a number of readers mention the encouragement they get from these posts. Fine folks who’ve hung up the paintbrushes, the pen and paper, the auditions etc. As they say in High School Musical, “We’re All in this Together.” I’m so sorry I just wrote that last sentence. My apologies.

If I’m honest with myself, I have to spear the “I’ll try” every time I seek to ideate and create. That’s why I’m writing this right now. I will write. I will contribute. I will inspire.

No more “I’ll try.”

I will. I can. I have something to share. I can bring a change. My work comes to good.

A heck of a lot different than “I’ll try.”

Why do you think we like to say “I’ll try?” What’s your new mantra to replace your “I’ll try?”

Get to Work

It’s about time.

It’s about time that all the workshops, webinars, e-mail subscriptions, cd’s, podcasts, speeches and preachers and teachers and keynote feature speakers’ talk
Stops.
It’s really about where the rubber meets the road and becomes our own with the practical hands on, real life, tried-and-tested, true to form, hands-down, read deal, easy to understand, and easier to do.
It’s about time.
It’s about time that getting by, inching on, just ‘getting through the day,’ one step forward two steps back, and lack of concern or lack of attack, ‘cause it just makes nothing but a life of naps and dilapidated crap.
It’s about time.
It’s about time that all reservations, inclinations, and tentative conversations take a back seat to implementation, vitalization, and radical transformation because complacency and apathy have no part of who we are, what we do, or who influences you and me. We’re better than that and we’ve got to give up blame because it’s a steady rain that leaves a stain that’s name is “not my fault.”
It’s about time.
It’s about time that we stop hugging stress like it’s our best friend and send it packing back to the pretend land where it has no upper hand.
It’s about time.
It’s about time to stop making excuses cause they’re useless. They leave us nowhere in life but clueless and in duress, held captive by their false sense of security. See, it’s just you stopping yourself telling everyone else that it’s their fault that you’re not free to succeed.
It’s about time.
It’s about time to stop starting over and wasting time because we have no guarantees for tomorrow so why not make the most of every today.
Make the most of every day.

Of every. 

Single. 

Moment.