Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself (and your creativity, and your business) is to take a break (re: get the hell away) from the chorus of voices that claim to know how you should show up in the world, get a steady stream of clients, build an email list, or make a million dollars in your first year as an entrepreneur, etc, etc.
Now, I don’t want to diss on all the entrepreneurs and creative types who have built their livelihoods around helping other people achieve their goals in the way that they have achieved theirs; I think it’s a beautiful thing that there are so many resources available to us, today, that tell us, step by step, how to build an online business.
I just feel that whenever I get frustrated and start spinning my wheels about what step to take next, and I bite at one of these offerings on Facebook, or listen to a tele-seminar, or buy an e-book that describes exactly how it is that I can do x in x amount of time, I find that I can only listen to about half, before my ADD kicks in big time. In other words, all of these potential solutions and strategies coming at me tend to add to my frustration, rather than soften it. And then I go on a miniature, internal rant that goes something like this…if we’re trying to make it as creative entrepreneurs, then why are so many of us going about it in such a cookie cutter way? And after a little while, my inner-hater quiets down (I usually have to soothe her and cuddle with her a little before she really settles down), and I find a way to tap back into my Creative Energy Stream.
Creative Energy Whatsa? You heard me right; that little (or sometimes rather loud) voice inside of all of me that beckons, come this way, call this person now, write this blog post, send this email, leave the house at this time, etc, etc. And when I listen—I mean, really listen—to this voice, everything in my world is glorious. I mean, everything. I have good timing; I miss traffic jams; I call people when they are in good moods; I feel energized; I have stamina; I’m really clear-minded, focused, entertaining, creative, and witty. If there’s one thing I can assure you, 100%, with everything that I am, is that your intuition will never let you down, when you’re really hooked into, and flowing with it.
Now, I’m going to suggest something radical here; something that a lot of people might scoff at or think I’m totally nuts for even suggesting, but here it goes anyway: instead of stuffing ourselves with new information, or mastering new skills that the guru-du-jour says we must master in order to be successful, I believe that the most productive thing we can do, in the initial stages of creating anything, is to be consciously unproductive. And by that I mean, instead of trying to figure everything out all at once, or follow someone else’s strategy to a letter, or create a video log or a twitter account or a free e-book (simply because someone else has said we should), take a step back. Do something fun. Take a vacation, if you are in a place to. Take a walk, if you are in a place to. Let. It. Be. Consciously engage in the discipline of pleasure, and fun, and watch your brain-fog dissipate and clarity ensue. Be blissfully irresponsible, and watch your path light up in front of you. I know, I know…it takes faith, practice, and discipline, yes, discipline, to insist on doing things your way, and to continue to find and follow your bliss, even when there seem to be a million people around you who have “already made it,” telling you what you should be doing. But it’s so, so worth it.
Just for fun, I want you think back to a time when you had a really good idea—one that shot through your system with an electrical current so great that it jolted you into a higher state of awareness, crystal clarity, or pure ecstasy? What were the conditions that the idea came under? Were you grinding away late into the night, at the office, or were you sitting in the park, basking in the sun? Were you running to catch the subway or were you lying on the beach? Were you sitting in a boring meeting or out laughing with your friends? So many of us are operating under the premise that, the harder we work, or the more we try, or struggle, or apply effort, the better results we get; and maybe that’s true, if we are talking purely in terms of action (and I don’t want to suggest that applying action doesn’t yield results; it certainly can and does). But I want to dig deeper than action, deeper than doing. Because that’s where I believe leading edge creativity and true genius lie: below the surface, beyond the manifest, behind the see-it-hear-it-touch-it-smell-it-taste-it realm of experience.
And that’s what’s most interesting to me; maybe to you, too.
With Love and Mischief,
PS. I am writing this blog post at the tail end of a two-week long trip to Italy, that I took, well, just because…and precisely for the reason I am championing here: good ideas, next steps, smart strategies, inspiration, clarity of purpose, always come from taking a step back and consciously engaging in pleasure. And FYI: I have had more good ideas, more enthusiasm, more inspiration, and more clarity come in on what I actually want to be doing in my life, my work, and my business, than I’ve had maybe in the past six months, in just the last two weeks. Stay tuned for all the fun shenanigans that come out of this new, fresh, fun perspective I have cultivated!