I once did a test in Psychologies magazine, and my result was that I am a creative person.
This did not occur to me before and the result really made me think about it.
After not ever really knowing what I want to do with my life, I realised that I should probably be doing something creative.
But how to go about being creative, when like so many others in London I work in an office with not so much creative outlet. Then by chance I picked up a book called The Element How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson. I am about a third of the way through and although it is not what you would call a riveting read, it does have some useful insights.
The gist of the book so far is that many people do not discover their element and that is why, they never get to do the work that really fulfils them. Robinson writes that the your particular element comes about by chance, when you just happen to do something or see something that you just love doing and you have a kind of epiphany that you are in the ‘zone’ and in your element. It can be anything – dancing, drumming, writing, science, maths, economics. Robertson says that if you haven’t discovered your element yet, then you simply have to keep experimenting with different things until you do discover it.
So back to my earlier question. How can you get creative when you have an office job? Well Robinson says that you can be creative in any industry no matter how boring it is perceived to be. There are some areas of work which are inherently creative, such as the media or advertising, but you can be creative in any job through the approaches you take and the solutions you come up with. Robinson says that in order to be creative we mustn’t be afraid to fail. As you can only achieve success through failing and learning something from it, but many people do not even try to put in action any ideas they have, because they are so scared to fail and look stupid in front of others. But this fear has to be overcome in order for us to succeed. So basically failure is the new success – and that is good news!
I began also began thinking about how to get creative outside of work, as there are probably limits to how creative you can be in the office environment.
I took up creative painting and drawing classes which really helped me channel this urge.
It feels so relaxing to be able to do about 2 and a half hours of painting/drawing/collage/printing a week. Even if the results aren’t always great, the process in itself really helps to channel creative energies.
After this I hope to start another type of course, as trying out different things will hopefully bring about my element 🙂
And to end with, I have read another article in Psychologies recently, entitled Stop dreaming and start doing, which was about how to complete your projects. One of the tips in this article rang out to me and this was – don’t tell your plans to anyone, just do it. Because ‘announcing your plans to others satisfies your self-identity needs just enough that you’re less motivated to do the hard work needed.’ (Derek Severs in Psychologies Magazine June 2011 – he has collected evidence from 1933 which shows that people who talk about their plans are less likely to make them happen). The article also gives a couple of examples of people who took onboard their projects and made them happen despite being in full time employment. So there is no need to leave work to do something else, in fact it can be an advantage. Pursuing your projects and passions as hobbies, while having a stable income.
So I wish you determination and good luck with making all your projects a reality!
|A painting I made in art class