Category Archives: Creative Solutions

My Creative Struggle (And What I Want To Do About It)

My Eternal Creative Struggle of Heart vs Mind. Image credit goes to http://www.zastavki.com/

My Eternal Creative Struggle of Heart vs Mind.
Image credit goes to http://www.zastavki.com/

 

I’m trying to figure out why I don’t write more… why don’t I share my thoughts and ideas more often than I do? Why do I so often have this feeling of perpetual stuckness?

What’s strange is that I don’t even think I have writers block per se… I have a lot of ideas; it’s just that most of the time whenever I finally sit down to consider an action plan, or sit down to write out particular thoughts and ideas to share online or turn into a story or a product or whatever, the ideas seem to crumble up before my very eyes and suddenly seem entirely worthless and unnecessary and no longer worth pursuing or sharing or bringing forth into this reality.

…This causes me to feel that I should immediately discard the idea, and instead think up of different projects to pursue, or different topics to write about. But sadly the same thing happens all over again, creating this never-ending cycle of nothingness and stuckness.

I know my actions haven’t remotely been echoed by my desires or ambition…. (At least as of late, although they have to some degree in the past.)  I can’t help but feel self-conscious and embarrassed about this fact. I wouldn’t be surprised if any onlookers might easily deem me to be completely devoid of any personal ambition, goals or desires; and yet, there’s so much I want and desire in my heart and for my life — obviously there’s a huge misalignment here.

Whether subconsciously or not (I’m not entirely sure which it is — likely a bit of column A and B), I’m pretty sure that I’m consistently sabotaging myself because I have this feeling that, because it’s been a while since (what I deem to be) my last successful creative project, I deeply need/want my next creative project to be a grand achievement and a huge success. I suppose I feel as though I’ve got to prove myself — to both myself and the rest of the world.

This is a terrible amount of pressure to put on oneself, take it from me. It can be debilitating and paralyzing. 

Additionally, I think perhaps the more time passes since my last creative project, the more difficult it seems for me to get going in a creative capacity once again. I suppose this makes sense if you think of this as a physics problem. An object at rest stays at rest, while an object in motion stays in motion — until an outside force acts upon it. I’m lacking momentum, and losing more and more momentum as time progresses.

As the sum of our parts, we humans may indeed be more than mere objects; but our bodies definitely fall under the realm of objectification, and therefore these same rules can apply to our goals as well, due to the fact that nearly all goals would require physical action on our part in order to achieve them.

So how do you get an object at rest to get its ass in gear and get into action? And, preferably, to stay in action? 

Action requires action. Force requires force. Internal must become external in order for potential to transition into the realm of the real and kinetic.

I find it pretty easy to stick with short term 21 day or 30 day challenges… I’ve done a lot of them in the past, all with relative success. For the most part, however, these short-term challenges have existed outside the creative realm. My past outcomes have taught me that completing such short-term challenges is relatively easy for me, but my main problem seems to exist at the end of a such a challenge: Once a challenge is over, I tend to give myself permission to relax… and as a result, it seems I almost always entirely lose the momentum I gained during the challenge or trial, leaving me off not much better off than where I was before — save, perhaps, for gaining the knowledge that I am indeed capable of exercising willpower and self-discipline for pre-determined bursts of time like 30 day challenges.

Hmmmm…

This being the case, and having some amount of insight into my own temperament and psychology, perhaps it will be a good idea for me to approach my future creative projects as mere 30-day challenges (or maybe even as long as a 60-day challenge, which I’ve also successfully done in the past).  This way, if my creative endeavor doesn’t turn out to be the grand success and achievement that I hope or want it to be, I figure that my ego will at least have an out in knowing that it/I was limited by the pre-determined time span that was allotted to complete the project.

Another of the key factors that I’ll have to be sure to implement in this approach to creative challenges will be to include the prerequisite of publicly sharing the finished project to some degree or another. This could mean submitting it to others for assessment and feedback, or perhaps even full-on publishing (if it’s the sort of thing that can be published). Either way, I will have to ensure that others WILL see it. I have to ensure that I’ll somehow be accountable to others in terms of completing my creative project such that I’ll be at least somewhat satisfied with my creative achievement at the end of the predetermined time period.

I have other possible ideas to turn this approach into a coaching program for other creative wannabes. If I have success with this, I’ll definitely want to consider that possibility.

At the present moment, I’m currently committed to a strange 30 day experience in Anaheim, California at the Disney properties with my beloved and partner in crime, Steve Pavlina. (You can read about our experiences here at his blog.)

This Disney experience has been occupying my time for the past 2.5 weeks, and is going to occupy my time for nearly another two weeks. In the meantime, however, I’m contemplating projects to consider for short-term creation to take on afterwards. My goal is to put out something in the world that has the potential of creating a stream of passive income for myself (even if it’s just a trickle to start) while simultaneously having some sort of positive ripple in the world, … such as the possibility of publishing and selling e-books online, whether via Amazon or this website, or both. One idea I have for such e-books would be to create some vegan recipe e-books, as my 15-year anniversary of becoming vegan is just under three weeks away! I have a few other e-book ideas too.

I’m excited about trying out this approach, because I think it’s something that might actually work for me and produce some long-desired (and hopefully long-term!) results. I’m also looking forward to sharing my progress and journey with this approach here on my blog.

In the meantime… are there any topics you’d like to see me write about to include in a possible future e-book? Or some other medium you’d like to see me explore and produce? If so I’d love to hear about it! Please let me know in the comments.

Since I’m at Disneyland… it somehow seems appropriate to finish this blog post with a creative wish for the future:

“To Infinity, and Beyond!”  ~ Buzz Lightyear

🙂

 

 

You’re Always Traveling, Even When You Aren’t

making-creative-life-decisions-traveling-through-the-arrow-of-time

— or —

Are We Inherently Worthy?

I’ve been traveling quite a lot these past few years of my life.

Granted, it’s not that much compared to some people I know, but given where I’d been about three and a half years prior vs where I’ve been so far, it’s quite a lot.

Previous to 2013, my world travel had only been confined to my home country of Canada, the United States, and a single trip to Paris, France.

In 2013 I was able to add Germany, Netherlands and the UK to my list.

And then in 2015 I added Switzerland and Spain (as well as more visits to Germany, Netherlands, and France).

In 2016 I’ve added Mexico, Costa Rica, and Italy to my list of countries visited (in addition to revisiting the UK and Netherlands yet again).

I love travel and consider myself to be somewhat of a nomad. Although Canada may be my home country — a beautiful nation with beautiful people that I love dearly — I prefer to consider this planet Earth at large to be my home.

I am a citizen of the Earth.

I am a citizen of the Solar System.

I am a citizen of The Milky Way galaxy.

I am a citizen of the Cosmos.

…We all are.
(At least at this point in history prior to off-world colonization. ;))

When you look at life from this perspective, it becomes rather clear how connected we all are. We’re all of this Earth. We all have the same home.

Everything we’ve ever seen or ever will see… everything that’s ever been or ever will be… is all from the same source — that moment of creation which led to the formation of our universe, galaxy, star, planet, and civilization.

I titled this blog post “You’re Always Traveling, Even When You Aren’t”, because I think it’s true and important to remember.

Although it’s true that we are always traveling in the sense that the Earth is constantly spinning on its axis, that’s not what I meant.

And, although it’s true that gravity binds us to this planet, thrusting us through space at 67,000 miles per hour in orbit around our Sun — and 490,000 miles per hour around our galaxy’s center — that’s not what I meant either.

We are beings that exist in three-dimensional space traveling forward through the arrow of time.

Even though this consistent and persistent travel may seem like an illusion, I suppose that’s one way to remind ourselves that time — although seemingly very real — is also illusory.

Time is entirely relative; it wouldn’t exist without matter, or gravity, or…  consciousness? Similar to the koan, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”, perhaps we might ask a similar question: “If nothing or no one exists, does time continue to tick?”

Although I’ve been traveling distances on Earth and traveling forward through years in time, in many ways I’ve been very stagnant. It’s true I’ve been to some cool places and seen a lot of cool things; I’ve read a lot of books recently, too… completed some challenges and trials, etc. But in terms of being an accomplished traveler through time’s arrow towards lofty grand goals, I feel like a failure. …Aside from my memories, and perhaps some ephemeral interactions, I haven’t really created anything of discernible value in the past two+ years.

This line of thinking brings me to examine the nature of value and success (or failure) and worth. Am I only valuable if I produce or create something? Do I have an inherent worth?? Or do I need to consciously create something tangible in order to have any value and worth to others and society at large?

Perhaps both views are true. I think it’s true that all of us have inherent worth. I believe that everything exists to observe, record, and take part in this grand space-time experience which we call life and consciousness, and that in and of itself has tremendous worth no matter the specific details of one’s experience.

On the other hand, from the perspectives of human-civilization, economy, history, art, science, and everything else related to human culture and existence… Do I have an inherent worth? As much as I may fret to believe it, I think the answer from this perspective is “No”. The role of mere consumer aside, I’d need to be contributing to any of the above aspects of human culture in order to confidently be deemed as having any value or worth in these areas.

Sure, I may provide some small level of value to our collective culture via this blog or the occasional Tweet or Instagram post. But the problem with such forms of contribution is that I don’t currently have any way of measuring such possible perceived value.

In today’s world economy, value is generally measured by the exchange of funds. That said, I do not generate any revenue from this website. Over my blog’s entire existence, I had received a grand total of $100 (Canadian) from Google AdSense; however, after seeing an ad for Russain Brides show up on my site one day (…seriously, WTF?), I decided to do away with the ads.

Additionally, I have never once received a single donation for my blog content.

What this tells me is that perhaps I’m not contributing anything of real value. Sure, I could simply blog a lot more (I know I’ve been slacking off in that area for the past few months), and I could try to monetize my site somehow; but to be inspired to do so, it would definitely be nice to know if anyone actually deems any of the things that I write to be useful, helpful, and perceived to have any value or worth. (…Anyone?)

I definitely aspire to contribute a lot to this world. The desire to make a big difference has always been with me for as long as I can remember. The problem is I often get too hung up on the “how” and the “what”… likely because I also wrap my ego, sense of self, and sense of worth into the perceived value of whatever I may put out there.

…So where am I at now?

Well, this post is a start. It’s something. Something has more value than nothing. 😉

I’ve been percolating some ideas, too. I have a neat book idea I’d like to develop… perhaps even more than one book! We shall see… I want to take some more time to develop the ideas.

But in the mean time, I would like to create some kind of income stream online… possibly via my blog.

If you’re reading this and you have some unfulfilled issues or problems in your life in the realms of personal development and/or creativity, I invite you to please share in the comments. Perhaps I can offer some insight or service… or perhaps I will be inspired to create something to help with your issue or problem.

Perhaps together we can plot a course for our desired destination as we travel forward through the tunnel of time.  …Deal? 😉

Namaste. <3

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
― Martha Graham