I recently heard about a famous author who said the key to his success was (in his own words) simply writing “200 lousy words a day”. He went on to explain that it was the process of starting to write that was often the most difficult for him. If he set aside the time to at least put 200 words down on paper, then inspiration would kick in and he would begin to really form something amazing, often writing for hours.
I’ve found that this is often how creativity and success for that matter happens in my own life. We don’t simply create amazing things right away, but it’s a process that we must work towards over time. I’ve found that if I set aside the time to do something creative (like writing this blog for example) even if it’s just for five minutes, than the simple act of starting on it will give me inspiration to eventually produce something great.
Since being a Marine Officer I have found it more difficult to create or be creative than I had before. Part of this is due to the greater lack of time and part of it is because the military isn’t exactly the most creative organization in general. I suppose it’s also because these creative side projects are no longer a necessity to ‘sustain’ myself as they were before because of the steady income I now have. I’m sure it would be easy for me to simply stop trying to be creative and just be satisfied with my 7-9 job, but I know that would in the end leave me disappointed and empty inside.
I believe that it is crucial that we all find ways to continue our creativity, no matter what our daily occupation is or how difficult it may seem. Even if it seems unnatural at first, making time to be creative will be the secret sauce to help us achieve our dreams. This creativity can obviously come in many different forms. Just some ways that I see people developing creativity around me today are:
Creativity can even take place in the more traditional workroom (if you’re lucky to work in this type of environment), like a team manager coming up with a creative solution to build unity with his colleagues or even an intern thinking of the next big marketing plan. One key benefit of creativity is that it fully engages our minds, which leads to true growth. There aren’t many things more boring than just going through the motions.
I’m always a fan of someone who starts a ‘side hustle’ to fuel their passions and creativity. I am especially impressed when that side hustle eventually becomes his or her main source of income. A lot of podcasters and bloggers such as Pat Flynn and Tim Ferris are this way. They started creating content without huge expectations of what it would become and then eventually saw remarkable results and actually made a lot of money from their work.
Some people say that the only way to turn something you love into something you hate is to do it for a living, but to be honest I completely disagree with that statement. Although the process of monetizing your passion will not be perfect, I am a firm believer that working for oneself in an industry that you are passionate about is FAR better than working for someone else in a job you dislike. I would just recommend that you do it for the right reasons (because it’s something you love) and that you be patient with how and when the money comes.
There are really so many different ways to make a living these days it’s pretty incredible. I myself have been mind blown this past week when learning more about the professional gaming community that has really started to grow over the past few years. I am impressed that gamers can make good or even great incomes doing something that may have been viewed as simply a waste of time just years ago. Some people may still hate on this form of work and say that it’s “easy” or “lazy”, but again I disagree. Any gamer who makes money one day took the initiative to set up their streaming room and stream for hours daily until their audiences formed and the sponsorships arrived. Just like starting anything new, I’m sure that their journeys weren’t easy. In my mind they deserve it. Any skill and passion that can generate an income is a good thing! Also, if you’ve seen Ninja play Fortnight, it’s pretty incredible.
So…what is the purpose of this post?
Challenge yourself to be creative every day. I am positive that it will reap results. Maybe you’ll find a new way to make money. Maybe you’ll grow as a person. All it takes is 200 lousy words a day, or 15 simple minutes.
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