The whole forcing of creativity thing, not so good.

In recent weeks I have been focusing on becoming more aware of my thought stream.

After spending the majority of the Christmas/New Year period immersed in reading books, blogs and articles about innovating thinking, meditation, mindfulness and stress management.

I found myself attempting to force a stream of creativity.

For days I sat down with my notebook waiting for inspiration to majestically emerge. Well, it didn’t happen. I became frustrated.

I soon realised that the root of my frustration was my inability to force something that is intrinsically organic. I harked back to days of thesis writing where I would write for hours, listening to Loretta Lynn and absorbing chapters of Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity like I now absorb caffeine.

I stopped. Put down my notebook and went for a run. That was five days ago.

Yesterday I woke up, turned on the Nespresso machine, browsed through my Google Reader and noticed an abundance of CES related articles and digital music startups. Something in my head clicked. I stopped reading. I found the nearest piece of paper and scribbled down a basic map of a project that I now want to set in motion over the coming months.

And guess what? It’s going to be awesome.

What am I learning?

Inspiration cannot be forced and passing ideas cannot be let go.

Working to make mind over matter

“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.” – Gail Sheeh

In recent months I have been dealing with some major life reorganisations. These changes include finishing five years of study, beginning my professional career and moving house for the first time in twenty-three years. While these events are all significant in their own right, my biggest personal challenge has incredibly simple and often overlooked: understanding that I am no longer thinking and operating by myself.

Instead, I am thinking, working with and learning from an extensive network of incredible people who collaborate and each contribute to something that is extensive and yet so seemingly effortless. It is no longer just me and my casino online head running at a million miles per hour with my desk, disorganised piles of notes and iMac (in fact, I now use a ThinkPad).

During my initial transition from university to work, I never considered the possibility that the pressure that I felt surrounding me (and often overwhelming me) could be the result of my own lack of thought management and constantly being “inside my own head”.

After weeks of reflection, I have decided that my career goals are no longer simply involve becoming a “gun” worker, a brilliant innovative thinker or a linchpin. They also include:

  • Beginning my career with the best of good intentions by finding balance between my both professional and personal life.
  • Managing my stress and harnessing it as a positive driver and not simply an obstruction to conquer.
  • Following the advice of Evan Williams, “The core thing would be just do something awesome“.

The challenge for me right now is to utilise the tools at my disposal (including reading materials, meditation and seeking counsel from those with experience) that will allow me to perform to the best of my ability and maintain the balance necessary to be the “gun”.

One breath at a time.