It seems like I’m the victim or the perpetrator of my own advice. Its been almost five months since my last post!
Granted, I have been busy with work and a production with Ipswich Little Theatre Society’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers, but if I am to shout from the roof tops my suggestions for acting on your creativity, your ideas and dreams, then perhaps I need to ‘get my finger out’ and act on some of mine!
Failing to act is acting to fail. It’s a pretty straightforward statement but one that is just so true. Wayne Gretzky, the Ice Hockey champion’s famous quote – ‘you miss 100% of the shot you don’t take‘ is in exactly the same league. It’s a quote I’ve used many times before, even on this blog! But, it is true.
It’s all about feeling safe or taking a risk. Larry Robertson is his article Creativity and Coming to the Edge suggests that it is this edge that we are perched on, where we are ‘safe’. We step off that edge and we are in the unknown. He posits that …while there’s no formal line between our order and open inclinations, the mixture of excitement and fear and of wonder and warning that we feel …is precisely where our edge lies.
Life is all about creativity. How do we come to situations in our lives that are unique, new, untried. This is the edge. This is where we find ourselves. We find ourselves seeking out what we can do, dipping our toe in the water and then going in deeper and deeper until we know we can swim. It is then that we know that something is real. It’s tangible. Doable. If we didn’t look over that edge, if we didn’t allow ourselves to create, we wouldn’t grow. We wouldn’t get that warm feeling of accomplishment after attempting something for the first time.
The trick, is not too fool yourself constantly into thinking that that edge is a precipice. We must develop the mindset that that edge is nothing more than a single step down or across. We must believe that there is no great canyon or bottomless pit below our feet.
Likewise, there is no simple three or five step process to being creative. Creativity is improvisational by its very nature. More often than not though, this is where we as humans excel. Its not the improvisation that holds us back, it’s making the choice to step off the edge and have the fortitude to act upon whatever comes our way. Improvisation will take care of itself once we make the choice to act.
Having made the choice to act, the first step away from failure, our response to our choice is where the real change occurs. It about ensuring that because of our choice to act, positive change will occur. Something good or even great will be created by our action. This is where we must give in to our curiosity. Just like kids in playground having a ride on new swing for the first time or a puppy experiencing new surroundings. There is excitement, there is trepidation, but there is a willingness to be positive and to come out the other side, bigger, stronger, with greater confidence and feeling safe.
The risk is worth it.