Rarely, do we ask the “why” behind what we are doing.
Understanding why can help us clarify what our intended goals are.
It can help us to see if our current way of performing tasks is serving us or not. Often times we are consumed, controlled, and hypnotized by processes, behaviors and actions that have become routine in our lives. If we rely on routine without questioning why we do the things we do, the results we want may not arrive.
Answering “why” we perform tasks a certain way and inquiring into our behavior can help us be more present and creative in our lives.
The why of our lives drives our purpose, motivation and puts the mundane tasks that we may feel burdened by (or perpetually uninspired) into the bigger picture of our goals.
Here are just a few steps to become more present with our creative process, and also, more present in our lives:
1. Start asking questions.
If questions are not encouraged there is no creative flow.
A child feels comfortable asking questions about life—why do adults stop this inquiry? We are also continuing to understand the infinite possibilities available to us; these possibilities arrive through our creative process.
Questions like, “Why is it done that way?” or “ Why do we do that?” are important and can help us become more present to our conditioning (or what we take for granted). If our answers are short—“It is just the way it is. I’ve always done it that way” or “It is just the way you do things”—we have a point of entry into our blind-spots.
It is important that we know why we do the things we do.
2. Understanding the content of what we do.
There is this really popular slogan I hear all of the time in the new age and self-help movement, “Trust the process.”
Okay, two very important concepts, “trust” and “process.” However, I question whether this inspires people to understand the process.
Most people looking to improve their lives start to hit a wall when they expect to get results with no critical thinking or investigation into what they are doing. Critical thinking, investigation, inspiration, gut-response, instinct are important to cultivate in order to make things happen.
We can’t just copy or mimic if we want to create good art, a killer body, or an amazing relationship. We have to learn why certain behaviors might produce the particular results we want.
A good example would be Jimi Hendrix. There have been plenty of people who have tried to copy him, rip him off, or cover his work, but nothing compares to his genius.
To become a genius like Jimi Hendrix we have to live like an artist, and know why he did what he did to learn what he knew—there is no short-cut. We can’t plug away at the same notes he performed without adding our own creative process to the mix.
Basically, the map is not the experience.
The map will never get us there. It takes tremendous patience, presence, learning, and a willingness to make mistakes, and try again to succeed.
The good news is that once we find the right groove we can start to build the platform from which to offer more of our creative gifts to the world. Anything worth having or experiencing takes time and deliberation.
There is no lucky strategy or golden tickets (sorry to burst your bubble)—we can wait our whole life but if we aren’t focused and ready to keep being present with what is or isn’t working, we are never going to experience creative-peaks and breakthroughs. Nope, it is just not going to happen.
We have to stay consistent, and open while using our skills, time, energy, effort, intuition and insight.
There is enough content out there, but how much is really good and inspiring?
In order to make some good stuff for the world there has to be equal parts of soul and embodiment. Why do we accept that things must stay this or that way when a better way could bring us a richer, more innovative project, product, or experience?
Thinking outside of the box may be scary at first and perhaps sometimes it is “hit or miss.” However, once we get over the initial discomfort of thinking for ourselves and asking “why” questions, the freedom and creative expression that will come will be well worth it.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Guenevere Neufeld / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Flickr / Luiz Fernando Reis