“To nourish and sustain motivation toward a creative goal, we must not only fall in love with a dream of our future self… but also love the process of becoming that person – including all the unglamorous, everyday hard work.” Wired to Create by Scott Barry Kaufman & Carolyn Gregoire.
I recently started getting up at 5:30 am a few of days of the week to go to the gym. At 5:30 am when the world is cold and dark it is easy to forget why I’m doing this. Goals like “feeling healthy and vital and good in my body” are so much more abstract than the sweet reality of another few hours in a warm, cozy bed with kittens curled up around me. Yum. No contest. I can start this fitness journey tomorrow, right? What’s one day later when the journey is long and the road is hard?
This line of thinking can apply to any goal, especially those where the distance between where we are and where we want to be is grand.
I want to launch my website and finally put my business on the map! But man, WordPress is harder than everyone says. I don’t think I’m ever going to understand it. I think I’ll do some research instead.
After years of creating, I really want to finally put on my own solo exhibit! Yes! But dang it, it is so awkward calling galleries and asking how it works. I’m kind of embarrassed that I don’t know what I’m doing. I think I’ll watch some Netflix instead.
I’ve always wanted to write a book. I can so imagine myself on a book tour but holy wow, do I ever get restless when I sit down to actually do the writing. This stuff is hard! Maybe I should stick to reading books instead. In fact, I think I’ll make a tea and do just that.
So what gets us to the launch, the show, the page, the gym?
Toughing it out? Discipline? I’ll be honest, that hasn’t worked for me. (If it works for you, more power to you!) What I’ve found is it may keep me going for a little bit but eventually it wears me down. It grinds the heart out of my dreams so that eventually I actually feel pretty good dropping my goal because at least it means the pain will stop. Instead, here’s what I have found works for me. I hope you find something here that works for you too.
First: Look for Love.
I love the quiet of the early morning when most of the world is sleeping. I love watching the sky change colours as the sun comes up. I love a moment to cuddle with the kittens before I go. I love coming home from the gym, feeling like I’ve already accomplished something today, just in time to give Justin a big hug before he heads out to work.
What is there to love right here in this moment?
Second: Channel Mary Poppins!
Remember the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down? Get creative and look for little ways to enhance the experience and make it a joy. With the gym, I’ve taken to buying cheap and goofy t-shirts. (This musical-loving sloth was $1.50 at Value Village.) It makes me giggle and take the whole thing way less seriously.
How can you work your creative magic on the right now?
Third: Fall In Love with Who You Are for Doing It!
It tickles me to think I am a person who gets up at 5:30 am in the morning and goes to the gym. That’s CRAZY but, you know, I kind of like crazy! That makes me beam at myself and feel good about who I am right now on the road to what I am creating.
Fill in the blank, “I am the person who__________ and I love that about myself!
What We Create Creates Us
This isn’t about distracting yourself from the hard bits or being a positive Polyanna. This is about living your dreams and loving your life! It’s about the creative wonder you are right here in this moment. Finding your way to fall in love with the process will help bring each of your dreams to life without you rushing through your life to get there. It’s about allowing yourself and your life to be transformed by creative magic.
Your life doesn’t begin once you have reached your dreams.
Your life is right here right now.
Revel in it.
All of it.
You are a creative wonder.
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