The 10 steps to happiness
Creativity is contagious.
Everybody dreams of creating something meaningful.
When I speak to people about being creative, they seem to light up after a while, fueled by their own ideas, musings, and ponderings of what they always wanted to do.
But the fire expires quickly.
Why? Because there are no sparks. No fuel. And no faith.
There is one thing I am convinced of: If you want to lead a fulfilling and happy life, you need to create. You need to be creative.
I want to give you 10 simple steps that will change your life if you let them.
But first, I want to explore why it’s important to be creative, and why everybody should create, no matter if you’ve always thought of yourself as an analytical, cynical or logical person. You are meant to create.
Let me tell you why.Creativity is contagious. Click To Tweet
The misconception about creativity
Creative. Who do you associate with that?
Most have instantly a crazy artist in mind, a chaotic person, someone who is constantly fueled with ideas. Not a businessman. Not a scientist. Certainly not a mathematician.
But think about Michelangelo for a while, one of the most genius artists and sculptors of all time. He was also secretly a passionate scientist (secretly because it was forbidden in his time). Those two things do not contradict each other.
I love writing and love being creative. But I’m also pretty good with math.
The important part about creativity is CREATING. All of us are secret creators, whether we used to make up our own worlds or build Lego castles when we were kids. Creation is in our DNA.
But the difference was that we had faith. We believed in our creations, that they were awesome, worthy of attention and enriched the world of others.
But as we grew up, we lost faith.
We chose security. We chose doubt in ourselves.
We chose pragmatism.
We got caught up in the hamster wheel.
And even when sometimes our creative minds think of ideas that make our hearts beat faster, we quickly dismiss them because they seem unrealistic, too difficult or we simply “don’t have time”.
And if you want to choose security, chose it. But remember first the time when you had a great idea and were so excited by it that it made the blood pump through your veins faster, and your eyes light up with excitement. When I see this spark in a person, I see their whole being coming alive.
To be creative, you don’t have to paint or compose music. You can write, dance, design a computer program, a class, a project, anything. You are the creator, and whatever you see missing in the world, do it.
It will make you come alive. It will make your hours and days of effort feel electric. And when you’re finished, you will leave a legacy and become so addicted that you will never stop creating.
Aren’t you already excited? Can’t you feel your heart beating, your ideas circulating in your head, telling you: “Well, I’ve always wanted to …”
Don’t postpone it. Take the 10 steps to become creative.
1. Make a decision to believe
When talking about creativity, it’s weird to start with something as rational as decision making. But this step is so essential.
In order to become creative, you need to make the decision to DO it. NOW. Don’t postpone it to “someday”. Stop making excuses. Make the decision to exit the hamster wheel and create.
But there is more to it.
Your decision is first and foremost about what you really believe.
If deep down, you still believe that you’re better off in your day job, stuck in this office, you will never truly be creative.
If you believe that you have nothing to give this world, or nobody will appreciate it, you will never finish your project to share it.
If you believe that status quo is better than taking a leap, you never will.
So what is it that you believe in?
There are so many things we believe we don’t even realize. Question yourself. What do you really believe? And decide to believe the truth, which is:
There is something inside of me that the world needs.
People will appreciate my creations.
I am creative and I can do this!
I want to leave a legacy behind that is capable of making the world around me a better place.
2. Take time out of your schedule
How that you’ve made an important decision, you need to sacrifice time.
All of us have time, and frankly, we all are given the same amount. It’s up to us how we use it.
So it’s a lie if you say: “I don’t have time.” You have it, you just choose to spend it doing something else. And yes, it’s a choice, even if more often than not, it’s not a conscious one.
Take back control of your time. Don’t let it be dictated and stolen by others: your chef, your friends, your social media, and TV. You are the warden, and it’s time you act like one.
This does not mean that you cannot relax and watch a TV series. But if you’re serious about being creative, you’ll need to understand that you’ll have to sacrifice a daily amount of time and invest it into this endeavor.
Remind yourself why you’ve made this decision:
To lead a fulfilling life. To leave something behind. To change the world around you.
Remind yourself why it’s important, and if you truly believe that it can have an impact, you will gladly make time for it, even if it means to sacrifice.
3. What are the fields of my passion?
Now it’s time to discover what exactly to do in this time you set aside. There are 3 questions you need to ask yourself in order to understand it, and the first is about your passion.
If you could do anything now, live any life and have any job, and money was no issue: What would you do?
What are you ready to do even if nobody pays you?
What are the things you’ve always dreamed of doing in your quiet moments?
Think about it, and write it down, all of your ideas, no matter how crazy they seem. Allow yourself to believe in them now. Let them be shaped into something that could be real after all.What are the things you've always dreamed of doing in your quiet moments? Click To Tweet
4. What am I good at?
Now, you have certain fields of expertise. You’ve studied or learned something, you have some natural talents.
Look back at your life and analyze it. What have you always been good at? How can you use your knowledge, your life experiences and your studies to advance your creations?
If you really take time to think about it, this will give you incredible insight into your own unique capabilities.
A good idea is also to ask friends and family, this may reveal things you’ve never thought about. Ask your parents what you’ve excelled in as a kid, and friends what qualities and skills they admire about you or think you are good at. Believe me, this can give you incredible input.
5. What is missing in the world, and how can I make it better?
The last question is about what the world around you needs. And there is so much noise in this world, many things that people have already thought of. But this is missing.
Be it global, be it something in your community. But you’ve had these thoughts: If we only had this, and this would make it so much better. A void you’ve seen.
Now, combine all of it: your passion, your knowledge, and the void. Where those three overlap, this is your field of creation.
6. Do your research
Now that you’ve determined what it is you want to create, you need to do research. Order books, subscribe to blogs and do research to get a head start into what you need to do and how you need to move on.
The fantastic thing about research is that it fuels you with ideas. It’s like an endless web you enter, of ideas that lead to more ideas and more possibilities.
The important thing is to start, invest your time into reading blogs and books and begin to understand what your creative field is about and what you need to do to get started.
7. Immerse yourself in your field of work
Whatever you decided to do, you need to understand that there is a whole world behind it that had existed before you entered it.
Take my field of writing and book publishing:
It’s a massive eco system of principles, rules, people and ideas that had existed, changed and evolved, and still is constantly moving and breathing.
This goes for every field of work, be in business, filmmaking, teaching, psychology, craftsmanship. Everything.
Now you need to learn the rules of this world, understand who is important, what works and what does not, and you need to become part of this complicated world.
Don’t expect it to happen over night. There is a massive history of this living and breathing world, and to become a part of it, you need to immerse yourself slowly into it.
Enjoy the process! It’s like discovering Narnia, a beautiful world full of people, tasks, ideas, principles, and the most amazing thing about it: it’s the world you are passionate about!
8. Find friends and motivators – a community
Now that you’ve slowly become a part of this world and know your way around, you need to build a community, be it online or locally.
Meet people who will motivate you. Find online mentors whom you follow. Also, find people who are on the same stage as you are so that you can support each other.
Make sure you never pitfall into competitive thinking, but instead build up and encourage the people around you. There is enough room for every creative person, and as we nourish each other, the world becomes richer.
Your community will also keep you motivated, and nourish the faith into the fact that it’s possible to live your dreams.
When I find myself not listening to any podcast on book writing or marketing over the course of a week, I find my motivation slowly sinking. On the contrary, when I hear of people’s struggles and success stories, I am motivated to keep working.
A community is so important, even for introverts! And you can really find them anywhere: on blogs, in Facebook groups, or maybe next door. Those will be the people that will build you up when your lowest moments come.Your community will keep you motivated, and nourish the faith into the fact that it's possible… Click To Tweet
9. Make a plan and set deadlines
Now you are nearly fully equipped to start your journey.
But who would embark on such a dangerous adventure without a proper map and route? Unfortunately, many do.
This is why many also fail. They get lost. They get tired, all because there was no plan to guide them.
Don’t make the same mistake. Sit down and take time to plan out your endeavor. Break it down into steps, and give those steps deadlines. Even if self-imposed, deadlines are crucial in order to finish what you started. Take your work and yourself seriously, and make commitments to stick to the plan.
Here also, there is a lot of help found in books and online, crucial tips that will help you form a step-by-step plan. It will likely change over time, but you still have a map and a routine, and this will make sure you reach your destination.
10. Create and FINISH at all costs
The time has come. You are fully equipped, and you can start creating.
To reach this step, it really all comes down to step one: the decision to believe.
This is the adventure of your lifetime, but also only the beginning. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t meet your expectations. Know that there will be failure, and maybe even disappointment.
But don#t forget your decision and the fact that the road is as important as the destination, and that this is not the last time you will be creating something.
Have mercy with yourself, and allow yourself to fail as long as you finish what you started, learn something, and embark on a new journey of a new creative project where you WILL be better than the first time. Promised.
The most important thing is: make it your commitment to finish, no matter the costs. Nothing is a s satisfying as having the finished product in front of you, knowing that you overcame the obstacles and demons.There is something inside of me that the world needs. Click To Tweet
So remember: being creative and sharing it with the world is what we are made of. It’s in our DNA.
But the road towards happiness is hard – thank God! How unsatisfying and boring would it be if it was easy? All of us are waiting for an adventure, and adventure means also danger and difficulty. So don’t be afraid of it, embrace it.
Also know that as long as you finish, you will always triumph, no matter the setbacks.
So if you follow those 10 steps, starting with a simple but radical decision, your life will never be the same. Neither will be the world around you.