While doing some research for last week’s article, I ran across this graphic on the internet called “Rules of a Creator’s Life”. Some of these nine points I have touched on in previous articles, so in an attempt at not sounding redundant, I am going to touch on all nine points but elaborate more on those that have not already been covered.
1. Do more than what you’re told to do.
Often times we get trapped in the work mentality of doing only what is asked and nothing more. What if we all shared the mentality of going above and beyond? Imagine the reaction you would get from your boss or other co-workers – having them know you are willing to do what it takes and then some to get the job done. If not even for those reasons, you will walk away knowing in your heart you gave it your all.
2. Try new things.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If something is not working for you, try something new. It is as simple as that.
3. Teach others about what you know.
One of the greatest ways we can learn is by teaching others what we already know. You would be surprised at what you may learn by teaching someone else.
4. Make work into play.
If you are not having fun with what you do, then why do it at all? I understand that we all have bills to pay, but you must find a way to make what you do enjoyable. If you do happen to be doing what you love for a living, remember to always make it fun, or you will find yourself becoming burnt out.
5. Take breaks.
This point is quite simple as well. Taking breaks allows our minds to become free from mental blocks we might come across and refreshes us to be at our best again.
6. Work when others are resting.
For some creatives, his or her best work comes in the wee hours of the night when everyone else zones out in front of the television. To create something great, it may call for work hours that you are not usually accustom to. One of my best friends is a motion graphics artist, among many other titles, who puts in a great number of hours perfecting his trade. I am sure it is not easy discipling yourself to “work when others are resting”, but from what I have seen from his work, it pays off. Working hard has become a habit for him; something that he feels is fun.
“Working hard becomes a habit, a serious kind of fun. You get self-satisfaction from pushing yourself to the limit, knowing that all the effort is going to pay off.” – Mary Lou Retton
7. Always be creating.
I feel certain that some of the best creators of our time did not try only once at their craft and leave it at that. They created, trashed that creation, created again, kept that creation, created again, et cetera. Always be looking for something new to create.
8. Make your own inspiration.
What inspires you? For me, when talking about being creative, seeing the beauty of nature and traveling gives me inspiration. To inspire myself, I have taken several trips the past few months, all of which involved seeing nature in some form. It is up to you to find what inspires you and make it your own.
9. Love what you do, or leave.
Steve Jobs said it best, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”