After I left my job as an international tax lawyer to become an artist, I was surprised by the frequency with which my outwardly successful former colleagues and acquaintances confided in me that life just wasn’t feeling the way they’d expected it would.
They were suffering from a pervasive low grade dissatisfaction that seemed to increase the more they tried to suppress it.
They told me that they longed to be free. They loved the idea of having an area of their lives where they got to do something just for them. Just because they wanted to. Just because it would feel so amazing.
They’d drop their voices at my art shows and quietly share how trapped they felt.
They’d look at me wistfully and tell me how happy I looked. Or comment on the shift in my energy.
They’d say they wished they “could do something like that”, meaning do something they loved the way I clearly loved painting.
But they sighed and said they just couldn’t. It wouldn’t be realistic. They didn’t have time. They were exhausted by their work schedules. They had financial obligations. They didn’t want to do anything risky.
Not only that, but their kids really needed them now. Their husbands wanted them to spend their spare time together. Their parents needed their help. Their friends wouldn’t understand.
In any case, they wouldn’t know what to do. It’d been years since they’d stopped painting/writing/ singing/dancing/whatever. It was too late now. They’d made their choices a long time ago. They’d left behind this particular passion.
And what if they did do it? What if they sacrificed other things to pursue their passion now only to find out they were bad at it? What if other people laughed at their work? They guessed that, by now, they’d likely lost any skill they’d ever had.
And maybe there was no point. They didn’t feel confident they could figure it out even if they did have the time, money and the support of friends and family. They’d definitely need a clear road map before venturing into such unknown territory.
The effort of running through their long laundry lists of obstacles seemed to leave them feeling defeated and depleted. They’d sigh. Their conclusion? “I guess maybe in [5/10/20/30] years when I retire, I can think about trying.” Or, “This has simply passed me by.” “Maybe in another life.”
What I could see, but they didn’t know, was that none of this was true.
I knew that everything they said felt absolutely true to them. Because I used to believe all of these things myself. I used to have no idea how to change any of it either. I also believed I was thoroughly stuck.
I even thought something was wrong with me for wanting more. I spent a lot of my spare time absorbed in self-help books. I’m convinced that I personally wore down the carpet in the self-help section of the bookstore in the underground shopping area below my office tower.
It is true that some of the self-help books gave me momentary relief. But at the end of the day, none of them stuck. None of them really changed anything.
So nothing changed for me until they day I decided to change everything. (I’ve written about that elsewhere.)
Once I learned how to change everything by actually changing everything, I wanted to share what I’d learned. I wanted to help as many disheartened achievers as I could to overcome the roadblocks they believed stood between them and the joy they wanted to experience.
Over the past five years, the experiences I’ve had both painting and coaching clients have given me a beautiful opportunity to study how to use creativity to help people transform their personal lives.
It makes sense that creativity is an essential ingredient of transformation. When you think about it, creativity is always the bridge from where you are now to where you want to be. If you don’t think about things differently, you’ll just keep getting the same old results. You need to think about things in a new way to produce new results. And a creative mindset is what allows you to come up with a new way of approaching things.
When you develop a creative mindset to help you change one area of your life, you’re developing a muscle you can use in every area of your life you wish were different.
With a creative mindset, a lack of time or money will no longer defeat you. You’ll learn how to create time and money. You’ll be more efficient. You’ll learn how to work with more flow and ease, feel less rushed and produce more.
When you develop a creative mindset, you’ll learn how to stop putting yourself last. You’ll watch your relationships improve as you take responsibility for meeting your own needs.
When you develop a creative mindset, you’ll learn how to create possibilities by creating solutions. You’ll learn how to figure it out. You’ll learn how to go far beyond what you ever thought could happen for you.
What is the most important first step? It’s simply deciding that it’s time to choose yourself. That it’s finally time to embark on a journey towards a life where you feel more engaged, free, joyful and passionate.
This decision to commit to yourself is the hardest part. Once you decide, everything that follows will be easier.
If you read this and found yourself wondering if any of this could be possible for you, let’s get on the phone and explore your situation. I offer free one hour mini-sessions where we talk about what your life looks like now, what you’d like it to look like, and the process I offer to get you there. You can book a free mini-session with me by clicking on https://gracedcanvascalendar.as.me/freestrategysession or sending an email request to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let 2020 to be the year that you choose you. Learn how to develop a creative mindset and become vibrantly alive.