I’m tired of a culture that tells people to think small, to be prepared for the worst. How will it help you if bad things actually happen?! This is actually one way of thinking mentioned in an article shared by a group I’ve recently joined (thanks Damien!), from Live your Legend by Scott Dinsmore. It was about the mindset of the rich versus the rest of us (linked above). Some guy interviewed a bunch of millionaires and wrote a book outlining their way of thinking. He wanted to see if people above a certain financial threshold share similar views on the world. They appear to.

How do you tend to your mental garden? A Creative mindset, full of beliefs about growth and opportunity will grow a richer creative state.

I must admit, a lot of it challenged me. It challenged much of the way I was raised, the Christian values our society holds (in parts), and it made me realize, despite my best attitude of aiming for positivity and goal-setting, that some of my preconceived notions about success may be holding me back. Today I will highlight a few of those thought processes and the new affirmations I plan to have posted in my studio to help me with the vulnerability associated with the creative process.

Have huge expectations – DREAM BIG!

I’ve always been told that I can pretty much do anything I want if I work hard enough at it. I believe this to be true. Yet that statement itself suggests things might always be a challenge to reach success. Do we overlook moments of opportunity when it comes easily in our direction? And I have also been told that you should expect the best but prepare for the worst. I agree with this, in part. I understand that being prepared for multiple outcomes is wise, but people can focus too much energy on preparing for the worst, which takes away from the dreaming and outlining of what exactly entails the “best” scenario?! I am going to spend a WHOLE lot more time dreaming big. In the article, wealthy individuals have huge expectations for themselves, for businesses they create, etc. I think that is a wonderful, positive mindset we could all share from. With that positive mindset comes the notion that you may need to work at something, but that doesn’t mean the whole experience needs to be challenging, or near impossible to realize success!

Be Educated. Be always learning.

I LOVE this notion. Perhaps my background in teaching biases me, but I think this is so important to all aspects of life! Of course we should always be learning! And yes, some of it should be in our professional content areas, but why not allow yourself to learn whatever you fancy? I hope to take Arabic classes in the months to come. I miss playing my flute, so I may hit up an online lesson place someone shared via the internet. All of these actions will also fuel my ability to write and create. They give me creative fodder! In a way, everything you choose to learn about can be a form of professional development. Now only if more companies and schools acknowledged this…

It’s important to dream, and dream big!

Take risks.

This risk taking was discussed in part as a financial one but I think its more important to cultivate this in my life. Creatives get blocked when they are fearful of taking risks. And risks are what entrepreneurs, innovators, and creatives take when they reach successful points in their lives and careers. Did you meet the love of your life by ignoring them or by introducing yourself? How can you ever be acknowledged if you never enter your artwork into competitions or calls for artists? Making art itself can be and feel scary. We know this. Embrace and lean into that vulnerability. It’s part of the process, don’t let it hamper your creations!

I deserve to be selfish. A cared for me is a more giving me.

This is the one that takes the cake for me. Christian culture and upbringing suggests self-sacrifice is to be the most valued, thus, having money and doing things to care for yourself could be construed selfish. And considering the Protestant work-ethic and value system much of New England still upholds, I’m not surprised it has impacted my way of thinking. It also contributes to, in part, the DIY pride many Americans have. Doing it ourselves is so important! Yet, do some of the tasks we insist on doing ourselves take away from our goals and dreams, which could in turn help others in a larger way? An interesting article in the NYTimes discusses the notion of outsourcing many tasks in your life as a means to an end. And yet, that is so counter-American thinking. Many American friends of mine are happy to hire help to clean their homes outside of the US, expat life includes this. Yet, I know some friends who feel they can’t fully talk about it back home because people will call them entitled or snobby. (Let’s be honest, they are jealous!) I can tell you having someone help clean my space makes more time to write and make art and time for my family. Yeah, it’s worth it (my husband vouches for my improved mental state, hehe). Or simple things like taking yoga classes and getting a massage once in a while, those are actions of self-care that give me, anyway, the energy to be in a classroom, or develop lessons for someone I’m tutoring. And while education is a job, it is a kind of service too. Despite that, I also felt like I should take away time from my art (such a selfish endeavor it is) and volunteer on top of it. If I want to, great. If I don’t and feel obliged? Who is getting what out of it? So, I will remind myself that making art can be a wonderful endeavor that ultimately gives me space and energy to do more giving in other ways (for example, I designed a book cover for this book where all funds will go to a school in Guatemala).

There are many more, but I feel like these are most pertinent to creativity and creative goal-setting. Let’s end with one I think we can all relate to:

 Follow your passion.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Be sure to keep your goals and mindset as a visual, somewhere you can see it everyday to remind you what you aim for! It will help cultivate creative, positive mindset. Yes, you CAN! 🙂


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