The people that I consider my heroes all have the same character traits: they not only dream big dreams, but they act upon those dreams and bring them to life.
Heroes Of Action
In 2008, I traveled to The Gambia, Africa to produce a documentary on the construction of a school building for an organization called Shared Blessings. The founders of the organization are two of my heroes because they not only inspire me to act upon my dreams, but they are shining examples of what it means to be creative in what they do, and in the pursuit of completing the daily tasks that compose their dreams.
They realized that their dreams wouldn’t become a reality by just dreaming. They had to act. They had to work hard. They had to sacrifice and save, spending wisely. They had to bring others on-board that could do things that they couldn’t do, and they had to be open to what happens when you act upon a vision for a better future: change.
Popular Slogans Aside, Creativity Is About Action
Creativity is all about doing and acting upon what I want to see, witness or communicate to myself or others. I often tell myself that I’m not “feeling creative” or “inspired” and choose to do something else regardless of timelines or deadlines. This wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t a habit. What I have learned by escaping the present reality of being proactive in the pursuit of my goals is that I become lazy by not working hard through the feelings of non-creativity.
By allowing procrastination to become a habit, I dream smaller dreams, knowing that I can handle them. My actions become sporadic and less structured. I spend more money on reference materials, searching for a new idea or path, even though I never gave up on the path I’m currently on. I have become the hare, cocky and self-assured that I can still win the race regardless of resting and then running at double-speed to catch up. But the tortoise will always beat me if I have that mentality.
Act, Then Rest
Creativity, much like life, is more fruitful and beautiful when you work hard to the point of exhaustion, followed by a period rest and relaxation. This is the cycle of creative regeneration that is not talked about much.
I often hear that in order to grow your creativity you need to feed it, but that is only half the picture. Yes, you need to feed your creativity, but you also need to spend your creativity, to empty your storage tanks so that you can fill them up again. I have a yard debris bin and when I forget to empty it, it starts to smell because the grass clippings and weeds decompose. This is exactly what happens to our creativity if we don’t spend what we have stored. We become mushy and we smell.
Creativity becomes active and alive when we daily pursue big dreams that take more than what we have to offer. This pursuit pushes us to the edge of what is known, shoving us into the realm of the unknown, giving us a glimpse of eternity that is only found in a creative, expressive spirit.