Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.
Simplify, Multi-task, streamline, tune, and perfect
It seems to me, that the more you focus on becoming flawless, proficient, and practiced at a task, the more boring it gets. We then complain about how mindless and meaningless our lives have become. Before we know it, we are on another quest for new experiences and tasks to bring creativity and fulfillment back into our already busy schedules and make arrangements to accommodate them.
All the while, we start to crumble a bit under the pressures of getting all the "to-dos" done, making time for some meaningful connection with friends, loved ones, then we are back to that same cycle of wondering where on earth we have misplaced our lust for life, happiness and spark of creativity. On the other hand, we could just choose to do nothing and allow creativity and liveliness to just manifest into our lives, through others.
Living vicariously through others
In the evenings, for example, I can watch crafty, creative people on Youtube, doing amazingly creative and inspiring things, but in the end, if I do not incorporate any of it in my life, I end up living vicariously through these amazing people. I have lived, what I call, a reactionary lifestyle for many years. For those that have not experienced this, I have decided to share a satirical story of one of the brilliant desperate ideas I had, in chasing myself down a rabbit hole.
Cats, Rainbows, and Multi-tasking
I woke up one morning and checked my google calendar for a list of things to accomplish. Upon reflection, I decided that morning showers and cat grooming are mindless, mundane tasks, both requiring little brainpower and needed to be combined, to save time. It was time to spruce up the boring morning routine anyway.
I breezed through the planning stage. "I will need two oven mittens, a bar of my favorite soap or shower gel, cat shampoo, cat brush, favorite shampoo, and conditioner. " I mumbled to myself as I grabbed the oven mitts and scurried to the bathroom, checking on the supplies in the shower. I then had a little pep talk with my cat to make sure she had the chance to prepare and look forward to what was coming. I then proceeded to familiarize her with how the shower door worked and let her get comfortable with walking in and out.
Do not let your imagination run wild and picture a red-eyed, terrified cat and me with claw marks, singing "hallelujah" in agony. I want to reassure you that this never really happened. I merely wanted to give you a bit of a laugh, while pointing out how one can get carried away in an attempt to live a balanced, yet exciting life. In life, the journey can be more important than the destination. Living a balanced fulfilling life is not a destination one arrives at, rather it is the journey where it all happens.
With that in mind, why don't I just finish the story for you...
Before she grew too suspicious, I slammed the door behind us and turned on the shower. If you ever attempt to do this, not that I recommend it at all but make sure you do not surprise her by turning it on high right away. It is also preferred that you have one of those shower heads with various bells and whistles and several settings, including a massage function. You might need a whistle for signaling your loved ones in case you need them to dial 911. I anticipated trouble, so I got the oven mitts ready but was pleasantly surprised. Instead of her getting the claws out, she started singing "Oh silent night". And what strong loud vocals she had.
I then read the instructions on the back of her cat shampoo. It would have been too obvious to do it before but if you remember, wanted to spruce up my morning routine. One should challenge themselves, by seeking out new situations that allow you to have to improvise.
I learned what was probably obvious. Cat's do not like to wait, particularly when they are wet. She remained motionless for a moment. Presumably entertained by my shampoo bottle juggling act. It was a bit disappointing, having transformed a confident beautiful beast into a wet mess with red eyes darting around wildly. I proceeded to wash my armpits and in the process managed to drip a few drops of her "fur potion" onto her head. Then proceeded to fiddle with the showerhead, setting it to the massage function.
One of the key aspects of practicing creativity is coming up with quick solutions to unexpected problems. As the situation escalates, as it did in my case, remember to stay calm. She then stood on her hind legs and tried to grab onto anything to get to higher ground anywhere above the water. I worked a good palm-sized portion of the shampoo and lathered up my hair. I tried to whistle and hum as I normally would passing off that "nothing out of the ordinary is happening" kind of vibe.
She was not going to be a team player. I could tell by the way she was sizing up the length of the shower door, that she was aiming to make the jump for freedom. Grossly overestimating her capabilities, perhaps due to the weight of the wet fur or her vision got too blurry. She landed not on her feet, as cats should, but on my foot. Now I was in fact singing "haleluja". I lifted my foot in agony. As I was beginning to lose ground, I attempted to catch myself but simultaneously slipped on the soap and foamy shower basin, startling the kitty.
On my way down...
On my way down, as time always slows during accidents such as these, I paused to reflect on what creative people would do. I found myself in a bright, glittery haze with rainbows and unicorns dancing around. I saw my husband coming at me with a breakfast tray in one hand and the laundry basket in another. I swiftly decided to ignore the basket and focus on the tray. The pancakes smelled great and there were croissants with two cups of steaming cappuccinos, arranged side by side with a rose in the middle. "How romantic," I said, "Now all I need is for you to say something to make me feel like a woman and I'm all yours." Ha paused for a second and blurted out " You don't know how to change the oil in the car."
Before I could respond to him, however, I was startled by a loud thud, a splash of water, or something that felt like a wet towel over my face, followed by pain. At that moment, I opened my eyes. It was 5 AM, my alarm just went off and my cat was perched on my chest lovingly licking my face.
What is reality anyway?
In truth, it all happened. The multi-tasking incidence, the unicorns, my husband speaking and kitty liking my face. The thing is that some things happen inside our minds, some can be witnessed by all and some just happen in a dream. Some things are worth experiencing, some are better to leave to our imaginations and all are, in my opinion, part of a creative, fulfilling life. What matters is how all this feeds your soul and transfers into the every day of your life.
Just a suggestion
Next time you are bored or thinking it's time to spice things up or perhaps coming down hard on yourself because you are not doing the great things that "those" amazing people on social media with "amazing lives" do.....pause to give thanks to how rich your life already is...remind yourself that it's about the journey and that some things are actually much more entertaining to experience through watching other people.
IF you want to live a creative and fulfilling life...
- Focus on the journey
- Give thanks
- Be kind to of yourself (non-critical, non-judgemental mindset)
- Live your life for you- don't compare and do not explain
- Allow the vivid, colorful stories, dreams in your head to enrich the stories of your life
Do you have a story to share? When do you feel most fulfilled? How does creativity enrich your life? Give me some feedback on what you think...or click like if you liked the story.