06 Mar 2016 Leave a comment
02 Mar 2016 Leave a comment
Marcus Sikora has a flare for the creative.
The 25-year-old from Omaha, Nebraska, has acted in school productions and wrote and produced a one-act stage performance in cooperation with a local high school.
Sikora also has Down syndrome, but that hasn’t stopped him from achieving something that would be impressive for any 25-year-old. As of June 2015, he can add “published author” to his list of accomplishments.
17 Mar 2014 Leave a comment
You might have noticed in reading my posts that I have a bit of a pet peeve about watching what you say. I’m a big fan of “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” And this doesn’t just apply to what you say about others, it applies to what you say about yourself and the things that you do/create/share.
I see this happen a lot with creative people. They produce a beautiful photo, brilliant art work, or incredible writing, and then, when they show it to you, almost instantly devalue their own efforts by adding “it’s not very good”, “I really don’t know what I’m doing”, or “it’s not my best work”. It makes. me. crazy.
Okay, I admit that it makes be MORE crazy because I used to do it – a lot – and I understand where their head is at. But it also makes me crazy because if it is something that you created, it comes from you, and from your heart, by saying that it’s not any good, you’re also devaluing yourself on a subconscious level. You’re holding yourself back, limiting your creative potential, and beating up your own self-confidence.
It may have started subtly enough. We might discover that by saying, “Oh, it’s not very good.” a friend might disagree and insist that the work is truly wonderful. Instantly, the reward part of our brain goes “Heeyyy… I say it’s bad, I get a compliment!” Soon we automatically unveil the fruits of our creative labor and simultaneously announce “it’s really not my best work”, while preparing for the freshly delivered reassurances and compliments from our audience.
While getting compliments is nice, this is really not the greatest way to validate the worth of your work. You create a pattern of constantly devaluing your creation and at the same time your own worth. This doesn’t mean that you have to go flying off in the other direction and declare to everyone who’ll listen how fabulous your latest work of art is. (Which may result in your friends running for the hills when you appear.)
The simplest way to stop devaluing your work really is, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” or “keep your mouth shut”. Oversimplified, maybe, but the idea is to get you to stop trash talking yourself and smothering your creativity and self-esteem. By all means, show friends and strangers your art work, but do not tell them how awful it is. We create art for art’s sake, what you have created is what it is, good, bad or ugly, but it is a part of you, treat it the way you want to be treated.
When someone compliments what you do, a “simple thank” you is the most powerful phrase you can utter. On a subconscious level, you’re validating that what you have made has value and so do you. It takes a conscious effort to stop whatever else you were going to say and just say “thank you”, but once you get the hang of it, it can be a truly liberating experience.
Those two small words can help grow your confidence, boost your creativity and inspire your faith in your own creative processes.
25 Jul 2013 Leave a comment
As we were growing up, most of us were taught the importance of saying please and thank you at the appropriate times in life. From a young age, children who are given something hear the echoing words, “Say thank you!” We say thank you for a gift, when given a treat, and for being passed the mashed potatoes, but over time, we kind of lose sight of an important reason to say thank you.
05 Apr 2013 Leave a comment
“Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them… and they flew.” ~Guillaume Apollinaire
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
Here’s a mini post to get you asking yourself, is there a little something that you’ve always wanted to do, but have been afraid to try? Consider this your little push off the edge. Spring is in the air, and it’s a perfect time to try something new.
Have you considered changing your job or learning a new skill? Even if you can’t make a giant life change, take a couple of baby steps towards that cliff in the form of a college class. Sign up for a painting class or a music lesson, look for a group that shares the same interest.
When we build up a fear of failing at something, we also build up the consequences of failure. Most of the time the consequence might just be a little embarrassment, but somewhere in the back of our mind, we create visions of horrible death or dismemberment.
Our overactive imaginations can be our greatest gift and our biggest pitfall. Now it’s time to use your imagination to find your wings and step off the edge!
06 Mar 2013 Leave a comment
Time is an invention. Now is a reality. So much creativity is happening for the simple reason that we have withdrawn ourselves from the past and future. Our whole energy remains blocked, either in the past or in the future.
When you withdraw all your energy from past and future, a tremendous explosion happens.
That explosion is creativity.
~Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (From Begin It Now, by Susan Hayward)
If you are an artist or a writer and you spend a lot of time worrying about how you’ll ever become published or famous in the future, or about dumb mistakes you made in the past that you’re worried you’ll make again, chances are you’re getting little to nothing accomplished in your present.
Perhaps you’re holding out on taking a job that you don’t like very much because you’re waiting for that ideal job to present itself. Maybe you’re not allowing yourself to find a loving relationship because someone did the Mexican Hat Dance on your heart in the past, and you never want that to happen again.
It’s hard to wrap our heads around it, but in reality the present is all that matters. Do what you need to do now, and the future will begin to form and take care of itself without you fussing over it.
Let’s bake a cake. You decide to use this delicious new cake recipe. You have all these dreams and fantasies about how fabulous this cake is going to be. But, instead of just letting it bake, you keep poking your head in the oven to see how it’s doing, and eventually the whole thing goes flat, and you have to start again.
Neither does your past successes or failures at baking a cake really have much relevance on that cake you’re baking now. You think to yourself oh, I didn’t use enough flour the last time I made that cake, so I better adjust it this time. You don’t say, oh my god, I screwed that cake up so badly I will never make it again. Well, at least you shouldn’t be saying that, anyway.
We make our lives so much more stressful by constantly dwelling on the past and wringing our hands about the future. Redirect your focus to the present. Pick a cake recipe and just bake it. If it comes out, it comes out. If it doesn’t, you note what you have learned and try again.
Pick up the paint brush or the pen. Make bad art and enjoy it. Write a crappy first draft. Take the job that will put food on the table today and keep yourself in the present so that you will see that new opportunity when it arrives. Go out on a date with someone you’re not sure about. Start a conversation with that person you’ve been admiring.
Nothing at all, good or bad, will change unless you take a step. Taking one small step today is better than planning a thousand steps tomorrow.