Two Ways to Make Your Creative Life Miserable

Walk in Peace and Serenity

 

Unleashing your creativity and finally deciding to do something about it is fun and exciting. However, every artist (regardless of your craft) is vulnerable to taking a dangerous path that leads to disillusionment. Here are two of the easiest ways to do it:

1. Compare yourself with others.

There’s a whole world of difference between having someone’s work as a source of inspiration and enviously looking at someone’s work as a point of unhealthy comparison.

Two things can happen when you start comparing yourself with others. It’s either : 1. You exalt yourself and believe that your work is superior (which is really pathetic) or 2. You get cranky for being “not good enough” and eventually find your way to discouragement (which kills your creativity).

I love the wisdom from the Desiderata: Do not compare yourself with others for you will become vain and bitter. For always there will be greater and lesser person than yourself.

2. Always seek external validation.

Just like how you spend hours refreshing your post on Facebook and Instagram for the sole purpose of checking how many likes and “nice” comments you get, convincing yourself that you are indeed likeable and everyone is really excited to see that duck-face selfie photo with a caption that says “just being me”. (Yes I know that kind of smile you have right now. A lot of us are guilty of it to some extent. Probably not the duck-face selfie.)

I want to make it clear that it’s not wrong to desire for appreciation. That’s part of us and we need something to satisfy our need for love and belonging. But if your core motivation in doing your creative stuff is praise and self-exaltation then I won’t be surprised if you need antidepressants later on. Because there’s no such thing as enough “praise” and “likes”.

Here’s my encouragement:

Do your craft to build meaningful connections and as a way to give back to the world for receiving such great talent and gift.

Always believe that you are good enough. No matter what. Because that’s how you were created in the first place. Remember that there was no one in the past and there will never be someone like you who could do the special things you are doing right now. You are unique, irreplaceable, and beautiful. Don’t let anyone steal that truth in your life.

Lastly, realize that your creative journey is not really all about you. It’s about connection and love.

And when you finally get it, you’ll walk in peace and serenity.

 

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Stop Dreaming. Start Doing.

Start Now

It’s been three years since I started this blog. And as I look back on the myriad things I did in name of creativity I am filled with joy and gratitude. I am so glad I had the courage to start this blog in the first place. Just reading my very first post here made me realize how good it is to simply start.

Just start. No matter how small it is. If you know you have been keeping that dream since long time ago and you have been replaying those excuses in your mind for the nth time, this is the moment.

Yes. Today is the perfect day to start working on those dreams. If you wait for that   “perfect moment” (when you are no longer too busy… when you have enough money, etc.) prepare yourself for an epic disappointment – because it will never come. I’d like to repeat what I said three years ago:

No matter how magnificent our ideas (or dreams) are they mean nothing until we start acting on them. 

You don’t have to come up with a detailed five-year plan nor spend all your savings impulsively. You only need to begin taking the first step.

Five years back I was searching for something I felt was missing in my life. That was the time when my nursing career was going well yet I felt I was incomplete. After a period of reflection, the moment of enlightenment came. It dawned on me that I’ve been creative all my life and suddenly stopped when I began working as a staff nurse in the old medical ward. I then picked up my brush I bought from a 2-dollar shop and entered an artistic journey that lead to a solo art exhibition this year. If I didn’t have the courage to even start painting I would probably be the same old Kris who wished he’s pursued the things that make him come alive.

Sometimes it’s not necessarily a process of discovery. Sometimes it can be a process of recovery – reconnecting to your passions that you have been keeping in your heart since you were a kid.

Just start. And believe in the beauty of your dreams. As long as you know that it is worthwhile and it will eventually give you an opportunity to give back to this world go for it! I promise you will never regret it.  Because I didn’t. Just like the many others who are now living their dreams.

What are you waiting for?

065/101 | Dreams

 

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Check my other photos under

101 CONTEMPLATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT

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