As a creative guy, it can be hard to accept what is. After all — isn’t that the whole point of being creative — to make changes? And yet, until you accept what is, you won’t be as creative as you could be.
This is a good place to start.
In other words, “What’s happening now?”
Because you don’t actually know the answer to that question — do you?
Accept the tangles.
And why not?
Because you’re afraid of looking too closely at what’s going on.
Because if you look too close —
It might kill the magic.
But the fact is — right now you’ve got some tangles that are holding you back.
And you don’t even see them.
But they’re there, all the same.
And while it’s very tempting to rush ahead anyway —
Pretending that the tangles aren’t there or hoping that they’ll disappear on their own —
Until you untangle some of those invisible tangles, you won’t be able to get up a full head of steam to move ahead.
And this is the tough part — patience.
But you don’t want to wait for that, do you?
You don’t want to take the time to really look at what’s happening right now.
And you’re not alone.
I work with creative men — not unlike you — every day.
And one thing you have in common with other creative men is impatience.
But it’s about to get a whole lot better.
And hey —
Creative discontent is good.
But impatience will sink you almost every time.
So keep the creative discontent and jettison the impatience.
But what’s the difference?
Here’s the difference.
Creativity begins with what is.
Whereas, chaos begins with what isn’t.
Let me break that down for you.
To be your most creative, you want to change something — right?
You want to solve a problem.
If you’re a chef, you want to create more delicious, well-plated food in an atmosphere where the food can truly be enjoyed.
Or, if you’re a builder, you want to create a better process for building.
And on it goes for every creative endeavor.
You’ve got to accept the problem.
But until you really know what the problem is that you’re trying to solve —
You’re wasting a lot of creative energy.
While if you’ll channel that creative discontent to do some hard-core problem seeking —
— to get crystal clear about what problem you’re working to solve —
Suddenly, your solution will be a whole lot better.
In other words, Mr. Chef — what specifically isn’t working about the food or the atmosphere at your restaurant?
Have you taken the time to really figure that out?
Or do you just keep hoping that if you work harder that the problem will go away?
And Mr. Builder — what’s not working on your building site?
The same applies to you.
Or whatever your creative endeavor —
Have you taken the time to actually accept the problem — and get to know it intimately?
So please do this now.
Because if you haven’t, you’re missing out on your best work.
So if you really want to up your creative game, do some intentional problem seeking.
And I find that writing it down helps.
Give yourself the gift of time to sit down and write out what the problem is.
To really wrestle with what is.
And if you work with a team, set aside time to get your team together and look at what the problems are — honestly.
This step of problem seeking — of accepting what is wrong — can seriously up your creativity game.
But — will you do it?
Will you make time for intentional problem seeking this year?
Don’t be afraid of accepting what is.
It won’t take away the magic.
In fact —
It’s where creativity begins.