How to stay creative
Are you lacking creativity? Do you want to know how to stay creative? Do you think creative people work in a specific industry or have a specific job title? According to Robin Sharma,we ALL have a duty and responsibility to be creative.
Robin Sharma is a leading leadership expert and the author of 15 global best sellers. In this mastery session, Robin speaks about 6 tactics on how to stay creative. I think it’s brilliant and I wanted to share it with you.
If you are unable to watch the video above, I sourced a summary of the video. Please see the script below.
How to stay creative
The first insight I want to offer to you with great respect is, whether you’re a bookkeeper or a banker, whether you’re a taxi driver or a hamburger flipper, whether you’re a student or filmmaker, you are a creative. When we think of the word creative, we think of people who are in ad agencies or often we think of artists. But whatever you do everyday is your craft, whatever you do everyday, you have the opportunity and I suggest you have the responsibility to produce your art. What you release out into the world will determine what the world sends back to you. You are a creative.
My life changed when I was a litigation lawyer and I was working on this project for this law society that I was working for in my free time. I was putting together this project and we’re going to be bringing together all these different lawyers for the others lawyers in the city. My co-partner on this project said, “You know, Robin, you’re extremely creative.” That sort of woke something up inside of me and it turned me on to the fact that I have creativity inside of me and it was just this light bulb or “A-ha!” moment. I suggest the same to you, which is regardless of what you do or where you live in the world, you have creativity inside of you.
One of my favorite questions is, what would the little child that you once were think of the adult that you’ve become? When you were a little kid, your eyes sparkled. When you were a little kid, you loved producing art into the world. What has happened to that, if anything? I want you to start thinking like Da Vinci. I want you to wake up your inner Picasso. I want you to find that Van Gogh inside of you. Regardless of what you do, I want you to connect to your creative wellspring that longs to show up fully in the world.
With that insight, that you are a creative person and you have art within, I’m going to share with you six tactics that will allow you to do what I suggest:
We live in a world of dramatic distraction. Most people are suffering from broken focus syndrome. It has never been so easy to be seduced by the shiny toys of modern society and spend the best hours of your best days doing not much of anything. The first tactic that I offer to you is build your life and your work flow around what I call tight bubbles of total focus. That might mean blocking out three times a week, from 9 o’clock to 12 o’clock on your written schedule because what gets scheduled gets done, and during that 9 o’clock to 12 o’clock tight bubble of total focus, you turn off all your technology. When you hear those bells ring and the notifications fly, it has actually been compared neurobiologically to the sound of a scream. I want to make that with great precision, that point, which is the sound of a phone ringing, has been compared in terms of your internal response neurobiologically to the sound of a scream. But if it happens constantly everyday, it becomes your new normal. Pretty interesting point, no?
During that tight bubble of total focus, you want to build a period of solitude and isolation and quiet, where your brain shifts from beta to alpha, where you actually start to go deep and release all that neurochemistry of mastery, like dopamine and serotonin and all those good brain chemicals so you do genius level work. Maybe once a week, maybe it’s going to be a Sunday, you also build a tight bubble of total focus where again, zero interruption, zero distraction, you get to focus mono-maniacally on the work that will move the needle for you and your career and within the world.
Second tactic for you is the 60-10 method, people have used this method I’ve been teaching and it has created game-changing results for them. Science has proven that the best way to achieve elite performance as a creative person is to work in an intense burst for 60 minutes. Literally, you almost get sweaty because you are so focused, you are expending all of your creativity, all of your talents, all of the jewels of your internal gifts, for 60 strong minutes. Just like a run or running for 60 minutes full out. Then what do you do? 10 minutes of recovery. What makes an elite athlete is not really what you do on the playing field, it’s how you recover. So, 60-10 method, do that twice a day, let’s say you pull out your phone and you look at your time, 60 minutes of intense creativity, 10 minutes of recovery, do another 60-minute burst and another 10 minutes of recovery. That’s what, roughly two and half hours, you probably will get more done, better work done in those two and a half hours that most people get done in probably 14 days.
Third tactic I want to offer to you, I learned it from Bill Gates, is ‘dream-weeks’. What he does is from time to time, he schedules one full week, he gets away from his office, he gets away from his city, and all he does is read and he thinks. You will get your biggest ideas not in the office, away from the office. Not in your usual environment, away from your environment. I invite you, once every quarter, in other words, once every three weeks, schedule a full week to do nothing but dream, to think, to strategize, to plan, to ask yourself questions like where do I need to be five years from now for this to have been the best five-year pocket of my life? What must I do over the course of the remainder of my lifetime so I’ll have lived a legendary life? Dream-weeks work.
What else can I offer you in terms of a tactic? Well, you know, if you look at the great artists, they were associated with great masters. Who’s your great master? Do you have a mentor? Do you have a coach? Do you have someone who is playing and iconic that you associate with on a consistent basis? If not, why not? If you want to be the Picasso of your universe, of your cosmos, of your industry, of your field, you need to be associated with the absolute masters of your field. There’s a lot of science talking about mirror neurons, associations, there is a book I’m reading now called Connected, tons of science in it. Read Connected. In the book, here’s what he says, the author says one of the finest ways to create dramatic personal change comes down to your peer group. If you want to lose weight, are you hanging out with people who are going to the gym every morning at 5 AM? Right, you remember my 5 AM club. If you want to be a game changer in your industry, are you associated with victims or average players or A players? Just really wrap your head around that, your social orbit matters and you want to be around people who are playing at well, the great masters.
Fifth tactic. Inspiration fuels. You know, in a future Master class, I’m going to offer you some more inspirational fuels, but how can you inspire the world if you are de-inspired? Right? So many people, they have so much inspiration with them, they have electricity in them but they’ve lost it. Because of the mortgage, because of the world, because of adversity, because of heartbreak, because of apathy. Because of the world’s fears. If you’re not careful, the world’s fears will become your fears. That’s why you want to have that tight bubble around your mental and your internal focus. But the point I’m trying to make on tactic number five, which is you must find, or I invite you to find fuels that will lift your inspiration so that you can inspire the rest of us.
What am I talking about here? Well for me, I love being in art galleries. I will schedule, I travel a lot, so if I’m in Prague or if I’m in Bogota, I’m in Tokyo or wherever I am in the world, I will schedule some time to go to an art gallery. That’s where I just get inspired. You almost cannot help but not be inspired when you’re around interesting or great work. That’s a great inspirational fuel. What else? Nature. Do your nature walk three times a week, get out into the forest, breathe the airs, be surrounded by the lushness of life’s beauty, and you’ll get amazing ideas.
Another inspiration fuels, gorgeous conversations. I was flying over to Bucharest for a public event on Leading Without a Title and I met a fascinating person who works in pharma. We had an amazing conversation that still stays with me. One of the things he shared with me was, you know, I asked him this question, I said, “Who was the leader that has most influenced you?” He started talking about this gentleman that he had worked with previously, and he said he was one of those people that you get to meet two or three times in a lifetime. To me, that’s now my new gold standard. I want to become one of those human beings that you’ll get to meet two or three times in a lifetime because of the humanity I radiate, the enthusiasm I radiate, the love I radiate, the creativity I offer. I’m not saying I’m there but we are all works in progress and that is my aspiration.
The final tactic I want to offer to you is really protect your focus. Focus is an asset. That’s the sixth tactic that I use to be creative. I’m a fanatic, in a gentle way, about protecting my focus. When someone brings me a problem, it’s like, “You deal with it, that’s your opportunity to grow. Don’t put it on my shoulders, don’t put it on my mindset.” When I’m in an airport and I hear the news blasting … who came up with that idea? “Let’s put a television on every gate and let’s put the most toxic information coming off that television and let’s populate and pollute the whole environment from that.” In this world … perhaps you agree, but it’s never been so important to protect the pristine mindset. I walk around with these beats on so I can listen to great audio books of entrepreneurs and game changers and creatives and loving human beings and people who are doing great things in the world. I really protect my focus and I invite the same for you.
It’s been great being with you, I hope you’ve enjoyed my philosophies and ideas on how I stay creative. Remember, you are a creative. Please, you have an obligation and a responsibility and I’m going to use this word, a duty to the rest of the world to let your creativity shine because if you don’t, the world will be darker without the light of your talents, gifts, and creativity. With great enthusiasm and encouragement, I’ll talk to you soon.
Original Source: Robin Sharma talks about 6 tactics to stay creative. You can also listen to the podcast here.
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Love and light,