Exercising your creativity
“From the ashes of broken dreams rise the building blocks of new adventures.”
There’s an overused expression that advises, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.
From the time I was two, I have always had a flair for making the best of my circumstances — a fact my father discovered the hard way the first time he was left in charge of me when my mother was away.
He opened my bedroom door in the early morning to discover that, instead of crying because I missed my mother, I had entertained myself by making it snow indoors.
Apparently, I accomplished this rare feat by racing around the room in circles, squeezing the contents of a large bottle of baby powder into the air, and giggling with delight.
Needless to say my father and I have a different perception of that experience but, for me, it signifies the moment that my creativity first took flight.
Although my choice of medium, thankfully, has matured considerably, the child within me still delights in the world for its possibilities and has taught me to view challenges as the unassembled building blocks of new opportunities.
Like most people, when problems arise I don’t enjoy being caught off-guard and I initially do get upset, particularly when my ideas are disregarded or things don’t turn out as I expected. But I also make a conscious effort to flush any negative thoughts or sensations of self-doubt from my system as quickly as possible.
In their place, I seek to view the situation from a variety of different perspectives and formulate as many questions as I can: how can I view the situation more objectively?
What am I really upset about? What can I learn from the experience? How I can make something good from what has happened? What do I now have the opportunity to do as a result of all of this?
Most often, once I succeed in removing any personal fears or elements of self-interest from my thinking, what I realise is that not only is there a positive solution to every problem, the steps required to convert this idea into a reality are both simple and achievable.
The more sceptical among you might view this sort of thinking as taking a leap of faith — I prefer to view it as building a bridge.
In my experience we all live in the world that we create for ourselves and as such we have the ability to create a door where we need one, a connection where there should be one, and a friend where we would like to find one. How does your world work for you?
• Robin Trimingham is an author and thought leader in the field of retirement who specialises in helping corporate groups and individuals understand and prepare for a new life beyond work. Contact her at www.olderhoodgroup.com, 538-8937 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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