I started this year with one goal in mind, to create. To build from scratch. Through my company and other collaborations, I am researching and creating products, events and services that will benefit not just myself but others as well.
Why is this important? Thank you for asking.
This is huge for me because I am a creative person by nature (aren’t we all). But for the past two years, I have been feeling a lot less like that because I have not been doing anything meaningful about my ideas. It’s just been ‘blah blah blah’ followed by incomplete projects and a sense of defeat.
So late last year, I decided to change that.
See, I define creation as the process of moving the idea from your head into something you can hold in your hand or point with your finger. In the same process of migrating the ideas, the character of the creator is not left without being changed through trial and error. And if you are a collaborator like me, you will often seek to move the idea from your head into the heads of others first before it reaches your hands.
But how many of us can point at our creations? How many of us can say, “Here, hold it, in fact, taste it, feel it, hear it, wear it, read it and oh, let me know what you think.” We are busy, very much so – meetings left, right and centre. But are we creating?
My friend, I submit to you that, if we cannot prove our ability to create then we are not creative. We are just confusing our enlarged imaginations with the potential to be creative. You see, the gulf between what’s in our heads and how we could be holding it in our hands is defined by our level of self-determination, relentlessness, self-leadership, self-discipline and self-sacrifice, without these we are just fantasizing – torturing ourselves with the idea of a reality we are not willing to pay the price for.
Two years ago, when I could not prove to myself that I am a creative. I had to concede to myself, that I had much to learn. This brutal blow of honest introspection was necessary for me because it led me to evaluate how much value I was producing with every hour of my time; which is the polar opposite of instructing others to place value on the time you give to them.
See, our minds are programmed to seek value from others without placing a demand on ourselves first. Paraphrasing one of my favourite speakers, Dr Eric Thomas,
“It’s easy to hold other people accountable for what we think we deserve and what they said they were going to do for us. But we seldom look in the mirror and ask ourselves, why didn’t we do what we said we were going to do for ourselves? Why didn’t we keep our commitment to self?”
In other words, why haven’t I created anything and yet I call myself a creative? Why haven’t you started that business or that organisation like you said you would? Why haven’t you started researching about that Montessori or that franchise, you’ve been telling everyone about?
Could it be that the ideas are stuck in my mouth on their way down to my heart? Until the idea reaches your heart, it cannot move you to do something about it. It cannot give you sleepless nights. Don’t you think that it’s time you stopped talking about your ideas and started being about them?
When I was recovering from depression, I kept stickers with positive quotes behind the door of the one-room flat I used to rent. This one by T.E Lawrence was one of them, he said,
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”
The dreamers of the day are the thinkers. They have a to-do list for today, a schedule for the week, goals for the month and clear plans for the year. They are the ones who bridge the gap between ideas and reality. They think about opportunities, partnerships, skills and tools that will make them fruitful. Those are the people we should be when attempting to close the gap between the idea and its reality.
Your legacy and mine are connected to what we do with our ideas. We must do something about the creativity we keep talking about. Fail we will and failing we must, but it will not kill us – if we are wise enough we will find lessons to improve the process of success. It’s time we broke away from the comfort zones and make things happen.
In this year, make sure that you will at least bring one of your ideas into life. Just one.
About Anele Matshisi
Contact Anele Matshisi