A while back I received an email from Cory Huff
on a blog post that he had written. Cory is author and art coach behind
the website "theabundantartist.com"
About a third way into the article, Cory states:
"Paradigm Shift #2: It doesn’t matter what you do for a living. It does matter how you define yourself. You’re an artist, and creativity is your strength, not a weakness. Use it to your advantage."
Here's the link to the full article.
For me, this was not a paradigm shift. It simply was a statement of fact in my own life as I walked in this mode for many years.
For the budding
artist however, it is advice well taken, and to even understand that it
exists will strengthen your situation no matter what your walk in life
When I read that portion of the article, I was flooded with a memory of when I "worked for living" in industry. For those that don't know me, I worked for over 30 years in industry first as an electronic technician then moving up into supervision and finally as a mid-level manager of the electronic/electrical department.
I was in
charge of a fairly large group of electronic technicians, technologists,
electricians and engineering staff. (with a multi-million dollar
budget). We helped keep the plant running, from production lines to
infrastructure to security. Needless to say, it was FUN, and
rewarding. Our work was meaningful, exciting, and demanding.
In a recent talk by Dr. Jordan Peterson, (whom I believe is one of our greatest living clinical psychologists) was talking about happiness. It went along the lines that the pursuit of happiness leads to an emptiness after you have all the "things" that you think make you happy. Rather than pursue happiness, pursue "purpose".
I can tell you 100% in my own life this is a fundamental truth.
Allow me a few recommendations on the subject of purpose. In the early 2000's I read a book titled:
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
It's a Christian based book, that had such an effect, I gave copies to my children. I won't get into how proud of my children I am today, (all seven of them) it would set your computer on fire with overload. But in the end, each one of them have been following a purpose of service that absolutely astonishes me in their success's.
Was it this book? I think it played a role. And in reading it, they and myself gave up hours of silly computer games and Instagram scrolling.
Another book I would recommend on the subject of creativity has been around quite a while too. (Am I dating myself?). Its first publication was in the 1990's, another came out in the early 2000's and the copy I have was published in 2016. It too is a significant impact on my daily routine, thought process, and even prayer life.
The Artist's Way, a Spiritual path to higher creativity.
By Julia Cameron
I can tell you, both books are worth their weight in gold. Both have dog eared pages, lots of scribbled notes of insights that compelled me to jot something down about its importance.
And don't even get me started on some other books about time management, and personal growth. I talk about them more my time management pages. (The link opens in a new page so you wont lose your spot here).
Author Stephen R. Covey and his "The 7 Habits of highly effective people" and "First things First"
Then author Dale Carnegie "Pathways to Success"
All these books are readily available on Amazon or your local library.
The obvious sometimes is like seeing the forest in its entire glory, when you were looking at individual trees all along.
Yes, you are working for a paycheck, but you need to really find the purpose and meaning behind your work. It really makes getting up, slugging down that coffee, and heading off into the office all that much better. Otherwise, you simply become miserable, and your creativity will suffer.
Reminding yourself of that purpose goes a long way in keeping you sane too!
After a particular difficult troubleshooting period and a successful repair (in my younger days) a debrief of sorts was taking place when engineering and management pull together to understand what happened and how to prevent or predict the failure in future.
When asked "Delmus,
how did you figure this one out?" another engineer friend spoke up on
my behalf saying, Delmus gets his problem solving skills because he is
an "artist". His thinking outside the box is his
That was probably one of the most affirming compliments I've ever received.
Yes, some knew I was a painter. I was never ashamed to let folks know this.
Others knew me as the guy they could call at 3 am to get an answer on how to fix something. This happened even years after I left industry from friends that were in a jam on that old production line. What was so uplifting was when they would call me back to say, "how did you know?" My wife wasn't very happy but it sure made me feel good that "I still had it". Those of you that are professional troubleshooters know what I'm talking about.
The jist of what I'm saying is this.
Never look down on yourself because you have a creative spirit. It is never, ever a weakness, but rather, one of your most powerful assets!