7 Important Life Lessons I learned as a Creative
Ever since I was a kid I would imagine a world that had no barriers, no artistic rules, no musical guidelines, a world that I created with my imagination that allowed me to believe that I can go or become whoever I wanted to create.
I always found music fascinating and had a love for the thrill of adventure, being as reckless and without care. I grew up playing little league baseball and participated in boy scouts, learning how to become a man, shooting arrows, building derby carts, and tying rope. Then when I got a little older I discovered an old VHS video camera in my father’s closet. I began a new journey not only could I live an adventurous life but also I can film it! A whole world opened up as I figured out how to work the old camera. I started filming my friends, as we would skate board throughout the town and run away from police officers. Then my freshman high school teacher introduced me to photography. I was such an ambitious young man turning profit from anything I could get my hands on. I learned it from my father who was a business owner at the time. He taught me how to develop my talents, be the best I could be and start making money with my creativity while I was still just a kid with a camera and a passion in my heart.
Life happens, as you grow older people start telling you all the rules. Like stop dreaming and get a “real job” kind of rules. A film teacher in college once told me, “You have to know the rules, then break em.”
"Stop dreaming, you’re changing the world"
That statement is funny to read isn’t it? The journey of a Creative is a battlefield. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way that I remind myself daily to keep me motivated and give me practical mindset weapons to move forward.
When creativity doesn’t pay, you can’t afford to not create.
1. Everyone is creative
If you make something, guess what?? You are creative. Even if it’s solving a problem, you need creative thinking to produce a result. You are creative a solution to a problem. Every single human being was designed to create. Every human being was designed to fill a need. If you have a job, if you are a student, if you are homeless, you are forced to create an opportunity or a way to solve problems. It’s life! Life is about movement, about imagining something and making it a reality.
“In the beginning was the Word…” The word comes first then the action follows. Everyone has been created to dream, to speak or create something into existence.
The Word “Daydreamer” can be kind of insulting in our culture, but little do people understand that everything we are surrounded by – cares, clothes, furniture, houses, computers, smartphones, the technology you are using to read this – it was all a dream in someone’s head! They dreamt it, drew it out, then BAM – Created it for us to enjoy so that we may be inspired to create.
2. Just Start
I hear a lot of people’s excuses for not doing what they really want to do in life.
I’m too young. I’m too old. I don’t know where to start. I’m not creative enough. I can’t. I need money. BLAH BLAH BLAH.
Understand that what you do right now will determine your future.
Your zip code, ethnic background, childhood upbringing, or financial circumstance doesn’t determine where you end up or who you become. It is ultimately your own decision.
You can put off doing what is important, or you can start working on it right now.
It’s never too late to do something amazing.
It’s never too early to start trying.
Let me go ahead and prove it.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”
– C.S. Lewis
At age 1, Christian Friedrich Heinecken, the legendary child prodigy, had read the Pentateuch (the ﬁrst ﬁve books of the Bible).
At 2, speed skater Bonnie Blair began skating. She would go on to win ﬁve Olympic gold medals.
At 3, Wolfgang Mozart taught himself to play the harpsichord
At 8, three-time Olympic gold medal runner Wilma Rudolph took her ﬁrst step after suffering from polio as a child.
At 10, Vinay Bhat became the youngest chess master in the world.
At 16, American sharpshooter Annie Oakley challenged and defeated the well-known marksman Frank Butler by hitting a dime in midair from 90 feet.
At 19, Abner Doubleday devised the rules for baseball.
At 23, English poet Jane Taylor wrote “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
At 25, Janis Joplin made her ﬁrst recording, “Cheap Thrills,” which grossed over $1 million within a few months.
At 32, Alexander the Great had conquered almost the entire known world.
At 34, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry, wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
At 37, Jersey Joe Walcott became the oldest man ever to win the world heavyweight boxing title.
At 40, Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run.
At 44, George Washington crossed the Delaware River and captured Trenton, NJ.
At 47, Kent Couch attached 105 helium balloons to a lawn chair and ﬂew 193 miles.
At 53, Walter Hunt, an inventor, patented the safety pin.
At 56, Mao Zedong founded the People's Republic of China.
At 58, Sony chairman Akio Morita introduced the Sony Walkman, an idea no one seemed to like at the time.
At 62, J.R.R. Tolkien published the ﬁrst volume of his fantasy series, “Lord of the Rings”
At 65, jazz musician Miles Davis deﬁantly performed his ﬁnal live album, just weeks before he died.
At 71, Katsusuke Yanagisawa, a retired Japanese schoolteacher, became the oldest person to climb Mt. Everest.
At 75, cancer survivor Barbara Hillary became one of the oldest people, and the ﬁrst black woman, to reach the North Pole.
At 77, John Glenn became the oldest person to go into space.
At 80, Christine Brown of Laguna Hills, CA, ﬂew to China and climbed the Great Wall.
At 85, Theodor Mommsen became the oldest person to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature.
At 88, Michelangelo created the architectural plans for the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli.
At 92, Paul Spangler ﬁnished his 14th marathon.
At 99, Teiichi Igarashi climbed Mt. Fuji.
At 100, Frank Schearer seems to be the oldest active water skier in the world.
What is your excuse?
3. You weren’t born to pay bills then die
Making a life is greater than making a living; for you to pursue your passion is much greater than pursuing a paycheck. I am a firm believer and testament to the idea that following your God given passion and dreams will not only increase the longevity of your joy & your life but will provide incredible opportunities of generosity not only in your finances but also in your character and your generosity towards others. When you get your mind right and when your foundation is strong, anything you build will last beyond lifetimes.
You weren’t created to pay bills then die.
You were created to have a family and leave a legacy.
You were created to reach others and bring hope.
You were created to pour into humanity.
Put more into life than you are taking out.
That means create more than you use.
Give more than you get.
Do more with great love.
4. You were made for this
You and only you can do what you were made to do. You are unique.
Here’s reality. There are many photographers, singers, songwriters, bloggers, filmmakers, musicians, painters, bigger instagram accounts, etc… in the world. There is always going to be someone better than you. Skills can be learned, techniques can be taught. But no one can live your story. No one has the same life, background, upbringing, stories, family, dreams, etc… as you! YOU ARE UNIQUE. Technology is just the tools that we use to express our experience. At the end of the day it’s a battle and it’s You vs. You. YOU WERE MADE FOR THIS.
5. Doubt is a sneaky pebble
Stop doubting. Stop asking yourself if you’re going to make it.
It’s about the climb. The journey. Not the annoying thoughts, the pebble in your shoe.
Take out the pebble, throw out those thoughts and focus on the climb.
“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali
6. GOD BLESS THE HATERS
A few things life can Guarantee:
You will have heartbreaks
You’re favorite team will lose
You will have haters
Haters are your number one fans!
They are guaranteed to watch every video, read every post, comment on everything you do.
Some hate in silence. They are the loudest ones.
When I was growing into my field, I had two really close friends at the time tell me that I should give up doing photography and making videos because my work was embarrassing.
I had to make a decision.
Should I pursue my passion even though I SUCKED!
Or should I quit?
God bless the haters.
7. Keep Going
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” –Earl Nightingale
Nothing that last comes easy.
Nothing that comes easy will last.
To achieve anything worthwhile takes persistence.
Ray Bradbury decided to write one story every week. Ten Years and 520 short stories later, he wrote one that he felt strong enough to publish.
People laughed at Howard Schultz idea of charging $5 for coffee.
Alfred Butts invented the game Lexico when he became unemployed in the Great Depression.
Every game company rejected his concept. He was persistent and continued to refine the game.
Again and again it was rejected. He asked for advice and joined forces with James Brunot who changed the name to “Scrabble.” In 1952, after 2o years of trying, Macy’s placed a huge order.
2 years later, Alfred sold five million scrabble sets.
You are Creative.
Be relentless in developing, improving yourself, and your ideas.
You can’t afford not to!