The Spice Girls sang it best when they said, “Tell me what you want, what you really really want.” I start with that because if that’s not clear to us, then the rest of this post is futile.
But if you do know what you want, whether it’s financial success or a more creative life, I have some radical advice for you. Stop overanalyzing. Stop waiting for your ship to come in. Stop holding down the fort and start storming the gates. Here are some ways to get started:
Listen closely to this one- you can’t storm through the gates if you are going to judge every idea you have for getting through them. In my horn lessons, if a student is struggling with a particular note, I will assign them something called, “The 100.” Basically, their job is to practice that particular note 100 times in each practice session, as many different ways as they can possibly imagine. Do it fast. Do it slow. Do it while standing on one leg. Do it after running a lap around the house. Do it while on the phone with a friend. You get the idea. The point here is not quality, it is quantity and it is about throwing out as many ways of doing something as possible. In so doing, they usually find the cure to what’s ailing that particular note by the time we meet the next week. In 2 Kings 7, a group of Lepers looked at each other and said, “Why sit we here and die?” In other words, let’s do something! They then formulated a plan and just went for it!
Think Outside the Box
In Judges 15, Sampson finds himself in need of a weapon. He’s got no sword, no spear, no bow or arrow. In this situation I can imagine the whoa-is-me voice that many of us would hear in our mind. “Well, it must not be the Lord’s will for me to defeat these foes. If it was, He would have made a way.” Well, Sampson doesn’t say any of this. Instead he finds the jawbone of a recently deceased animal nearby and transforms that into his weapon. Too often, I think we underestimate what we already have and spend all of our time thinking about the “if onlies”. What if instead you thought about what you already have that could be transformed into what you need?
As a child I had the incredible good fortune of befriending author Alex Haley, the writer of Roots. Once when giving my family a tour of his immaculate estate, he lead us into his office. There, perched on a high mahogany desk was a large glass paperweight and encased in it was a can of sardines and a handful of coins. When asked what this was, Alex told of how he wrote the book Roots at a friends’ apartment, on a desk made of a wooden door laid over two saw horses. When he moved out after writing the book, all he had to take with him were the can of sardines and 13 cents. He’d kept them to remind himself of how far he had come.
Let me put it this way. If there is something in you, you’ve got to get it out. No matter what it looks like. No matter if you ever share it or not. So many times, the sharing part paralyzes us. But don’t you know that what is in you will metastasize if you don’t let it out? So stop looking around at what you don’t have and start thinking creatively about what you do have and get what is in you out of you!
Read. Listen. Find some thought leaders who light a fire under you. Expose yourself to others’ work to ignite your creativity. Working in a vacuum doesn’t enflame, encourage or inspire. Engaging with other creatives will lead to growth and change. Remember, your life (and work) goes where your mind goes. Dormant seeds are lying inside of you just waiting to be fertilized, so get near some fertilizer!
Elizabeth Gilbert asks about it this way, “Do you have the courage to bring forth the creative treasures that are hidden within you?” I have to say that when I isolate, I don’t! However, when I am consistent about feeding myself the food of inspiration I need, creativity flows out of me pretty naturally. Follow some blogs, listen on audible, keep some books by all the spots in the house that you might be sitting and turn off the mindless drivel of television and social media. Before you know it, you’ll be bursting with creative ideas.
What if I told you that you don’t need to know the final destination before you take a step? All you need to know is that this place ain’t it. Too many of us forget the joys of risking delight that await us if we will just “walk in the light as the light shines on our path.”
So don’t take up residence at the gate. Don’t set up your permanent address there. Don’t barely survive until Jesus comes. Don’t hide behind being busy. Stop procrastinating. Move forward in the direction of your destiny and be willing to throw everything you are and everything you own at the gate until it comes down.
2020 Copyright by Misty Tolle
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