But, I’m not talking about the paint-like-Picasso kind of creativity. I’m looking more at the aspect that helps us solve problems, engage in life, live our purpose, deal with challenges, and thrive despite troubling times. I’m talking about the kind of creativity that helps sculpt a life.
Don’t worry, you’ve got this kind of creativity in you too. You can create the life you desire. You can recycle a good day from one that started off in the dumpster. But most of us don’t do this. We cope, instead of create. We get by, wait and see, respond to life rather than engage, participate, and leap into life.
Take this quickie true and false quiz to find out whether you’re a creator or coper.
Coper or Creator
1. You usually wait to see what others are going to do before making a decision.
2. You’re working with a bucket list – things you’d like to do before you die – and you’re confident you’ll make them happen no matter the circumstances.
3. You never get too excited about anything so you don’t feel disappointed when things don’t go your way.
4. You believe it’s important to give up on your dreams and goals if the experts tell you it’s unlikely you’ll achieve them.
5. You believe that you’ll find a way to manage and cope with any situation that arises.
6. You know that change and uncertainty are part of life so you’re willing to make adjustments as you go to have the life you desire.
7. If others have a strong opinion about what you should do you usually go along with them. It just makes life easier.
If you answered true to questions 1, 3, 4, 7 you tend toward coping, getting by, going with the flow to avoid trouble or disappointment. True answers to questions 2, 5, and 6 indicate you are actively creating your life.
The difference is subtle. Look at questions four and six for example. There are times when it’s wise for all of us to adjust our approach, shift our mindset. There are times when we may opt out of one goal because another, more important one, takes root. There are plenty of times when the opinions of others can provide us important information.
But, creating a life rather than coping with life is more about action and attitude. When you are creating your life, you are conscious and aware and engaged. You have little time for worry. You know challenge and change and uncertainty are part of the deal, so you flex and move to accommodate whatever comes. You listen to what others say and then you go within to hear those inner voices. Then you pursue what is right and unique to you — even if it’s messy or illogical.
When you allow those external forces to victimize you, when you quit on something that matters to you because it becomes inconvenient or hard – then you are coping. When you lament and complain about the difficulties rather than looking for the meaning and gifts within, you are coping. When you most often plan ahead rather than live in the present, you are coping. You are responding primarily to outside circumstances rather than your own passion, purpose or spirit.
Thing is, you can choose, in any moment to be a creator rather than a coper. You can choose to take inspired action. You can choose to experience disappointment without being derailed by it. You can choose to make decisions about how to feel, how to work, how to live. You don’t have to stick to the familiar. You don’t have to do things because you ought to or because your people have always done it this way. You can, at any moment, change a bad habit for a better one. You can choose to experience, shape, and engage in the moments of your life – to be a creator. Or you can simply respond to what others offer up.
Which will you choose today, right now, in this moment?
Photo b: Stock.xchng