I love basketball. I’ve played my entire life.
When I was younger, it was all I would do. I would practice every single day. Not because I had to…I wanted to. I loved practice because practice meant I got to play. When I got to play, those practices would give me confidence to know what I could accomplish.
Being creative follows the same practice. I love art, artists, and creativity. I want it to be part of every aspect of my life. Now I get to practice it every day and I love it because it means that I get to be around art, artists, and creativity all the time. When I get in a meeting, I have the confidence to know what our team can accomplish.
But how do we practice creativity?
- Read – Read articles, magazines, blogs, books, fiction, non-fiction, the bible – anything we can get our hands on. Ingesting helps us stretch our creativity.
- Listen – Listen to music, messages, podcasts, radio, talk radio, or speeches. Try different music. Commit to new music. New music is released on Tuesdays. That’s a great day to commit to only listening to new music and none of your “normal” music. Sometimes, however, having a throwback day where you only listen to old music will insight a completely different set of emotions.
- Start – Start writing your book or your song. Start filming something that could become a movie. Start a project that is way too big for you to accomplish and requires you to live audaciously. Start a journal. Design something that’s not for a project or a client. Starting something changes everything.
- Watch – Watch videos online. Go to a movie. Check something out on Netflix. Sit at a park and watch people or go to the mall and sit in the food court.
- Surf – Surf the net looking for things that might inspire you. See what people in other fields or industries are creating. How can those innovations work in your environments?
- Speak – Have conversations with people who inspire or challenge you. Talk to someone you don’t know. Get involved in a conversation with someone who thinks different than you. Conversations can often challenge us to change how we think or stretch what we consider “right.”
- Be aware – Take a walk. Get in nature. Be amazed by the art that lives and grows around us.
- Change – Change your space. Change your routine. Do something different. Take a different route home.
- Experiment – Try to do what you normally do, but commit to not doing it using the same tools, tricks, or crutches you normally use. Try to accomplish something amazing with a different set of boundaries and tools.
- Be coachable – Without staying committed to being coachable, we start to believe our own height. Tiger Woods has a coach. Michael Jordan had a coach. Coaches see things we’re doing wrong and help us get better. Coaches understand the plan and accept the challenge of pulling the best out of us. Good coaches challenge us to do what we may not even believe is possible. Find a coach, submit to their leadership, and watch yourself get better every day!
To become our best, we have to practice the fundamentals. Practice is dirty, sweaty, and sometimes painful. It takes intentionality and requires commitment and discipline. You may think you don’t have time to practice because you’re so busying doing your job but, if you believe that lie, you will never improve. As an artist, it’s vital you are constantly evolving and growing. When you stop growing, your art begins to get stale.
You and your art are so important. To accomplish the dreams and goals you have, it’s important to be committed to your craft. Do the drills. Run the sprints. Practice your butt off because we need your art to make us all better and to change how people think about what you do!