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Creativity comes when I give it a chance.
We made a mistake when we took responsibility for our creativity.
Now, whenever the results are not as planned, we feel doomed. And if we have succeeded in the past, we torment ourselves with thoughts like, “What if my great success is behind me?”
However, if we assume we are the creative spark, there is no other way of thinking.
In ancient Greece and Rome, people had different views on creativity. They believed that the force behind it was called a genius. People believed that you are not a genius, but you have a genius.
And that distances you from your work so that you can focus on the process, not on the results.
In Roman mythology, “genius” meant a divine spirit associated with a person.
It was seen as a guiding force responsible for a person’s individuality, creativity, and intellect.
Nowadays, when you create something, you are the one who does it. Nothing is protecting you from your work. And the lack of a protective layer drives people to misery.
How can you deal with the fact that, once again, you have created shit? On the other hand, when you create a project that succeeds, it’s all too easy to become convinced of your greatness. Neither of these mindsets is helpful in the long run.
We assume that we are geniuses, and that puts all the responsibility of being a vessel of and the essence of all of the divine creative force.
Let me tell you, this is overwhelming.
Let Your Genius Do The Work
Now, I imagine believing in geniuses is behind us.
But acting in a way they could help is not. The idea of genius is not one I take literally, but it encompasses a way of creating that makes it sustainable. Instead of focusing on a force that guides my actions, I build a process.
Creativity comes when I give it a chance. I have to show up daily, do the work, and sometimes it’s good. Most of the time, it’s not, as you may have experienced already. I don’t care about the source of it, be it my unconscious mind, a genius, or the words of people I have heard over the years. Whatever it is, I need to be ready to channel it.
This way, you work on your part without fixating on the outcome.
The Power of Showing Up
I let the genius do the work by showing up and writing.
The result is outside of my control. I let it be as it is. If it’s not good, I do my best to use the data and improve my process.
The elusive idea of a divine force is left out of my equation.
And the results are still in:
- Less stress,
- Easier writing,
- More fun.
That’s how enjoying the process works.
Having a genius allows focusing on the process. Being a genius is all about the outcomes.
The main difference is the stress that comes from the latter. It’s hard to let go and do your work if you’re responsible for everything. If it’s all on you, it must be perfect. You need to meet your standards.
Fixating on results also blinds us to the joy of creating and building things.
In contrast, when you show up and let the genius do its part, you’re fully present to appreciate your process. Because to show up and do the work, you overcome obstacles.
You snatched time from your busy life to build your dream.
The Joy of Creation
Mastering the process to make space for the creative spirit is rewarding.
Lifting the burden of making your work perfect from your shoulders liberates you. The freedom enables your creativity. When you no longer focus on results, you start living your dream. The creation sustains your need to feel meaning in life.
What’s more, you can experiment with the process.
The lack of stress about the result enables you to try and fail, allowing you to gain priceless experience. You start making the process yours.
A process-oriented mindset is about the joy of the whole hike, not only from achieving the peak.
In conclusion, how we see genius now makes us fixate on the results, which makes us stressed and confined to churning out content instead of creating it with love.
Pushing away the responsibility for outcomes to the outside force reduces the tension. We no longer have to take the full blame or credit for how others received our work. You get space for trial and error because you’re no longer petrified with stress over the outcome.
To host the divine force, guiding spirit, or your unconscious mind, you should show up and do your part. Improve the process and enjoy every step of it.
Let the genius do its part.
Your elusive creative genius by Elizabeth Gilbert
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