Creativity is the latest buzzword of success literature. When you hear the word Creativity, where does your mind take you next? The professional world of the Arts? The hobby you pursue on the weekend? Perhaps you think of problem solving, or creativity and innovation in business. But, beneath all these external applications, I say Creativity is the gem of humanity, buried in the bedrock of our lives. It is up to us to dig it up and put it to use, in whatever ways our lives require.
This morning, I had a chat with my lifelong friend Faber about Jay Levinson’s new Guerrilla Marketing book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green. Faber credited Levinson’s first book, published in 1984, with much of his business success. What he shared next was so on-target, I had to share it with you.
First you have to know a little something about Faber. Faber and I both grew up in Houston, Texas and met as children at school. In his 20s, Faber established a drilling equipment and wholesale manufacturing company, which he continued to manage while he returned to school for his law degree. At the ripe old age of 44, he sold the business and retired with his wife Sandy and their three children to a 200-acre farm in South Central Texas. My husband and I began our married life there in a grove of old Bois d’Arc trees, which still ground us today.
Faber knows the difference between business success and success in life. After mentioning Levinson’s book, Faber added: “But the best business advice I ever got was from my father: ‘Be available and be competent.’” Faber said his father had taught him three things from childhood, which have morphed through the course of his life into this:
- Learn something from everyone you meet (even if it’s what you don’t want to be like).
- Every human contact is a chance for courtesy or conflict. Choose courtesy.
- Live your life by exercising the 7 virtues:
- Prudence. Think through your words and actions first.
- Justice. Do the right thing.
- Temperance. Control your appetites. Moderation in all things.
- Courage. Never give up.
- Faith. Be willing to have confidence in the unseen.
- Hope. Never despair. God has a path and a journey for you.
- Love. Love selflessly, expecting nothing back.
Through many years, I have watched Faber create a successful life, using these principles; but business is only a part of that. He and Sandy have sent three creative children into the world. As well as playing the bagpipes and guitar, Faber is also proficient in Spanish, ancient Greek and Gaellic. He keeps a small herd of cattle on his land, and grows organic wheat to feed them, experimenting with other crops to learn what the land will produce in his county. Sandy raises exotic chickens and owns a thriving Antique Emporium in their town of Navasota. They both serve their small community with love, in personal and nontraditional ways.
Faber and Sandy might not make page one on a Google search for Creativity, but they certainly live creative lives. And success, as they define it, has been the byproduct of their choices.
Creativity is more than any of its applications. Sometimes Creativity is invisible, embedded in the structure of our lives without appearing obvious on the surface. It is certainly a way of life and an essential element of successful life.
Where is it buried in you?