Vision, Creativity & Productivity

Posted on Jun 11, 2012

What kinds of thoughts are occupying your mind today? If you were to take 30 seconds now, could you retrace your mental navigation over the past five minutes? Are your thoughts worth the space they’re using in your mind? Are they paying the rent? Or are they costing you your full sense of aliveness?

Today’s post is the second in my June series on making productivity fun again.

Last week we talked about taking time out for yourself in order to reconnect with what’s really important to you. I asked you to choose one thing you long to do when you’re caught up in urgency, schedule it and do it. How did that go? Did you manage it? If not, take five minutes now to go back to the June 4 post and do that before you move on to this week’s post.

From taking time out, now we move on to…

Step 2:  Reconnect with your vision, and hold it lightly.

What is this thing we call a ‘vision’? Every explorer – whether geographical, scientific or entrepreneurial – starts with a theory, an expectation or an idea. But the way you envision an outcome is not always the way things turn out in the end. Columbus did not find land where he expected it. Edison’s first thousand light bulbs were failures.

Disappointments come in all shapes and sizes:

  • Maybe you’ve lost or are threatened with losing your job.
  • Maybe the love of your life has suddenly become a stranger.
  • Maybe your once-loving teenager now wants nothing to do with you.

But the emptiness you feel when your dream does not come true is the container into which life’s creative energy can flow, if you stay open to other possibilities.

Take a moment, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and think about one breakdown in your life – one situation in your life where things aren’t working out the way you want them to.

  • Describe the issue in one sentence.
  • Then write a sentence or two about how you thought it would be.
  • Remember the feeling you had before the breakdown occurred, when your vision was still pure possibility.
  • Reconnect with what you saw then, and write your thoughts and feelings.
  • Now name three other possible ways this vision might have unfolded, other than the way it did.

How you respond when things don’t turn out they way you think ‘they’re supposed to’ not only determines your level of productivity, but your enjoyment of the ride.

I can’t tell you how many times in my life I have started out at Point A, clearly on my way to Point B, when halfway there Point C appeared on the horizon. The moment when I have realized it was to Point C where I was headed all the time, I am suddenly at home in my life. When I’ve been willing to hold my original vision lightly, the detour was in fact better than the plan.

Stay tuned in June.

Throughout the month of June, I will cover one of these four steps every Monday in The Wheel of Creativity blog. Join me for the rest of the month for actions designed to give you insights into the issues you face in your life today.

If there are specific issues you’d like me to address… please post them here or on the Wheel of Creativity Facebook page.

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