Inspired by “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love”.
I believe we are all designed, destined to succeed in this world. Doing what we love. Doing what we are passionate about. Doing something that we are passionately curious. Something, we lose track of time, doing. I believe that is what life has in store for all of us. No exception.
We might be passionately curious about absolutely anything.
Creative life is not only limited to life of an artist, or life of a musician, or writer or anyone, whose “job” implies pursuit of some kind of art form.
I truly believe that all entrepreneurs, business owners are creative people. That all professions can be creative ones. It’s not about what we do, when we start living our creative lives, it’s about how we do it. How we approach it. With what mindset. What we put into it.
We can live a creative life being a cook, a sales person, a janitor, an employee in a big corporation, a banker, a driver — anything. And we can excel at anything and make a good living out of it. As long as we don’t settle for being anything less than extraordinary at what we do.
Of course, we are not going to make a lot of money, if we decide to become a janitor for life truly enjoying the occupation. But a lot of professions and occupations don’t have much of a limit, when it comes to our earnings. It all depends what kind of energy and quality we are ready to deliver, what kind of efforts we are ready to put in. How much work we are ready to put in.
I believe that, if we truly want and ready to go for it, putting all our heart and energy into pursuit of what we love, we will succeed. Period. For all of us success is a different thing. For some, it’s certain amount of money in the bank, to pursue bigger goals, to enjoy living on a certain level, some of us are just more ambitious, and there is nothing wrong about it. For others, it’s not about the money at all. It’s about peaceful living, enjoying every moment of life, doing what brings us pleasure — and that’s ok too.
Recently I read the book by Elizabeth Gilbert. An amazing book on creativity and creative life! “Big Magic: Creative Life Beyond Fear“. One of my favorites, that I will for sure re-read not one time. Just like “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron or Austin Kleon’s books: “Steal like an Artist” and “Show Your Work”.
I absolutely loved the book! BUT. I did not like, that there was so much negativity coming through, almost making us believe, that when we decide to dedicate our life to some creative/artistic pursuit, we almost certainly will go through hell, lots of suffering and deprivation. We would have to sacrifice a lot to pursue our creativity. I’m sure, it was Liz’s best intention to caution us, that things will not always go smooth exactly, and there will be unexpected, not always pleasant surprises on the way.
Even though in the book Elizabeth talks about the way of a martyr VS. the way of a trickster to live our creative lives. Even though she says, we shouldn’t kill ourselves over our art and make it the most important thing in our life, be too serious about it, we shouldn’t take on the mentality, that believes in order to create a great art we got to suffer a lot. We should be more playful with our creativity and approach the whole creative process as a game, experiment. Try things we are curious about and see what happens, giving our all to our creative pursuits.
Even though she talks about all that, there is a red line going through the whole book. We can’t ignore, it makes me feel depressed about the whole idea of creative living. Elizabeth talks about, how we shouldn’t expect the thing we love the most to pay our bills, how it might never happen, and how creativity doesn’t really know the language of money, and doesn’t care about it, when it trusts us with some great ideas to pursue. She talks how to be truly free in our creative pursuits, we very often got to have a day job, or something else on the side, as a safety net, to put the stress away, while pursuing our true passions.
And I agree, sometimes, for some of us, it’s necessary. It might be the only way. But I also think there is a place for pursuing our passion 100%, giving it 100% of us, because we freaking love it so much. There is a place for belief, for faith, that we will succeed as creative artists in life, we will be happy, and we will succeed financially. As Julia Cameron says in her book “The Artist’s Way”, we don’t have to be starving artists, and there are more and more examples these days of people living their passion 100 % and being successful without too much drama in their life. Too much suffering. Sacrifices.
Yes, creative living, and all the assignments and projects life will give us, when we start living creative life, will be pretty scary, outside of our comfort zone, something that we haven’t done before and gives us no guarantees for any kind of recognition or success (but what does give any guarantees these days anyway?). But for the most part people, who pursue their passion, go full speed after it, believing they deserve to succeed and they will, for them it happens. They do succeed big time. The only way we will not become successful is, if we give up, when we choose to stop our pursuit.
Creative life, life of an artist is exactly what we think of it, what we believe we deserve, or what it should be like. If we believe, we deserve success and ready to work for it with our whole heart and soul — we’ll get it, we’ll succeed, no matter what success means for you. Yeah, we’ll have to eat our portion of “shit sandwiches”, as Liz calls them, on our way, but we will get them, no matter what we pursue, because only the things that challenge us make us grow, make us better, make us who we want to be. Any entrepreneur eats their share of shit sandwiches, any employee, anyone. When we start to grow, expand, improve our life. And what makes a difference, what differentiate people who reach their goals from the ones who don’t — persistence. Dedication. Willingness to learn, willingness to embrace challenges with the heart wide open and hands ready to work. The Universe, Life, it will always take care of us, and give us exactly what we believe we deserve.
I personally decided to live the exact life I want, no compromises, chasing my passions, going after things I’m curious about. Full Time. Full Speed. Yes, I get my handful of “shit sandwich” experiences. Man, I lost count of them long time ago! But I also get so much good stuff! Stuff, that makes me believe in miracles. And the more I pursue my heart desires, the more I am willing to surrender to whatever life has in store for me, the more I am willing to accept the uncertainty in my life and face the challenges life puts in front of me — the luckier I get, the more support from people and the Universe I get, the better my work flows. It works like magic.
Like “Big Magic”.
I might not have achieved things that I want to achieve just yet. I might not be in a place in life where I want to be. I haven’t reached my success yet, but I’m on my way. And it’s fun. And life gives me so much goodness to garnish my shit sandwiches, that now I kinda don’t even notice the taste of shit.
It’s all a matter of perspective.
As long as I’m learning. As long as I’m growing. As long as I’m showing up to do the work. Fully. Unconditionally. Passionately. Giving my all to it. As long as I do all that — it all works out and Big Magic happens, moving me forward, moving me towards my dreams.
Creative life, life of an artist, no matter what kind of artist, can be fun, can be joyful, can be abundant. Emotionally, spiritually and financially. It can give more than we will ever wish for. We just got to stop playing the role of a sufferer, stop playing sacrifice game and start saying “YES!” to all the goodness life has in store for ALL OF US! There is no limit. No lack. Everyone CAN and MUST be a SUCCESS.