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Blooming Blog

Nurture Your Creativity by Doing Nothing!

Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

Isn’t this the most delightful quote? What I love about it is the permission it grants to “do nothing,” not often a perspective relished by modern women. In our society, productivity is clearly more valued than idle time. However, creativity theorists also support the value of idle time in the creative process. Many major discoveries have been recognized after periods of time away from work. Of course, hard work in your creative endeavor is also needed in order to move forward, but knowing when to step back is also a necessary component. This is that “aha” moment that may be familiar to you as you recall a person’s name later in the day after being unable to retrieve it in the moment or unexpectedly solved a vexing problem.

The need for down-time is a new habit that I would encourage you to develop. Not only is this a good practice for your overall health and well-being, but it can also nurture creativity.

Go ahead and take a moment or an afternoon just for you!
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Layer Your Transformation

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. ~Vincent van Gogh

As we begin the New Year, many people may have already dropped their “resolutions” by the wayside however Van Gogh captures the essence of change in this revealing quote. It is not the rapid change that creates lasting results, but rather the adding of one small change on top of the next. By changing a number of small things over time, you are more likely to maintain the changes.

Lasting change is created by layering behavioral, intellectual, and emotional changes. This triad strengthens the change and helps you incorporate it across many areas of your daily life. The phrase “intellectualization” or “rationalization” as one of his defense mechanisms. Although much of Freud’s theory may be out of vogue today, his descriptions of defense mechanisms still ring true.

So if you have “rung in the New Year” with the intent of change by only using your intellect, you are more likely to fail than to succeed – and that may have already happened in these first few weeks of the New Year. If we were able to make lasting changes by only thinking about them or developing insight (understanding) into the “why” of our behaviors, everyone would be able to make lasting changes quite easily. But that is not the case.

To be successful, we also need to address feelings, beliefs, and behavior. Logging is an example of a tool that can be used to facilitate change. It is a simple mechanism of writing down observations about the behavior you want to change. Many studies show the positive impact of change that come from simply writing things down. The mechanism of that change is in its ability to foster transformation across all three areas.

Build up change by addressing small changes and redefining your view of success. Success is built on the foundation of layers and layers of small changes.
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