Fasting

My 30 Day Personal Development Blog Fast

For the next 30 days, I will not be reading any personal development blogs. Similarly, I will not touch any books that are also of that nature.

The Quest for Creativity

I’m fasting to see if I become more creative when my mind is not muddled with the ideas of others. Instead of putting spins on topics that other people have mentioned in blog posts or books, I wonder what my life would be like if I thought of how to navigate my life on my own.

In the past, I’ve quit creativity-sapping habits like watching TV and talking on the phone. By shedding the time I spent on these things, I freed up significant blocks of time.

There’s no doubt that personal development blogs have so much to offer when it comes to learning from other peoples’ mistakes, or producing a shift in your mindset–letting you know that you don’t have to conform to expectations.

This is the most empowering aspect of having a collective idea-sharing engine like the blogosphere: you can build upon other peoples’ ideas, tear them down, or offer up your own new insights.

For the next 30 days, I’m going to focus on the latter: producing my own new insights within the personal development field.

It’s a bold challenge–I know.

It’s going to be weird–I know.

But that’s why I’ve got to try. Maybe by removing the temptation to feed off of others’ ideas, I can free myself up to produce more quality information that is inherently me.

 

Have you ever tried anything like this? How did the process go for you? Share in the comments–I love hearing from you!

League of Creatives

How to Join the Extraordinary League of Creative People

I’ve known some people to write off creative work as something unsubstantial. As not real work.

I call bull on that.

The work of an artist, musician, writer, actor, is the lifeblood of entertainment, of inspiration, of feeling.

The world needs your creative vision, and if you’re unsure of how to go about securing a place as a creative person, then I have a few quick and dirty tips for you below.

Spout nonsense until gold comes out

Just keep creating even if your creations aren’t yielding ideal results because one day you’ll come out with something that pleases you. The effort that you spend now working on your craft will not have been wasted when you find that nugget of gold waiting between two mountains of crap.

 

Mind your own work

You’ll likely be more respected and will finish more work if you don’t pay mind to the opinions of others. If you’re continuously wondering whether you’re accepted as a creative person, it will damage your ability to produce creative work.

And a note about competition: it’s great for business but bad for the soul. When you compare yourself with others in the same creative field you could lose sight of why that work was important to you in the first place.

Once, I got so caught up with how awesome this one guy’s site was that I forgot to acknowledge how far I’d come with my own website designing knowledge.

That obsession set me back in my own creative work.

 

Seek help and build a community

Ask for help when you’re stuck. The people who are there to offer helpful and positive advice are supporters of creativity. They are your community.

You can accomplish grand feats with your community behind you. They will cheer you on when you’re on fire—and even when you’re not. Join your mind with the minds of others in your community and see what you can come up with.

The bottom line is: If you realize that you’re creative, then you’re creative.

But it must start with you.

Wisdom I’ve Gained from Photography

Preparation

When you carry your camera around everywhere you go, the ability for you to take amazing photos increases by 100%.

Play around with manual settings even if you have a completely digital, mostly automatic camera. You’ll learn to control environmental lighting better than someone with an auto setting could ever hope to achieve.


Environment

The right lighting makes all the difference. Sunny weather is not the best lighting recommendation. The brightness can deter artistically placed shadows and contrast in your photos, making them flat and uninteresting.

Try to capture photos in natural light, but if that isn’t possible or desired, then try making your own light box.

 

Approach

Quantity leads to quality. When you take enough pictures, there are always a few that stand out spectacularly against the rest. These are the truly artistic, professional-looking shots.

Exercise: If you’re not convinced that quantity will do the trick, just try it out for yourself. Take 300 pictures and review them. A few pictures will very likely pop and capture your interest longer than the rest. Those are the winners.

 

Style

There is an assortment of cameras out there to choose from, but the best will always be what you’re comfortable with. It’s great to be so familiar with your camera that you can just whip it out and shoot the perfect moment.

You’ll learn that certain types of shots are your favorite. I particularly enjoy shooting flowers, landscapes, and portraits. My sister, on the other hand, once told me she prefers low-light photos.

 

Why Take Photos?

Some people do it to capture memories and record the progression of life.

Some do it for artistic purposes – to share the beauty of the world with others.

What’s your reason?

Feel free to share ideas you have in the comments section below.

Channel Your Innermost Creativity

How do you turn an independent project into something impressively unique? If it is to come off as genuinely creative and inspiring, it has got to move beyond a resurrection of material from the echo chamber; it must come freely from one’s thoughts.

But how does one tap into the infinite resource of our creative mind?


Before You Begin:

Forget Limits and Suggestions

First off, we can’t allow someone else to tell us how to complete said creative act. For them to tell us would be for us to have our creativity wiped. There is no meaning behind creativity that was forced into existence. Understand that you can follow rules to complete your project, but you will score extra brownie points if you somehow break the idea of “standard.” Following your intuition as guidance will be your best bet to ultimate creativity because the decisions and consequently the outcome will come directly from you. At the core of your being lies endless imagination.

Hold Your Own Standards

Letting another person dictate what level you should be working at will cause you to sell yourself short. You’ll likely compromise your best work for a lower level of output. It’s also a good tip not to analyze your competition. Often, in the process of comparing their past work to your future work it’s easy to forget what your original ideas were. Hold back your mind from exploring the works of others and you’ll see a better result – one that isn’t tainted with outright plagiarism.

The Process:

Let Your Idea Develop

Give it room to grow. Your idea is a subset of you – a special part of your life that you are giving form to. If you treat it as a division of yourself then you are more likely to incorporate more meaning and functionality into it. Don’t hold back either. We need the world to see you – to gain a refreshing new perspective because you have imparted your influence.

Envision the End Product

Imagine your idea fully presented in all its glory. When you do this, your brain subconsciously wants to partner with you to make the idea a reality. This easily sets you up for success. Now that you know where you want to go, you can form a path to get there.

Blazing the Path

Next you will need to create the path that will lead you from a simple creative thought to a fully developed implementation of the idea. Begin by writing down all the elements, steps, resources you think you’ll need. It’s better to have things on paper because then your mind doesn’t need to focus on everything at once. You can empty your brain and then take a look at the whole.

During this process, engage every resource that you have at your fingertips. If that doesn’t work, ask the people at your fingertips who they have at their fingertips. See how far you can cast your net. Be unafraid to ask for help from others. As long as you’ve been pleasant company and are willing to aid others in their quests, they should have no problem doing the same. Just don’t be one of those people who only want friendship when they need help.

Once you understand your steps and have secured your mentors/resources/tools, you’re able to go to work on your idea.

Seeing it Through

Sure, you may have a million and one creative ideas at your disposal, but seeing them through will fuel your motivation to implement other ideas. If you know you can finish and successfully test out one, you’ll have more confidence to try your hand at another.

Notice Patterns of Creativity

Although most of the creation should take place internally first, there is an exception – inspiration. Recognize and analyze the innovators in your industry or area of expertise. What are they doing on a regular basis that allows them to have the confidence to pull off creative endeavors? How can you learn from them?