Being creative can take hours and hours of processing. From the millions of dreams and ideas that visit us, to the woes of getting them all done; we’re constantly in a state of flux and abandon.
We get stuck sometimes. Harboring on negative thoughts and wishing for change, we often miss opportunities to create beautiful things simply in the name of creation.
I’ve found myself doing this a million times over. While most of us enjoy the process of creating; structure is just as necessary to help us progress towards the life we desire.
My first step, was to create an idea wall. It stemmed from a personal need to create a visual place to see my thoughts and analyze what to do with them. I separated my wall into different areas based on what I think about all day. If I were to sit down and take inventory of my mind, these are the things I spend all day trying to figure out: dreams, goals, and ideas.
Dreams are the things that seem impossible but are possible simply because they lie within you. Dreams are often the things you keep to yourself for fear that you’d be laughed at or criticized. Dreams can be as ethereal as “I want to get paid 100,000 to do what I love” or as specific as “I want to speak on stage at Madison Square Garden.”
Dreams play a special role in our lives. They give us something to look forward to. Something to fantasize about. Something to aspire for. Having a place for dreams is important because it reminds you that this is not the end, and you can still do whatever you desire.
If you’re stuck in a rut or just down on yourself, take some time to dream. REALLY DREAM. Let your mind go crazy. Think of those things you wouldn’t dare say out loud because they seem too big. Sit on the couch. Stand and post notes on your wall. Write in your notebook. Wherever it is you record these dreams, make sure you do it as often as you need. It’s a subtle and tangible reminder that you’re headed somewhere and you wont stop until you get there.
Our goals should be (could be), directly aligned with our dreams. If the dream is to speak on stage for the rest of your life, the goal would be to create something that will allow you to do so.
Goals are weird. Sometimes we reach them, sometimes we don’t, but we seem to constantly set them anyway. Sometimes I wonder and ask myself why we create goals in the first place. It often seems worthless. What I've found, is that setting these goals in front of me on a wall where I’ll see them often, helps me prioritize them and cross them off once they’re done. They’re no longer in my head crowding my thoughts AND I feel much more accomplished and confident once I accomplish them.
I set a few yearly goals, a few monthly, weekly, and daily practices I can incorporate that will HELP me get to a place. As most of us learned in schools, goals need to be SMART, but they also need to align and be related to where we’re going. They need to align with the life we desire to have and they need to challenge us to work hard while also considering the reality of where we are.
Take some time to set some goals. Write a book. Write a story. Paint a picture. Make a mixtape. Call the people. Get the gym membership. Whatever the goal is, put it up there on the wall and make sure it aligns with the person you want to be.
Ideas are tricky. According to one of my favorite authors Elizabeth Gilbert, ideas fly around us all the time and it’s our job to catch them before they flutter on to someone else. Whether you believe in that theory or not, ideas come and go constantly and often times, they can overwhelm us if we aren’t sure which ones to choose.
This is where the idea wall comes in. A wall of ideas is like a creatives playground. If you’re like me and come up with a new idea every minute, this wall is a great place to put them and decide whether to turn them into goals and or put them in the trash. If we are following Liz Gilbert’s theory, the idea will find a home with someone else anyway.
The idea wall is specific to you. Write them on a sticky note and shoot them up there in their own space. You can categorize them or keep them all in one place depending on how you think and what you like.
Get crazy with your ideas, let them go from really big, to really small. The more you spend time with them, the more you’ll find a space right in the middle where you can decipher if they’re ideas worth pursuing, ideas for a later time, or ideas for another person to pursue.
You can start anywhere, but the best place to start is with what you have. Start with what’s in your mind right now. Whether it’s all ideas, all dreams, or all goals. Once you put them on paper or sticky notes or whatever and get them up on the wall, you can start sifting through and find your place within it all.