Gratitude. It’s a seemingly simple concept. Be grateful for the things you have or are given. It almost seems like it would be difficult not to be grateful when something good happens or someone shows you a kindness and, yet, sometimes we get so wrapped up in our pursuit of creativity that we forget to stop and simply be grateful. Take my word for it. Stop. Appreciate all the good things and the generosity you’ve been shown and everything will almost immediately feel – and get – better.
- You’ll enjoy yourself more
At its best, developing your creativity comes slowly with relatively little proof of progress for a very long time. In the absence of that major creative breakthrough, it’s up to you to find the good in the little things. A comment by a colleague in appreciation of your creative effort would be a good example. If you’re going to – and we all do – take the less than flattering comments to heart, then please remember to take the compliments to heart, too. It’s a long road to consistent creative confidence so stopping to smell the roses will make that road a much more pleasant one to travel.
- More opportunities will come your way
I know this seems a little mystical but the energy you put out in the world is tangible. If you’re brought in on a creative project and you make sure to express your appreciation for your collaborator’s work and talent, not only will you be more likely to get another opportunity to work with that person but you’ll also be an easy recommendation for another creative project when the opportunity presents itself.
- Your reputation will precede you
OK, this one’s personal so bear with me. I’ve been a songwriter for a long time (if you consider writing songs for thirty-plus years as “long”) and over the years I’ve developed a reputation as an expert in the field. As a result, I would guess I receive a dozen or so requests a week via email or my website asking for help on a songwriting related topic. It’s a point of pride that I read – and respond – to every single request. I like doing it and I know how good it feels to hear back from someone in the industry given how few and far between those responses can be. Thinking back to when I was starting out, I still remember exactly how good it felt when my call or email was answered.
Now to my point… I can’t help but notice how few of the people who have asked me for help actually take a moment to send a thank you email in return after I’ve responded to their questions. I won’t even try to guess why this is but I will tell you that it makes me appreciate the grateful replies that much more. On your creative journey, connecting with those who are more experienced and able to help will be much easier if you remember that everyone likes to be appreciated.
We all know developing creative skills is a challenge. That being said, why not avoid the low-hanging fruit of complaining about it or, worse yet, letting it affect your work. Take time to be grateful for the good things and the kindnesses along the way and you’ll be amazed at how your creativity will flourish.
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