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Maintain the Energy to Create
What’s your creative regimen?
“Creativity is the result of practice,” he says. “Creativity is the result of intentional play. It's the result of discipline. When you talk about it that way, it doesn't really sound as sexy, I think to a lot of people. But that's the reality of it. If you want to have the energy to be able to be creative, you need to build rhythms and disciplines and practices and a regimen in your life, in which that creativity can occur.”
Watch the video to hear from Todd about maintaining the energy to create, especially through the act of pruning.
- Make scheduled time for creative work.
- Take unnecessary commitments off your calendar.
- Leave space for innovation and inspiration.
I think it was W. Somerset Maugham who said, "I only write when I'm inspired. But fortunately, to me, inspiration strikes every single morning at 8 a.m." Right? Because that's when he would sit down to write. And I think we have to keep that same mindset in our lives.
Now, part of that maintaining energy is about pruning. It's about ensuring that we're pruning things from our lives that are prohibiting us from engaging fully and freely and creatively in our life, which means pruning unnecessary problems that we don't need to think about anymore, pruning unnecessary commitments.
So, a question that we can ask ourselves when you look at your task list, look at your meeting schedule, look at all of the commitments in your life and ask yourself, "Which of these things is good, but no longer necessary?" Sometimes good things need to die, so something better can be born. It's in the white space that creativity and innovation happens. It's in the gaps in between. To maintain your energy for creativity, really what you need to do is carve out space. Carve out white space.
In the vineyard, one of the primary roles of the vine keeper is to regularly prune the vine of new areas of growth. Perfectly good fruit. Why would you prune perfectly good fruit off of a growing vine? Isn't that the goal of the vine? Well yeah, but a good vine keeper knows if you don't prune some of that fruit on a consistent basis, then it will begin to steal resources from the older, more mature fruit-bearing parts of the vine. And over time, the entire vine will succumb to systemic mediocrity because it's not wired to bear that much fruit. There aren't enough resources to go around, to bear that much good fruit.
That's how we maintain our energy. Is by discipline, by regimen, and by continuous pruning so that we're creating the space in our life that we need to dedicate our resources to. Those very important projects.
Todd Henry teaches leaders and organizations how to establish practices that lead to everyday brilliance. He is the author of four books—The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, Louder Than Words and Herding Tigers—which have been translat...
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