Ok… now the list generating is happening, (and some may become overwhelmed just at how long this list is becoming but remember it is just a list and a tool… and in a short time things will be crossed off from it :-)); I am going to make a small diversion. I have chosen to do this for a specific purpose.
Now here’s where this exercise gets interesting – because you can choose to either focus just on your creative life – (photography, photo-media or art); or you can choose to broaden this concept and encompass these principles for the whole of your life. You may get to a point where you can’t really discern between the two; and as a reader shared with me last night in an email – she found it difficult to separate her photography and all the “things everywhere in my photography and studio I haven’t got to; and everything else in my life I haven’t done but just keeps sitting there rotting and staring at me.”
Sometimes the reason that everything piles up and there is so much “on your plate unfinished” and you get this feeling of ‘overwhelmingness’ that there is “so much to do and so little time to do it”….. or “Where do I start?” is because perhaps somewhere in your psyche you don’t really know how the things you have all around you unfinished can actually support you to fulfil your goals… or even to contribute to the ‘Big Picture’ of either your ‘Creative Life’ or your life in general.
So simply; there is some form of disconnect between knowing how all the uncompleted things you have on your plate can actually support you to ultimately feeling fulfilled; either creatively or personally.
So, it is time now to take the little diversion; still compiling your list from yesterday’s exercise ; but now really dig deep and ask yourself what you want the ‘Big Picture’ of your ‘Creative Life’ or even the ‘Big Picture’ of your life to be like. Ask yourself what you would really like to have achieved, experienced, learned, shared or felt. What is the core focus or purpose for you doing what you want to do? Create what John Paul Caponigro calls a “Mission for Creative Life”; and I would go even further to say that it would be worthwhile to really ask yourself to come up with your own “Life’s Mission“.
Defining one’s ‘Mission’ whether it be one’s Creative Mission or Life’s Mission is challenging stuff. It requires self-discipline to even make the time to do it! It requires self-committment. It requires a certain level of space to listen to ones inner voice. Meditation may help with this. Writing may help with this. It requires courage to even be honest enough to perhaps realise that the choices you have made have landed you in a place where you don’t really want to be. It requires courage to face the prospect that tough decisions may lie ahead – but that is for later. This step is about just wading through your thoughts and dreams to come up with one phrase or sentence which defines the ‘Big Picture’….. the core focus or purpose for doing what you choose or want to do; in either your creative or personal life.
Creative and Personal Mission statements are often aligned closely with our core values and the sense of our purpose. These Mission statements often last for 5-7 years, and it is a good idea to revisit and refine them every year… just to see if you ‘are on track’ or perhaps you weren’t really able to articulate before what you have clarity about now. One strategy to distil to the essence of what your Mission is, is ask yourself what you want… then ask yourself WHY. Keep going until you have a phrase or one sentence which exemplifies what your mission for your Creative or Personal Life is.
Before you even begin to look at how to achieve your Mission and be well on the way to completing things to open to the new… you will need to identify some Goals…. but that is for the next post! 🙂