Welcome to the fourth and final part of The Art of Taking Action series, in which I share a few other ideas from the book I found useful – from Krech and a few of the other contributors.
In part one I wrote about the central ideas in the book The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology, by Gregg Kech, in part two we explored musician Shinichi Suzuki’s thoughts on procrastination and part three considered the stress of not getting things done.
This time, I’ve collected some more of the best ‘notes and quotes’ in a wee magazine for you – just click the link below to view it in your browser.
Read ‘The Art of Taking Action: Quotes and Notes
By the way, I first heard about Gregg Krech on my friend Greg Berg’s excellent podcast Life on Purpose, and today I found out that he’s returned to the show to record another fascinating conversation – both are essential listening for anyone who has found this series helpful.
If you don’t like the magazine format, read on below as usual!
A bit of faith, every day. And I can be happy.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to hold myself to high standards, and often fall short of them.
I want to practice positive habits every day and am pleased when I manage it for a reasonable stretch. But not accepting that I am human, and flawed, and will inevitably fall short of my own ideals – that’s perfectionism, and it’s counter-productive to happiness.
Do you know what your life’s work is?
It’s a daunting concept, isn’t it? But wouldn’t it be nice to take it into your own hands, rather than rely on other people’s permission!
There’s only one issue: how do we take our life’s work into our own hands if we don’t know what it is? For most of us, it only become clear one piece at a time, as we progress through life – like a very long and complicated jigsaw puzzle.
Your Hard Work Isn’t Wasted
If you’re creative but feel like success has so far eluded you, it’s important not to forget or discount the things you’ve already done.
Even if they don’t feel like things that would impress anyone else, they’re part of what has made you what you are now. Everything you’ve done has contributed to your unique mixture of knowledge and skills.
None of your hard work is ever really wasted – unless you decide to disregard it.
One of the big things we need to overcome as creative professionals are self-limiting beliefs around money. In my experience, we all have them.
Clear-minded Creativity is possible, if you’re willing to work at it. The fact is though, it’s a work in progress, not a permanent state of mind.
Most importantly though, and here is the real secret to being a Clear-Minded Creative – you cannot do it alone. Neither can I, or anyone else.
Main photo: Pierre Wolfer (Creative Commons)
Being creative is in many ways about having a voice and wanting to express ourselves. We all have a unique perspective, and we can share that with the world through our creativity.
Don’t underestimate how important it is that you do this.
One of my favourite autobiographies is “Things the Grandchildren Should Know” by Mark Oliver Everett who is the main man behind the band Eels.
Society expects us to decide definitively what we want to do with our lives by the time we leave school, or university.
But being a ‘Clear-Minded Creative’ doesn’t mean you know exactly what you’re doing. That wouldn’t be very interesting!
It means you accept that you may never know – but that you keep trying and experimenting anyway.
In James Altucher’s entertaining book How to be the Luckiest Person Alive, he suggests a daily practice which he claims will dramatically improve your life:
- Physical – exercise enough to break a sweat for 10 minutes (probably 20-30 minutes of movement a day in total) – he also says it’s essential to sleep for 8 hours (9pm-5am), and suggests no eating after 5:30pm
- Emotional – cut people out of your life who drag you down, and always be honest (without being hurtful).
- Mental – exercise the idea muscle – come up with a list of ideas every day
- Spiritual – at least one of the following: pray, meditate, practice gratitude, practice forgiveness, study spiritual texts.
Altucher says that any time he feels things are going downhill in his life, it’s because he let this practice slip.
I agree with most of what he suggests, but of course we all have our own priorities. So here is my own list of things that help me ‘refresh my mindset’ in the hope that you’ll also find it useful.