April 14, 2021

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There are two kinds of benefits you will receive from participating in The Year of Living Creatively. First, you'll make major progress on a passionate project of yours that needs a benevolent jolt. And second, you'll develop the kind of skills, mindset, and mojo you'll need to succeed with any creative project of yours in the future.

What follows are the ten qualities you will develop during your two-month participation in The Year of Living Creatively.

1. CURIOSITY: Curiosity is the driving force behind all human development. When a person is on fire with a desire to learn, discover, and explore, whole new worlds open up to them -- especially the inner world of creativity. Simply put, The Year of Living Creatively has been designed to fan the flames of curiosity -- providing participants with the kind of wake up call that animates the deep-seated quest for knowledge, know how, and understanding.

2. CLARITY: The creative process is often an unsettling experience. Doubt, ambiguity, and confusion come with the territory and often, in such degrees, that aspiring innovators can easily lose their way. The Year of Living Creatively program not only helps participants see the light at the end of their tunnel, it illuminates the path that leads to the end of the tunnel. Eyes open. Minds open. Hearts open.

3. COURAGE: It's what the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz needed and it's what all aspiring innovators need, as well -- the inner strength to venture, persevere, and go beyond fear. The root of the word courage comes from the Latin "cor", which translates as "heart". Year of Living Creatively participants are encouraged, in many different ways, to not only come from the heart, but also get to "the heart of the matter" -- the essence of who they are and why they want to create in the first place.

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4. CONFIDENCE: One of Big Bad Wolves on the path of creative expression is doubt -- the feeling of uncertainty and lack of conviction that robs a person of their precious life force. Everyone, at some time in their life, feels doubt. Everyone. But doubt increases a thousandfold when we attempt to go beyond the status quo and create something extraordinary. That's when confidence is especially needed -- the recognition that not only do we have the potential to succeed, we have the right. The Year of Living Creatively is designed to radically increase confidence -- not by pep talks, hype, and hustle, but by helping participants access the part of themselves that knows that anything is possible.

5. CREATIVITY: If you google "definitions of creativity" you will get 49,900,000 references. Here are 15 of them in case you're interested. But it really doesn't matter how you define creativity. What matters is that you live it -- that your thoughts, actions, and intentions are infused with it. The Year of Living Creatively is all about what it takes to create. Every process, exercise, conversation, Facebook post, Zoom call, brainstorm, and reading is designed to unleash creativity. We don't teach it. We don't need to. You already have it. We just make it infinitely more accessible to you.

6. COMMITMENT: Michelangelo may have said it best when he uttered these four words: "Genius is infinite painstaking." It took this extraordinary artist four years to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It took J.K Rowling seven years to go from her idea of Harry Potter to the published book. It took Tolkien 16 years to write the Lord of the Rings. What did all these people have in common? Commitment. Major Commitment. And this is one of great gifts of The Year of Living Creatively. It increases commitment.

7. COMMUNITY: The creative process is full of paradoxes, contradictions, and polarities. For example, on one end of the spectrum, creative people need lots of solitude. On the other end, especially during these isolating days of the Coronavirus, they need community -- opportunities to connect with other like-minded souls for encouragement, feedback, comradery, and fresh perspectives. The Year of Living Creatively is designed with this in mind -- establishing a community of practice that is welcoming, authentic, and inspiring.

8. CONNECTION: Here's one of the little-known secrets of creativity. It is often a function of how human beings connect seemingly unrelated elements -- their willingness and ability to synthesize new combinations between this, that, and the other thing. When we are "in the box", constrained by old assumptions and beliefs, we don't always see the inter-relatedness of things. When we are "out of the box", whole new worlds open up. Bottom line, The Year of Living Creatively increases the odds of people making new connections -- not just with each other, but to the many seemingly unrelated elements of their life.

Jobs had Wozniak. Lennon had McCartney. Crick had Watson. And Laurel had Hardy. Yes, it's true that the creative process is sometimes a solitary pursuit, but it is also a collaborative pursuit. Which is precisely why The Year of Living Creatively is designed to spark collaboration -- two or more people joining forces, in a soulful way, to radically increase the odds of magic happening.

10. CONTINUITY: The creative process, like bowling balls, bicycles, and skateboards, is subject to Newton's First Law of Motion -- what most of us have come to know as "An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion." For anyone trying to create something new in their life, maintaining positive momentum is essential. Flow, forward movement, and continuity matter, big time. The Year of Living Creatively is designed with Newton's First Law of Motion in mind -- doing everything it can to poke, jiggle, jolt, jog, prod, tickle, goose, and nudge people beyond inertia into the state of "its' getting better all the time."

An invitation to deep deeper in your creative process
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YOLC's previously unknown back story

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at April 14, 2021 09:28 PM

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