I am a convinced believer in the power of creativity.  Doing creative things is deeply therapeutic.  Or, at least, it can be.

In fact, Rule #39 in my personal list of Rules for Life is: Do something creative every day.

Now, creativity is subjective, perhaps.  It is certainly relative.  Eye of the beholder, and all that, ya know.

Create for your own mental and spiritual health.  Don't make it about pleasing anyone but yourself.

[OK. Some people make a living being creative, and often they must create things that are marketable or in alignment with a specific commission.  Still therapeutic.  In that case, my caution would be, "Don't let the necessary boundaries quench your inspiration."]

Recording one's thoughts in a blog is creative.  Writing, painting, drawing, doing crafts, sewing, sculpting, cooking, dancing, making music... the list is long - flower arranging, interior decorating, designing a website, building a house, making furniture, on and on.

So, it's not like there is a paltry list of activities from which to choose when one wants to do something creative.  Find something you enjoy doing, and do it!

The therapy is in the sense of accomplishment, even before your 'project' is complete.  A work in progress is something to anticipate, think about, be inspired by.  The process itself is life-affirming.

The therapy is also in the distraction.  Focusing on something creative for a while and not being overwhelmed by whatever 'drudgery' might crowd your normal daily doings.

And it does not have to be something you hope or expect to see in a world-class gallery or on a best-seller list some day.  You may be the only one who ever sees it!  Lots of creative projects are not permanent.  The point is not to create something for public recognition.  It is just the simple satisfaction of doing something that leads to a beautiful result, even if it is only beautiful to you.

Actually, even if you do not think your result is beautiful, the process of creating something is usually more meaningful than the resulting object or memento.

Be creative.

Life awaits.


Center of the Universe

"...everyone's replaceable... you are not the center of the universe.  If you leave, someone will replace you, the circle will close... That lesson has been helpful because it is really easy...to think that you've got to be involved in everything."  ~ Kristin Muhlner, CEO of NewBrand Analytics, a provider of social media monitoring

Well, OK, then.

My head understands and my heart believes that I am not the center of the universe.  But occasionally, perhaps as recently as this morning, I do not act like I understand this.

The fresh interpretation Ms. Muhlner places on this ancient altruism - "you are not the center of the universe" - is revealing.  I know there have been plenty of times when I thought I had "to be involved in everything," even while I "knew" that I was not the center of the universe.

I have also found it easy to think that "things will fall apart" if/when I am no longer involved in something.  Or I might break out that old saying, "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself."

How is that NOT the epitome of self-centeredness, hubris, and vanity?

I confess. Sometimes I have had the distinct sensation - based on what I considered to be observable, measurable human behavior in my immediate vicinity - that I was truly surrounded by profoundly stupid people.  [I know: for some families 'stupid' is the other 's' word]

I think most people have that sensation from time to time.  It is disconcerting; even frustrating.

So, what I am figuring out, or reminding myself of more often, is that people are people.  Tough one for me to have such a hard time deciphering, eh? 

Everyone has a story.  We are all operating from a perspective that is the result of years of experiences, which have effectively wrapped each of us in our own unique cocoon of life-filters.  How we view our world today is based on everything we have done over the course of our lives; everyone we have known; every book we have read; every movie, every television program, classroom, nature hike, theme park, accomplishment, disappointment, etc etc.

This is not a new idea, of course.  Philosophers have waxed eloquent on this topic for centuries.

Application in my own life is the thing.

I want to SEE my friends, family, coworkers, colleagues, peers, acquaintances, strangers, celebrities - to see them all as human, beautiful, interesting, worthy of attention - to share, to learn, to listen, to teach, to appreciate, to love.

I am NOT the center of the universe.  I am surrounded by many special universes, constellations, galaxies of humanity.  Fellow-sojourners whose actions and reactions spring from LIFE; from having lived through their own sequence of interactions that is making each of them a living work of art.

Time to enjoy the moving art gallery in which I live and work every day.



I work in an information-rich environment.

I suppose most people exist in the midst of roiling reams of multimedia input opportunities these days.  We have it coming at us from multiple outlets all day, everyday.

But my job actually involves intentionally inviting information to intrude into my inmost being.  Truly.  I go looking for information to ingest.  And then I create some information of my own based on all the information I have consumed. 

It's like making snowballs, though.  I take a bunch of information, pack it tightly and quickly into a projectile, dispatch it toward its target, and before I even witness the disintegration of my latest creation on the  back of my target's head, I am already busy creating my next ball of pre-masticated data.

Seriously.   It seems like much of my analytical effort explodes briefly into a million sparkling bits of spectacular crystalline wonder, barely noticed by the intended target.  In fact, too often the target is laughing and lobbing their own missile in my direction.

The results of all this lobbing back and forth is supposed to be increased understanding of whatever it is we are analyzing at the moment; whether it be business processes, workflows, performance metrics, status of projects, market research, or any of dozens of other human capital assessments.

Sometimes I think the main thing we are accomplishing is making more stuff to be stored in the archives.  Sometimes it does not seem to help the current situation much.  In fact, usually by the time we have written our incisive analysis the leadership has moved on to the next exhibit in the rotating display cases that are the various sections, divisions, departments, and branches who are valiantly endeavoring to prove themselves worthy of retention.

So, for those of us poking, peering, pondering, pilfering, and postulating, it often appears that our efforts were for naught.  At best. 

Every time I write a new "Recommendations" section to crown my analysis, I am entertaining thoughts in the back of my head - remembrances, I should say - of how often my recommendations have been taken to heart; or even noticed, for that matter.  I'm pretty sure I could count on one hand the times I have had a recommendation actually accepted, implemented, and praised.

Well, that turned into a rant, I guess.

When I began to compose this post I was thinking about the irony of how overwhelmed I sometimes feel by the tsunami of information coming my way everyday, when in fact I am literally asking for it.

It helps to have good music playing through it all.