Like all interesting words, both “creative” and “success” have more than one definition and can mean wildly different things to different people.
And creatives and creativists often define success differently and work from different drives and values to the conventional world.
We follow less direct pathways, trust in a mysterious process and know we are not so much the drivers of our own success as the conduits for it.
Whatever we want to make, and however we approach it, the sequence of creative success is always like this:
- Desire: You understand that you truly want something
- Intention: You frame that as a conscious intention.
- Visualization: You imagine what success would look like and feel like
- Action: You begin to do the actions that will take you in the direction you want to go.
- Release: As well as working towards your desired goal, you also intentionally rest and play. You let go and let life lead.
- Attainment: Your intention manifests, almost always in a way you never quite imagined.
We can all create what we truly want in life and we are all meant to. Tapping into our natural, spontaneous creative flow is easy, when we know how.
Knowing how begins with understanding and setting your own definition of creative success. There is a five-step process for doing that.
Creative success isn’t an endpoint when life finally becomes perfect, when your business is established, money is flowing abundantly from your passion projects, and everyone loves you.
Creative success begins now, with the understanding that wanting is the nature of life, the process through which we grow, reach, stretch, expand. You can have all of the above (indeed, you may already have much or all of it) but still you will want, as long as you are alive. A new want or need emerges as soon as an old one is satisfied.
What is different, when you take the creative way, is you know how to meet your wants and needs. You can distinguish true wants from cravings and addictions. You know the difference, you live the difference, between conscious creation and mindless consumption. You have (re)connected with your innate creative power and familiarized yourself with your own creative process.
And you know how to apply all this to the art of making money from doing what you love to do.
Once we're clear on our creative intention, there are three aspects of the creative process that make creative success different to more conventional goal-setting and achievement plans.
Firstly, it’s a lenient process, one that not only accepts failure, but values it. It treats success and failure, what Kipling called “those two imposters”, just as the poet advised (both the same). Both are opportunities, for learning if nothing else.
Secondly, it’s a paced process. It places an emphasis on creative play and rest as well as work.
Thirdly, it’s an exciting process. It accepts that creative flow has its own energy and sense of direction, so we enjoy change and its opportunities for adventure. Instead of trying to cling to the familiar creatives and creativists, by instinct or learning, see change and uncertainty as a cause for celebration.
And through the process of creative surrender, we show our willingness to follow life’s lead and align with its flow.
We know if we do things that way, the creative way, we’ll be supported; carried along, possibly through steep highs, deep lows and hairpin bends.
“Wow, what a ride!” we find ourselves saying, astonished, exhilarated and glad to be alive.
And then: “Wow, look what I’m making!”
Or, more accurately, “Look what’s being made through me!”
That’s creative success.