Trading Excitement For Creativity

In order to be creative in one aspect of our life, we may need to be boring in another.

Creativity is not an infinitely flowing wellspring we can tap into any time we choose.

It requires space.

It requires dedication.

And, it demands attentiveness.

Being that we are limited in our capacities for each of these, if we want to be creative, we often must give up something else first.

We have to learn how to say no to some of the other activities, people, and distractions that take up space in our lives so that we can dedicate our efforts and attention to that which we are attempting to create.

This does not mean that we should quit our jobs, abandon our relationships, or give up our other hobbies.

That would be both selfish and foolish.

It does mean, however, that we must decide for ourselves and for the sake of our creative work exactly which aspects of our lives are essential and which are nonessential for our happiness.

We must then take the necessary action to limit the nonessential so that we can give our time, energy, and focus to the essential.

If we want to do something that matters, at least to us, we may need to sacrifice some of the excitement, some of the social activities, and some of the entertainment consumption that normally occupies our free time.

We may have to decide to be a little bit more boring.

It will not always be easy.

Others may not understand.

But, this kind of sacrifice is not really a sacrifice if it means that we are doing something that is more meaningful with our time.

It is our life, after all.

It is our responsibility to do the most with it that we can.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Kogen Dojo Self Defense Academy where he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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