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Pay attention to the conversations of people around you, and notice how often the subject of time comes up:
“I’m fine, just crazy busy . . . ”
“I just don’t know when I can find the time . . . ”
“I can’t really talk now — I’m running late . . . ”
People used to be tied to things like families, communities, rituals, worship, curiosity, and beauty. Now we are tied to schedules, watches, date books, computers, and keeping up with the latest gadgets that start with i. It seems like time is going by faster than ever these days, and we’re all exhaustively trying to find, chase, save, and manage time.
n the 10 years since I launched my website, ArtellaLand.com, I can honestly say I’ve never been as excited about an event as I am about the series that’s happening next week: The Creating Time Mega Event, which celebrates the release of my upcoming book from New World Library, Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life. It runs April 2–20 and will include live webinars, daily email inspiration, dynamic time-shifting games and challenges, a lively interactive community of fellow time-travelers, and so much more.
1. You are creative. The artist is not a special person; each one of us is a special kind of artist. Every one of us is born a creative, spontaneous thinker. The only difference between people who are creative and people who are not is a simple belief. Creative people believe they are creative. People who believe they are not creative, are not. Once you have a particular identity and set of beliefs about yourself, you become interested in seeking out the skills needed to express your identity and beliefs. This is why people who believe they are creative become creative.
Several months ago, Georgia Hughes, our editorial director, brought in a manuscript by Michael Michalko called Creative Thinkering and passed it around. My first thought was that the title was a little odd. The subtitle grabbed me from the beginning: Putting Your Imagination to Work.
Then I started to read the manuscript, and the first sentences of the Introduction had me totally hooked:
Why are some people creative and others not?
“The essence of personal mastery is learning how to generate and sustain creative tension in our lives.” — Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline
Personal mastery is the practice of increasing our awareness, reducing our blind spots, and developing our responsiveness. Creative tension can be defined as the gap between where we are now and what we want. This creative tension might exist in many aspects of our lives — our relationships, our work, particular projects and aspirations, or creative endeavors such as writing, art, or something physical. Or it might be in answering the questions, “What is my calling?” and “Why am I here on this planet?”
Creative tension requires two important practices.