There’s a wisdom that’s come down through the ages that seems to really be true. Here’s my paraphrase: Wherever you put your attention, that’s what’s going to expand in your life. If you get your momentum going with some sort of “woe is me” victim thinking, you’re going to go down that road. And if you are on the upswing and thinking “positive” stuff about where you’re headed, you’re much more likely to head there.
Not surprisingly, we human beings often fall into this pattern unconsciously. What I mean is that you may go for a long time (or — hopefully not — your whole life) allowing feelings and thoughts to pull you down into the idea of “I can’t do this”. Each time you think in terms of making yourself smaller, you will get small. If these thoughts of failure, hopelessness or just simple boredom continue, they build the momentum away from the things you are probably saying you want. You can’t just say you want something. You have to believe it. For example, saying I want to practice for a gig does not get the rehearsing done. It’s the directed action of picking up the guitar and the lyric sheet that starts the movement to that desire.
And in many ways, it’s that simple. (Possibly easier said than done, but simple nonetheless.) Break it down: what is that first incremental step that will start to move you towards your goal? That creative spark in you knows the answer, so if you aren’t conscious of the answer immediately, take a breath, maybe even close your eyes and give it (that spark) a second to reach your conscious mind. Yeah, that thing. That’s your passion to create trying to get your attention.
A Personal Story
There are many stories from my life that I could relate to this (the one above about practicing is a real example, of course!), but here’s one that is fresh on my mind. After the recent end of a relationship, I was struggling with motivation. (Well, I was “motivated” to be sad, but that got me nowhere else.) One of the things that I stopped doing was working out regularly. I was reaching out to my friends and support system for other things, but my lackluster workouts were something that I just moaned about. One of my best friends was also looking to increase the regularity of his workouts, so he approached me about using my personal training background to create a workout for us. Having the extra motivation of “helping out” my friend, I tapped into my passion for creating strong, healthy bodies. We set up a schedule and started a series of workouts that have (besides reminding us of how sore muscles can get) invigorated both of us both mentally and physically. Keeping connections with people can be crucial to keeping passion alive. They can provide us with a — sometimes surprising — catalyst to help shift from moaning to momentum in a healthy, enlivening direction.
What are your stories of shifting into your passion? Are there stories in your life of momentum towards your creative goals?