“Creativity is believing so truly in the way in which you see something, that you choose to make an art form or a tangible ‘thing’ from it.”
I heard a filmmaker say this recently and I re-watched him do so over and over. Creativity and art are often seen as specific skill sets and/or professions (creatives), but really creativity stretches far wider than that.
I tend to speak a lot about action. About doing. We all have ideas and we all have dreams. It is the decision of whether or not to take action, that determines whether or not those ideas and those dreams, turn into anything tangible.
Earlier this year I ran the London marathon. Afterwards, a large proportion of those that so kindly came to support me, uttered the words “I’d love to run this one day”. A dream. An idea. But no real intention of action. And there is nothing wrong with a pipeline dream or an idea that stays an idea. Provided you are happy with it remaining as just that; an idea. I have plenty of unfulfilled ideas. I have notepads full of them!
But recently I have taken 100% action on something I am extremely passionate about: setting up my own small gym right here in London. I’ve worked like a dog to make it work. And just when I was questioning whether or not I was maximising my creative instinct, I heard the filmmaker mutter those words.
And I thought to myself, “what if this is the most damn creative thing I’ve ever done?”. Not the videos I’ve made, the ideas I’ve had or the blogs I’ve written. No. This time I’ve made something so tangible that you can touch it, you can feel it and you can live it. So what if it that thing is a gym? “Creativity is believing so truly in the way in which you see something that you choose to make an art form from it.”
I retired from rugby with a bit of a chip on my shoulder. It wasn’t so much with rugby but with the environment so evident within rugby. I then began to notice that the behaviours that frustrated me extended far beyond rugby.
My passion was/is optimising our health and our happiness. But everywhere I looked I saw holes in those claiming to feel the same way, and I saw more and more things I didn’t like. So, bit by bit I began trying to share my thoughts and my passion. I wanted something to change so badly that I made it my goal to be that change. 18 months on, I am ridiculously fortunate to be running a gym of my own. A gym where I can facilitate the growth of others. My gym is my art. It is ME. All of my frustrations, all of my beliefs and all of what I do and feel daily. It is real.
So, what’s the point of this biased self-evaluation? It is this – we may not all be ‘creatives’ but we are all creative. We all dream. And when you believe in something so deeply that you want…no, that you need it to happen, that is your opportunity to be at your creative best.
All of my experiences have taught me that nothing brilliant happens until ideas meet action. So, dream freely and make yourself happier and healthier. Dream wildly. And when you desperately want something to happen or for something to change, that right there is your opportunity to be your most creative and most exceptional self.
It's time to take action
But how do you do it? This is, like I said, the differentiator between a thought and a thing and thus it is also the tricky bit. I wish I could provide a wise ‘5 part plan to execute your dreams’ but I am simply not that wise (nor am I stupid enough to think a 5 part plan will solve all solutions). My answer instead comes (like many lessons) from my failure to act correctly on all those notepads of unanswered dreams!
Start by asking yourself this:
Will your idea still matter in a week?
If yes, what about a month? Or a year?
Is it a dream or a fairy tale?
In other words, will action ensure outcome?
If you don’t act on it now, what will happen?
Are you ok with that? Still ready for action?
Big or small, do something that moves the needle towards your desired outcome. DO NOT WAIT. There is no plan B. Don’t overthink it. Just act. Don’t wait or worry on others. People will judge, it’s what we do best. You care enough to act so care little enough to worry what others think.
Understand that for every dream there is a sleepless night. Don’t panic. Go back to the questions above. If the answer is still the same, put your head back on the pillow.
Understand that if it doesn’t work, if it doesn’t go to plan, then you have not failed. The only way you fail is by failing to take action. Sure you can act on the wrong dream but at least you did it. You learned and you grew whilst others waited and remained.
Thank you for reading.
Here’s to the dreamers,