Those who know me would use words like “creative” and “idea person” to describe me. So I was drawn to an article entitled “Habits of highly creative people”, and was a little surprised to read that the #1 characteristic listed was SOLITUDE. Here are some of the comments…
- creativity flourishes in solitude
- with quiet, you can hear your thoughts
- 1st thing in the morning, before doing anything for the outside world
- creativity sometimes washes over me during times of intense focus and craziness of work, but more often I get whacked by the creative stick when I’ve got time in my schedule
- carve out little retreats for yourself; make room for creativity
- let there be space for creativity to fill your brain
- it’s when we are alone that we can reach into ourselves and find truth, beauty, soul
- take daily walks
- quiet helps you to appreciate the smaller things that get lost in the roar
Interestingly, the second characteristic attributed to creativity was participation. At first blush, you wonder how the two can coexist. The article gave the following insight:
We need inspiration from without, but we need creation from within. You need to balance the two – they have to come at different times. This time is for solitude, and this time is for participation.
Yesterday I had the chance to preview a new media project being created, and the prominent speaker commented that waiting was one of the most difficult parts of life. I remember a senior saint in a church I attended in the 80’s – Lou Hamilton. He would often remind me that the “toughest 4-letter word in the Bible (and I’m thinking… ‘wow, I know I struggle with 4-letter words, but surely not this guy!’) was W-A-I-T.”
So what does that mean… especially during this 40-day period of listening? I agree with the conclusion of the article… I think I need to be fully participating in life… in interactions with my kids & my wife & my family and friends. If I am just going thought the motions or wishing away the present moment for “the next thing”, I am missing the blessing of right now. My creativity requires the habit of active participation and daily attention to detail.
So now I add waiting to listening…