"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham

Monday 5 Things…..Of Creativity…..

A stroll down a literal road less travelled on a hot and humid Savannah afternoon opened up to an open-air gallery of graffiti. I paused at each creation, wondering what went on in the mind of the spray-can street artiste. What message was being conveyed? What emotion was the artist feeling? What vision did the artist have before paint was sprayed on brick? It got me thinking about my own creative process, which prompted today’s M5T.

1. Of Eighty-Six Thousand, Four Hundred

 The number of seconds in a day.  Decide how much time you will take to nurture and hone your creativity. Creativity is developed, learned, practiced; like a muscle. Exercise the creative and it grows stronger; ignore it and atrophy sets in. Take time to think, to dream, to visualize and to be inspired. Avoid being too fixated on the clutter of our lives…the demands of others, of social media, of procrastination. Embrace and believe Pareto’s 80/20 rule.  Track only a few things… the eighty-percent that is the most effective in allowing your creativity to flourish.

2. Of Work

A musician once told me that there was no creativity in business. I begged to differ.  She had never put together a multi-million-dollar acquisition nor would she ever appreciate just how much creativity a good deal takes to get done. No matter what type of work you do, there is always room for – and a tremendous hunger and need for – creativity. Go above and beyond the expectations of others. Be an expert in what you do and focus on quality. Understand and learn to be comfortable with the fact that not all you create will be brilliant, epic, or world changing. 

3. Of Blocks

It happens to us all. Whether it’s staring at a blank page, (more likely a blank screen these days), a blank canvas, not knowing how to relate to someone emotionally, or those moments of thinking you will never create something – anything – good again. It is frightening and frustrating.  At times like these, try and recognize that all your ideas matter because they lead to another idea, vision or creation. Change your environment, take a break and walk away for a while. Push out of your comfort zone by setting some big-scary goals that are purposely difficult, time limited and motivating. Above all, keep producing, keep creating, keep loving, and keep dreaming.

4. Of Commitment

Creativity is not an act of stasis; it is an active commitment. It obliges an opinion, a vision, a desire to communicate. It is fostered by a thirst for knowledge and thinking independently, whilst at the same time spending time with other creatives. Creativity demands the challenge of taking risks, failing, and then starting all over again. Of the boldness of breaking out of the norm, changing a course of action and trying something new.

5. Of Perspective 

Inspired moments of creativity often come from a change of perspective prompted by the most intense emotional moments of our lives…whether from angst, anger, love or inspiration. A change of perspective to embrace what's happening at any given time…good or bad. New levels of creativity can come from re-learning to see colors, textures, problems and people differently. By engaging in the moment and being actively involved, taking a look outside, a look inside, or expecting more of yourself; make your own mark on the world by not letting circumstances – or others – dictate what you create in life. 

Here’s to a week of being creative in all that you do.

© 2018 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved. 

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business.  He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.  

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com  and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook.  Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine.  His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome.  Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com