When I was younger I was incredibly creative. My mom encouraged me to look at the world as a place of possibility. I remember when I was younger I was fascinated with how things worked, with what I could make, and with how I could use my imagination to create a future. I used to make fairy villages out of acorns, leaves, sticks, and anything else I could find in the forest. I would carve sticks and pretend they were swords, and my friends and I would run around yelling and hitting each other or invisible monsters, literally manifesting totally new realities in a matter of moments. This kind of behavior has led me to be the kind of person I am today and interestingly enough, it has not always been a fairytale.
Creativity is so stigmatized in our society. Why is it weird for a young boy to make fairy houses? Why is it wrong for a young girl to play army as opposed to Barbie. These gendered examples only touch the tip of the iceberg and, in fact, this stigma reaches all the way through many school systems and even into many parents’ brains. Everyone knows that children are the most willing to let themselves be creative.
For children, creativity is the norm.
Creativity is lost in many people as they get older, more experienced. Many people develop a fear of expressing their most true selves, myself included. This disingenuous representation of a person is built on a lack of confidence in one’s self. For me, I find myself consistently disappointed with both my own actions and the actions of others and yet I still simply stand by and watch because I think the following:
“Who am I to change the world? Who am I to be myself?”
I think many people experience a similar sort of feeling in their lives, especially people of my age group.
College is advertised as a place where dreams come true, where people find their passions, and where we meet our soul mates. Looking at the facts, I have found there to be some truth to this, but that the concepts actually expand beyond just college.
All of these things are categorized under the title:
The trick is to change Potential Future to be
When it comes down to it, there is nothing stopping us from finding our passions, making our dreams come true, searching for our soul mates, or doing anything else that we want, for that matter, except our own perception of what is possible.
Over the past few weeks, I have been learning about the power of action.
Act. Do. Manifest. Create. Make.
This idea is so unrecognizable in our stereotypical society that we make business plans, we plan to ask people out, and we plan to go to the gym without ever doing many of the things we plan to do.
The power of action lies in its ability to snowball.
To snowball is a term used in many gaming communities for a player who does well at the beginning of a game and gains incremental advantages because of it. The idea is representative of a snowball rolling down a hill and eventually becoming massive and unstoppable.
Imagine yourself as a small snowball at the top of a hill.
Here’s what you know:
There are things I could run into as I roll down this hill and I have to do my best to avoid them. The longer I avoid them, the bigger and more powerful I will get. From this, it follows that I should stay here and plan my route around the trees I can see, right? Right…?
You can only actually see the very near future. Humans are proven to be terrible at planning!! Why would you take the time and energy and waste it on a plan that will probably fail? Get in the game! Try stuff!
I often use this analogy in my own life when I am doubting myself or when I am feeling reluctant to DO as opposed to think or plan.
Another trick I have is to do something every day that pushes me out of my comfort zone. Many people will laugh or scoff at this theory when they see it in practice:
“That idiot, why is he singing so terribly in front of everyone?”
Things like this tend to hold us back from taking action. A comedian named Hassan Minhaj talks about how his father used to say, “What will people think?” whenever it came to making a big life choice. This attitude is essentially assuming the worst of a situation before it even happens.
This makes it impossible for us, as rational human beings, to want to pursue things.
Why would we pursue our dreams or goals if we presume that we will fail?
There is almost no incentive for action in our society. We have Stagnated.
Okay, so now that you have heard my spiel, take a second to jot down some things that you wish had done, that you dream about every day. These things could be anything from flossing your teeth more to asking that special someone out, to going to the gym, to having some time for yourself, to journaling, to going outside more, to literally anything! There is nothing too big or too small to write down here, just get it on paper. I will wait 🙂
Awesome! Now that you have your dreams mapped a little better, try and think of the reasons why you haven’t done these things. Some probable answers are:
“I’m afraid that I will fail”
“I don’t believe in myself”
“I don’t have enough money”
“I don’t have the time or energy”
“I’m not good enough”
“My disabilities hold me back”
“What can you do right now to take the first step, however small, towards your dreams?”
We are all the deer in the headlights. We fear action that leads to failure more than we fear stagnation and mediocrity. Who are we to waste our days on these minuscule things? Why are my dreams too big for today? When will I be ready?! The world says, “maybe never,” our parents say, “maybe when you retire,” but I ask you, yes YOU, not them,
“How bad do you want it?”
The remedy for this fear lies in action. It is so simple that it makes me sad because I have taken so long to realize this simple truth. Taking the first step towards a dream will unlock the next step and so on so forth until we have hiked the tallest mountains, reached the stars, and started on to even greater unimaginable things.
Each of us has a responsibility to reach into ourselves and unlock our creativity that we have lost, to unlock our capacity for action that society has locked away, and be our genuine selves.
Every person has a unique role to play in this world. What is yours?
GO! START! DO! ACT!
Trust me, you’ve got this!
PS. Please harass me about all of my grammar mistakes! Thanks!