Why You Should Abandon Conformity and Start Expressing Your Creativity
Creativity helps keep you healthy!
As children, we were more curious and inquisitive and that’s a part of learning; Somehow, as we go through life, we end up losing that creativity, and it’s replaced with conformity. We tend to lose that spark, forgetting how we used to color faces blue and the sun purple. It didn’t matter when we colored outside the lines, and it was okay to draw a tree inside the house and put the couch outside!
When I was younger, I remember being more creative and more inquisitive, then when I started school, I became more stuck on what I was being taught and I was constrained to a generic curriculum created by a group of people who couldn’t have possibly known my individual strengths and gifts.
Getting older, I lost that, and I had to get it back. I had to gain my creativity back and make time for it. Tapping into that creativity does help you to heal. I know this isn’t mainstream and no one probably told you that being creative makes you healthy, but creativity brings you joy, it reduces stress, and when you feel better, you do better. It’s about being true to who we are.
What I find in this journey is people are just going through life without really knowing where they are, they have no place to stand, and they end up wherever the wind blows them. That is not very healthy. People grow up and fit into roles that are most likely opposite to what they enjoyed as a child.
We get told that life is about work and we’re beaten into shape by responsibility and forced to conform, but that has a severe impact on the quality of life of many adults because life begins to feel bland and uneventful. Going through days, feeling uninspired can be as unhealthy as anything else.
We should work to live, not live to work
The educational system encourages us to get that college degree, and to have this goal of working eight hours a day, for the next 40 to 50 years of our lives. One of the unhealthiest norms in our society today is that our adult lives revolve around work, so no wonder we’re struggling with health and happiness.
About a third of our life is spent at work, and many of us are working for jobs we don’t even like! We’re upset, stressed, and what we do with the little time we have at home is we’re eating unhealthily to ease the stress. We’re trying to soothe this stress so we can make it for another day of this job that we don’t like.
We’re not really trained on how to use our gifts to live our lives or to make a living from our gifts.
Let me break it down this way: we have 24 hours in a day, and based on an eight-hour work day, about 1/3 of our day is spent working, which in a typical work week, is five days a week.
If you sleep eight hours a day and work eight hours a day, that leaves you just eight hours of your day. Part of those eight hours is commuting to your nine to five. Here in Atlanta, some people are driving at least one hour one way so that might be two hours of your day gone, leaving you with six hours. In those six hours, you got to take care of your children, spend time with your family, you got to cook, eat, shop, entertain, and maybe do some things that you do enjoy, and that’s not much time, so outside of sleep and work, you only have six hours, which is sad when you think about how much our lives are revolved around work. We have been conditioned to have to fit in our health as a secondary attachment to our work lives.
Let me break it down another way: you have eight hours a day, five days a week, and there’s 52 weeks in a year, and say you work 47 weeks, because you get about five weeks off for vacations and holidays, that’s 40 hours a week for 47 weeks. If you work 50 years, that’s over 90,000 hours in your lifetime, that’s a lot of hours you’re putting in for work. This is why your job can make a huge impact on your quality of health and your life. And unfortunately, this is what we are programmed to accept.
“About a third of our life is spent at work, and many of us are working for jobs we don’t even like!”
Note the following:
- Everything you are is a result of the way you think
- The good news is you can become healthier as you improve your quality of thinking
- Once we become aware of our way of thinking and our quality of thinking, then we can begin to think outside the box.
Thinking outside the box of conformity
First, don’t be afraid to ask questions, we really need to begin to ask more questions and challenge the status quo. We have to be able to question authority, because it’s dangerous to accept everything you hear without applying some critical thinking.
Be willing to find innovative ways to solve problems, and what I mean by that is be willing to try something new. Try a different form of exercising, try different foods, try different patterns of eating, because we can get so stuck in our habits and patterns sometimes, and we want to do better, but find ourselves doing things that we’ve been doing for the last ten to twenty years.
Don’t be afraid to brainstorm or visualize. Get your crayons and start coloring the life that you want to achieve, if that’s what will get you fired up. Try to think like a kid again. Imagine yourself as a superhero in your own life story. Whatever it takes, we have to break out of that stereotypical thinking society and conventional education has placed on us, because our health and life depends on it.
Dwelling on the stressors in your life isn’t going to help you, it’s going to add more stress, which leads to more illness. Instead, improve your quality of thinking by expanding your knowledge: read, research, take classes, develop new skills, become a good listener, and keep an open mind when thinking for yourself.
Don’t be afraid of your mistakes because that’s how we learn. Some of you just stay stuck because you don’t want to fail. You develop that fear of failure.
Also consider what happens if you don’t think outside the box. Think about what happens if you stay where you are. What if your box is on fire? If you stay there, you’ll get burned. You might have to escape that box so that you can save your life.
It’s not easy, that’s why only few people do it
How many books have you purchased that you didn’t finish? And how many online courses have you purchased that you never finished? How many times have you said, “You know what, I’m going to change the trajectory of my life. I’m going to do what needs to be done. I’m going to stop falling backwards. This is my year!” How many of you said these about 12 months ago without ever actualizing them?
There are reasons for that. Thinking outside the box and taking action is just like any skill that must be developed through practice. It took me many, many years to understand this as well, because for someone who has the knowledge, who loves to read and research, I remained stuck because my biggest problem was, I didn’t understand the box I was in and what skills and tools that I needed to help not only expand my box, but step out of it.
I really had to start my journey and trust the process. I really had to have that faith and patience. I had to get used to being uncomfortable with the change, because whether your box is safe or not, it becomes normal for many of us, and some of us stay there because that’s all we’re used to. It wasn’t until I was able to expand my mind and be able to think differently that my life began to change. I had to let go of how I was told to think I had to let go of some of the stereotypes and patterns before I was able to see some shift in my health and my life. Finding my creative spirit again has been the start to my health and wholeness journey.
- You can’t fix a problem with the same mindset that created it;
- The actions you take today will affect your future;
- Thinking outside the box is about baby steps. It’s about taking your time and being consistent;
- Don’t be afraid to brainstorm, it can help spark your creativity;
- Ask more questions and challenge the status quo
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Until next time, go out there and achieve more freedom in your health and your life!