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  • Dr. CK Bray

One of the Best Gifts I Can Give You to Start the Holiday Season

Updated: Dec 19, 2020


It is the season to begin considering what you are going to create in 2021. I'm not talking about goals or new habits; I'm speaking to the small voice in your mind that has a desire to create something new in your life. It may be to write a book, learn an instrument, improve your cooking skills, or take up a new sport. (Like pickleball, the fastest growing sport in North America, with the worst name.)

Your brain loves to think about creating and improving from a high-level perspective. Once you actually begin, your mind dives into the details and gets overwhelmed with tasks and expectations.

Most of us would say we could never write a book, learn an instrument, or a new language. So let's change our perspective. To negate the thought of what we "can't" do or becoming overwhelmed by the creative process, think SMALL. Instead of writing a full book, could you rewrite one paragraph of your favorite book to make it better than the original version? Could you write a new page for the screenplay of Batman? (Christian Bale as Batman, not Michael Keaton). Could you learn two notes on the cello that sound magnificent? Absolutely!

As Seth Godin said, "Instead of focusing on the masterpiece, ask yourself, what's the smallest unit of available creative genius for me?" What's the bar of music, the typed sentence, the personal human interaction that can make a difference in your life and the life of another individual? We all want to change the world, but don't worry about that. How small can you create and still do something you are proud of? Focus on creating and then sharing your creation.

One of my daughters loves to paint. She decided her smallest genius of creativity was finding a different canvas to paint on. Her bedroom wall quickly filled up with record vinyl's she painted; skateboards hung from the walls with vibrant images painted on the board. Hubcaps became bright flowers. Friends soon begged her to paint "a masterpiece" for them." Find your creative genius in the smallest place for your breakthrough.

But what if your work isn't good at first? I would ask you, "why do you think it would be great?" Was Serena Williams a world-class tennis player the first time she picked up a tennis racquet? Did Dr. Blackburn revolutionize the study of chromosomes and telomeres the first time she looked in a microscope? Of course not, so set realistic expectations for yourself. All you have to do is show up, have fun, do your best, and learn. Now that is a journey your brain would love to take. Let me know how it goes!


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