In all of the reading that I’ve done and positive psychology and the science of happiness, as well as the anecdotal memoirs of those who have transformed from a low point in their lives to a high point, the most powerful and useful thing that stuck with me is it happiness is all about working hard toward something you believe in. But work doesn’t always happen without challenges.
If you’re anything like me, some days you are in the zone. Things are working smoothly, you’ve got ideas coming from every which way, and things are getting done. But as with the ebbs and flows of anything in life you probably have some days where you just. feel. stuck. Nothing is quite going right, you have writer's block, and you just don’t feel motivated to do anything. It’s two steps forward and three steps back.
I liken the latter scenario, the hard days, to a cloudy gray sky. The air is stale, there’s no wind of change blowing, it just feels stuck.
I think of those really awesome days kind of like a warm spring rain. So it’s not necessarily that the sun is shining all the time but it’s warm and the birds are chirping and all of a sudden a warm rain starts to fall. It’s raining ideas all over and sometimes if you’re lucky, lightning may even strike.
Speaking from my own experience, creativity comes in spurts. Sometimes all I can do is sit and wait for the next good idea, priming my brain by reading and listening and walking and taking in all the information I can become inspired. And then when the inspiration comes it’s like a crazy downpour - where I turn my umbrella upside down and try to catch as many ideas as I can.
Sometimes I can write 2000 or 3000 solid words in a day. Other times I literally can’t get two or three words on paper. What that means is that I know my creativity comes this way and I don’t freak out when it’s not there. I can rest assured knowing that my next idea will come. I just have to be patient and therefore I give myself lots of time and work to my own internal deadlines ahead of actual external deadlines.
None of us will feel happy or be their most creative all the time. But I think this is an important part of the process. Without the lows we wouldn’t know what the highs feel like.
So my recommendation to have more days of spring rain than stale air? Try not to worry about those cloudy stale days and listen to what your body is telling you. If you need to take a break, you need to take a break. But make the most of those warm exciting summer storm days, squeezing as much fun frivolity and function as you can. Embrace the ebbs and flows of productivity, creativity and innovation.
I realize it’s easier said than done, however please know that as I write this I have a screaming toddler who is mad for a reason I cannot figure out, I have a preschooler refusing to do anything at the park and just wanting to go home, and an active dog pulling at my hip leash wanting to sniff everything in sight. I have not accomplished anything near what I would have liked to accomplish by this time today, but getting frustrated or angry isn’t going to solve any problems; it will definitely make things worse. So I am deciding today that today is less of a march forward and more of a cha-cha: two steps forward, two steps back and one to the side. Let’s see I will see where that takes us. It’s a lot more fun than getting frustrated.
MUSIC Podington Bear - Clouds, Rain, Sun
Talk Paper Scissors Theme Music: Retro Quirky Upbeat Funk by Lewis Sound Production via Audio Jungle
Purple Balloons: Canva