Friday, September 27, 2013

Principle 3: Creativity

Principle 3


Reach new goals by doing things you have never before done

Creativity allows us to see things in a new way.

We can enhance our ability to think creatively by engaging in pursuits that are different from our normal activities.

Elder Scott relays his experience learning to watercolor.  It was something he was drawn to and wanted to try, but he felt unequal to the task.  Despite his fears, he got books on the subject, tried, took lessons, studied and practiced more.

Things learned during the process:
  1. The initial feeling of accomplishment encouraged him to read more and try harder.  
  2. Much can be accomplished with an understanding of basic principles.
  3. Objective criticism became an appreciated source of growth
  4. Every individual had creative capacity- it is the result of being children of the Ultimate Creator
  5. The satisfaction and growth creativity generates is intended for each of us
Benefits to the Creative Process:
  1. More sensitivity to the limitless creative genius of our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son
  2. See Beauty in ways that would not have been perceived with the same intensity and variety had you not followed that prompting to try something you had never tried before.
  3. Even infrequent efforts to try to express feelings provided a constantly renewing source of pleasure and benefit
  4. As you experiment with new things you will discover a great deal about yourself that likely won't be revealed any other way.
How to do this:
  1. Search for feelings that prompt you to try something new yourself
  2. Try to generate those feelings if they are not there
  3. Think of art, poetry, prose, music, dance, photography, clothing design or anything you haven't done before
  4. It takes courage- the most challenging barrier to overcome is to begin
  5. Let self-evaluation be a source of discovery rather than of destructive self-criticism.
  6. Believe in yourself.  Doubt destroy creativity while faith strengthens it
  7. Find ways to learn basic principles about your field of interest

You may never know the thrill of personal creativity nor enter the doors it opens to insight, enjoyment, and wonder if you do not try.

Try it and you may open up a lifetime of joy and rewarding accomplishment.

My thoughts:

Very interesting that this principle popped up today right after my bout of discouragement.  I am a watercolorist, or at least I used to be in college and when I had young children.  I even used to teach lessons.  I haven't painted much since, but a few years ago a man moved in our ward who is a professional oil painter.  We had them over for dinner and I asked if he would be willing to give lessons. He asked to see some of my work and commented that he would be glad to.  However, I never found the time to get around to doing it. After Scott died, I got this picture in my head that I knew I needed to paint, and I needed to use oils to do it.  I was busy with finances, legal concerns and trying to sell my house, and I just thought, "There is no way that I have the time for that!" Just a few days ago, I mentioned to someone my desire to learn to oil paint and a picture I had in mind that I wanted to do. After reading this principle I was again struck with the desire to paint this picture.  Quickly thoughts of doubt crept in my mind.  I knew I would have to stage some photographs to use as models, I had already packed my brushes,  I would need to ask for lessons, I knew the supplies would be expensive, and I was afraid that I was too out of practice or that my skills would not be sufficient to render the picture in my mind.  As  I finished reading Elder Scott's chapter I thought, "No, I just need to do this."  I knew with my house off the market this fall that I would have time to devote to such a project, I knew that I wouldn't have another opportunity for a teacher like I have here, and I knew I had been prompted to do the painting.  So banishing my fears, I called our Elder's Quorum president, the painter, and arranged for the lessons.  I set up lighting in my home and had my son take some photographs for models.  This week I'm working on some sketches.  

Not everyone can paint or even has the desire to, but I think we can all find ways to open the doors of creation in our lives.  I never thought of creating as being a principle yet alone a way for spiritual direction in my life, yet I have always found great personal satisfaction in the process of creating.  Maybe it is that divine portion that exists in all of us as the result of our spiritual heritage from before this Earth life.  Maybe that desire to create is an expression of that divinity.

Elder Uchtdorf said, "The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come."

(He talks about how we should emulate the ability of our Father in Heaven to Create)

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