Find Your Simple #2: Get Clear on What Truly Matters

In Step 1 of the Find Your Simple series, I had you question your creative intentions by answering a series of questions:

  1. When was the last time I felt alive with creativity?
  2. What am I not doing that I wish I were?
  3. What is my biggest regret in my creative life?
  4. If I won the lottery tomorrow, what would I do just for fun?
  5. What’s the thing that’s sucking all of my energy?

Was it fun? Were you surprised by how much or how little you wrote?

The tough part about simplifying
Creatives tend to have a lot of aspirations. The tough part is trying to figure out what to keep and what to let go of (for the time being). You can’t pursue all of your creative ambitions at once. It’s like trying to ignite 100 candles with one match – you’ll burn out before your light can illuminate the room.

You need to determine what’s calling to you right now, and a good place to discover that one thing is by looking for a common thread.

Discover your common thread
Did you notice a repeating theme in your answers to the 5 questions above?

Find clarity, get specific and commit
The more specific you can get in defining your top priority, the more clarity you’ll have – which is ultimately the key to simplifying and overcoming overwhelm.

Turn your common thread into one action-packed sentence.
Include as much detail as possible.

Getting specific in this “declaration” is one of the key aspects of simplifying your creative life, because it brings clarity to your purpose. When a creative goal is too large and indefinable (I want to write, I want to paint), it can be daunting to start and very easy to push off.

To share or not to share?
When you embark on this new creative mission, you may be tempted to share this with one person, post it on Facebook or keep it to yourself. There’s no right answer, but beware of some pitfalls. For some, talking too much about a new idea or plan takes away the creative fire and the motivation to complete it. Or they are surrounded by unsupportive people who don’t “get” their need to create and who may apply some negative pressure. Others have supportive family and friend networks and draw energy from those around them, which helps them to keep moving.

Next: Let Go of Mental Clutter
Previous: Ask Yourself The Right Questions

Find Your Simple is a blog series about discovering what’s truly important to you, and letting go of the rest.

You might also be interested in our free Happy Muses 101 guide.