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Being A Creative

Being A Creative

We are all creative, but being “a creative” usually refers to someone for whom creativity is life’s goal: Illustrator, Architect, Advertising Art Director, Writer, Musician, Photographer, Designer, Etc. Scientists, Surgeons, Marketing Managers, CEO’s and other problem solving discovery professions are among our species most creative members, but typically don’t get the label. Neither do accountants, unless of course they depart from normal accounting practice. Creativity is everywhere, but only those who commit their life of – at times – considerable hardship to advance their creative brand, get labeled “a creative”. Here is one thing I’ve notice: once “a creative” always a creative – the unearthing is in your soul. If you’re not “doing” you’re remembering how great it felt to “do”.


There is a certain momentum – or lack of – that goes hand-in-hand with making creativity your vocation. For those familiar with inertia, it can – on frequent occasion – feel like acts of God are required to get creative juices flowing fast enough to sever butt from couch and go “do”. It’s often called, “getting fired up” and that fire comes from within but is typically stimulated from the outside. Or – maybe it takes a slowing of the current in which you’re swimming which allows you to “do”; when required inertia ebbs. Most often, life’s river runs so fast, getting out of the current is too daunting; a fearful act. Let’s call that fast moving current: “the main stream”.

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A friend once related her philosophy to me: “If I’m not sure what to decide, and I’m not forced to, I make no decision.” If there is any statement that is anti-creative, it’s that one: It’s gutless, it’s ordinary, it’s mainstream. It’s how most of us live and it’s as comfortable as a soft couch.

There is this guy I know who recently jumped to shore out of the main stream. He’s been “a creative” all his life – which is significant because he’s well into the second half by any measure. Some must consider him restless and lacking focus, but I prefer to see him as an inquisitive life pupil. Climbing a-shore without traction only to fall back into the stream has dotted his life’s timeline. Not gutless by any stretch, but longing for comfort. Maybe it’s you?

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Ok – it’s me. After nearly a two year hiatus as Director of Marketing for a small Internet Development Company, I was reminded by a close friend how to have fun with my native profession – Photography. It took an act of fate for my long time Pal to invite me to join his crew at exactly the right time. Trips to the North Carolina Smokey Mountains, South Carolina Low Country, Amsterdam, London, Paris and over ten thousand shutter clicks managed to get me excited about “doing” and again wrestling with the challenge of being “a creative” – imagine that?

Back home in North Carolina I sit restlessly on shore of the main stream – retooled and re-energized, determined not to fall back in; I’m not a good swimmer but envy those who are. The trick for me now is to make such a photographic hullabaloo on my little piece of real estate that those avid swimmers slow progress long enough to see what’s up and ask how I can help them swim faster. A tall order, but after all, I’m “a creative”. It’s time to accept it and move on.

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How about you? Are you too comfortable, a bad swimmer, or both?

To see what Bruce DeBoer up to, visit: http://www.deboerworks.com.

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Last Updated on October 9, 2018

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity

Most of you made personal, one sentence resolutions like “I want to lose weight” or “I vow to go back to school.” It is a tradition to start the New Year with things you want to achieve, but under the influence resolutions are often unrealistic.

If you’re wondering when will be a good time to write a mission statement, NOW is the time to take a personal inventory to make this year your most productive year ever. You may be asking yourself, “How am I going to do that?” You, my friends, are going to write personal mission statements.

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A large number of corporations use mission statements to define the purpose of the company’s existence. Sony wants to “become the company most known for changing the worldwide poor-quality image of Japanese products” and 3M wants “to solve unsolved problems innovatively”. A personal mission statement is different than a corporate mission statement, but the fundamentals are the same.

So why do you need one? A personal statement will help you identify your core values and beliefs in one fluid tapestry of content that you can read anytime and anywhere to stay on task toward success.

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For example, Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire came to the realization that he had lost track of what was important to him. After writing a personal mission statement, we saw him start his own business and he got the girl, Renee Zelleweger. Not bad, wouldn’t you say? A personal mission statement will make sure that, through all the texting, emailing and constant bombardment of on-the-go activity, you won’t lose sight of what is most important to you.

Mission statements can be simple and concise while others are longer and filled with detail. The length of your personal mission statement will not be determined until you follow this simple equation to create your motivational springboard for 2008.

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To begin your internal cleansing, you will need to jot down the required information in the following five steps:

  1. What are your values? Values steer your actions and determine where you spend time, energy, and most importantly, money. Be specific and unique to yourself. Too much generalization will not be as effective. It is called a “personal” mission statement for a reason.
  2. What are three important goals you hope to achieve this year? Keep your list of important goals small and give them a date. It is better to focus on the horizon and not the stars. Realistic goals are keys to ultimate success.
  3. What image do you hope to project to yourself? How you see yourself is how the world will view you. Think about this carefully. Your image should encompass what you look like and feel after you have achieved your goals.
  4. Write down action statements from each value describing how you will use those values to achieve your three goals. Start with “I will…”
  5. Rewrite your statement to include only your action statements. Make portable copies for your wallet, car or office.

If you followed the steps above, congratulations! You have just written your first personal mission statement. Your personal statement will change over the years as your goals change. You can have more than one statement for the different compartments of your life such as your career, family, marriage, etc.

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Writing a personal mission statement is an effective method to ensure your productivity is at its peak. It is an ideal tradition to start so that when next year rolls around, the outdated practice of resolutions will be something you permanently left in the past.

Featured photo credit: Álvaro Serrano via unsplash.com

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