As I pursue my long-lost dream of becoming a writer, I was drawn closer to embracing a creative life. The idea is so big, it eats me when I try to explain it to people what it means. But this book nailed it right on the head.
Performing is one way to hail creative arts. I feel honoured to have the strength to perform and I feel privileged to give my element to each of my choreographers’ beautiful works every day in the show which I am doing for more than a decade now. Choosing to pursue a career out of it is one of the best choices I’ve ever done in my life. It may have opposed what the family I’ve grown into sorta’ practiced (there were a lot of businessmen and businesswomen in my family) but it’s undeniable that embracing an artist’s calling makes me feel alive, makes me feel purposeful. Not to mention, my audience’s reaction each time is comparable to nothing.
There’s no dancer I know who is not outgoing and extrovert but despite that, alone time comes and visits once in a while and personally, one way I welcome its visits is balancing out myself through writing. Due to such hobby, I read a lot because of the sole reason that to write good, to put something good out, you should chew something good and understand the mystery of a story which means reading a lot.
The universe hears my desire to get involved with creativity that he gives me a friend who gives out this book as a free gift. Now, I consider it as the second best book I’ve read this 2017 after the “How To Blog A Book”.
You might not remember Elizabeth Gilbert but she’s the writer of the #1 New York Best Seller: “Eat Pray Love.”, a memoirs book of Gilbert herself. Now, I have not read that book but I’ve watched the movie. I believe it is one of the movies that successfully represented a book because I grasped its message quite well that I vowed to myself never to be a boring person. Meaning, “only boring people get bored”. Her attitude of being driven made me pursue learning so much more.
The book is about the writer’s journey of finding herself after getting succumbed to a lifestyle that she later realised makes her rotten from the inside, it gave way to this project called “Big Magic”. The way she wrote it resonated in me that she has big respect to creativity that she had to write about it and make people understand its power.
I’ve acknowledged before in my article, “Entrepreneurship“, (featuring people who I consider creative with their dreams and are now on their way to pursuing success by making it happen), quoting Dieter Uchtdorf, “The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.”
Whether you’re the kind of person who works in the office routinely 8 hours/day, 6 days a week, or a the janitor that cleans the same shitty bathroom every day or you’re the workaholic that gets tied up 18 hours a day, you still work around it creatively. Maybe through how you arrange your files, maybe through how you go mopping every floor so that you don’t step on the area you’ve mopped already or how you can come up with something good with that 18 hours of work by writing about it later on, anything…. you will for sure find yourself creating something.
That being accepted as a real aspect of being human, how do we pay attention? Elizabeth Gilbert had introduced another living entity besides us creatures of the land and sea (including the animals, plants, plankton and amoeba), and it’s our ideas. Like us, these ideas need tender love and care. They find a way to breathe, they find a way to belong and they aim to fulfill their sole purpose. And these ideas live with us as it floats on planet earth’s ether and it continuously looks for a host where it could co-exist. Once it finds the perfect host, nurtured with attention, time, effort and opportunity, it will lead to curiosity which is the mother of creativity. That’s how it is born. That is the very first big magic Elizabeth Gilbert introduced in the book.
Let’s go through it into detail.
Have you ever thought of doing something and then you just may have ignored it, or you got distracted after thinking about it or you were just simply fearful of the idea that you shoved it off your brain? And then later on, you heard, somebody had actually done it?
I’ll share to you a story of a business idea I had back in college. Because I had to work for my tuition fee, I had to manage my funds, time and priorities at an early age independently. I was slowly becoming financial literate but I didn’t know that’s how they call it back then. Proof of this were 3 books I bought in a form of a journal that asks you to tally what you saved, books about investing in properties and a book that’s actually a compilation of short stories, all sharing their journey to financial freedom. Needless to say, I got hold of real information necessary in minding my savings. So, one of the books ignited the business genes I got to have me thinking about a business that would need not much of a capital to start, something that would need not much labor and a business that is easy to expand from later on if your initial branding wouldn’t sell out.
Since I was a gamer at that time, and board games were kind of slowly fading out, I thought of bringing them back. So what if I would put up a car wash!? I will buy a lot, design it as an open space (90% a vacant lot) where people would just leave their vehicles but the space for car wash would be surrounded by a gaming centre where they could actually spend time in while waiting for their cars to get polished up. They can just look outside the window to check the status of their car getting washed up now and then. They would find it convenient and entertaining. It’s the only place that offers such so competitively, it’s the first of its kind. That way, all the resources that I would just have to spend capital on would be people to wash cars, water and soap and polish (which at that time, there were friends whom I actually thought of getting the supplies from) and the gaming centre where scrabble, chess, darts, pool tables would be. Of course, food carts and coffee shops or desert places are welcome to rent the surrounding space. I need not worry about these franchises since their lease contracts are just what I’ll be holding because the only ties they will have with me would be all about renting my space.
Alas! Such brilliant idea remained at the base of my brain when my graduating years needed to be prioritized, when I had gone full-time in studying for my licensure exam, looking for a stable job, then performing on the side for extra money and doing commercial shoots here and there just to make ends meet. In short, I got d-i-s-t-r-a-c-t-e-d from my first business idea.
What do I find out 2 years after? One of my co-teachers, while I was teaching in uni, had a car. But we had to finish checking test papers for a final consideration for a certain class. So, we had to stick together but she needed to have her car washed at that time after being neglectful of the chore. So, she said, “Let’s go and take my car, have it washed while we have coffee over these pile of test papers, what do you say?” To my surprise, that my idea had gone alive, I automatically said yes, and there it stood, a vacant lot, with a car wash surrounded by a café, nail spa, massage centre and a barber shop.
This was exactly what I had in mind and I never disclosed that idea to anybody.
Now, what’s my point?
That very business idea actually walked pass me, found a dwelling in my brain but it went tired of waiting for me to act upon it! And as i write about it now, it’s a hard truth to take. Just like any living thing, if it is not nurtured well, it will find an adaptive living environment. My brain was not fertile enough for it that it went looking for another host, who would actually give a damn to it, passionately.
I’m sure, at one point in your life, there was a similar event that happened to you and God forbid, when you saw it all accomplished and successful, your teeth needed to bite on something as it dawned on you that you could have been the one who did it.
This is just one of the Big Magic this book is all about and as you go forth reading it, Elizabeth Gilbert shares more of these kind of stories that actually cheers you on in embracing a life fearlessly which was her very definition of living creatively.
To rate this book if it’s good or not? Well, it had me convinced to act on certain projects that I long to do, act on goals that I’ve set many years ago and most especially, live a life to the fullest because we just have one short life to live anyway.
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