Years ago, Kathleen and I were in Hyderabad, India, teaching at the Young Creative Leaders Conference, sponsored by One Hope. While I was gone, I asked some experts in various fields to write guest posts for the blog. This post is from Chris Busch, founder of LightQuest Media in Tulsa. Chris reminds us that ideas matter, but even more important, is the ability to execute those ideas:
Some years back I was interviewing an applicant for a position with my company. When I asked about strengths, he responded enthusiastically, “I’m an idea person.” Further interrogation revealed this person did not actually implement ideas, that duty fell to the plebeians. His strong suit was coming up with ideas for others to execute. I looked for a telling grin, but he was serious and after the interview, still unemployed.
Executing an idea is the true essence of being creative. What businesses and ministries need are people who can create, not just have creative thoughts. As a writing instructor of mine once said, “Many people say they want to write, but most simply want to have written.”
The journey from idea to reality follows the perilous and painstaking road of execution. Every meaningful step of progress along that road is resisted, and that resistance dwelleth(KJV) in us. The persistence of reality ultimately reveals that a saboteur lives within, and we see that those whose work has really had an impact and mattered in this world are those who have successfully fought and overcome their inner saboteur.
This saboteur in us has many devices. Here are a few –
• Fear – fearless does not exist. If your aspirations are important, you will face fear – fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of excelling… you have but one resolve, “I must do this afraid.”
• Shame – shame has been best described as a fear of being disconnected. If others don’t like my work, or even worse don’t like me, I may lose that connection which I as a human not only want, but need.
• Procrastination – belief in the lie that the optimal time to get started is not now. However, resistance will never be any weaker than it is right now.
• Wishing – to believe that wishing is the same as doing leaves us high-centered, wheels spinning furiously but no traction. Jiminy Cricket was wrong. When you wish upon a star, you lie to yourself about what really makes dreams come true. Lying to yourself may be bad, but believing the lie is debilitating.
Whether you will truly create, and not just “be creative” depends on the outcomes of your ongoing battles with your inner saboteur. Here the top five things to help you on the journey from being creative to being a creator:
• Allow yourself no excuses. The resistance is not out there…a boss, a spouse, a leader…nope, the saboteur is in you. You can’t escape, you have to dig in and win…daily. Starting today.
• Most people think that discipline is something you have, when really discipline is something you do. If you focus on what you have, you will always feel inadequate. Do the work. That’s all discipline is. The strength to start is probably buried in that pile of wishes.
• Schedule appointments with yourself to do the work. Somerset Maugham said he knew precisely when inspiration would strike. It was at 9 AM, the time each day he assigned and scheduled himself the task of writing.
• If you’re trying to do meaningful work, shut off your email, texting, browser, Facebook and Twitter. Being busy often disguises itself as accomplishment. Don’t be hoodwinked.
• Resistance lurks in the ruts of our habits. Rebel against and disrupt your bad habits or nonproductive routines. Find them by searching under “makes me comfortable.”
Some reinforcements for the battle –
• The War of Art – by Steven Pressfield
• The Artist’s Way – by Julia Cameron
• Steven Pressfield’s Blog
Chris Alan Busch is a futurist, a marketing and growth strategist, and the CEO and founder of LightQuest Media, Inc., a media agency serving Christian ministries and emerging businesses. He is a sought after coach, consultant, advisor, and speaker on developing overcoming leaders from the inside out.
You can follow him at Facebook (chrisbusch) and Twitter (@chrisbusch).