seeking & creating : researching & discovering : applying & practicing

sustainability in design = changing mindsets + deeds

Monday, March 8, 2010

How to Live a Creative Life and Succeed

Author: Chris Collins


Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

Stop complaining. Don’t complain about your life, your art, or anybody else. The most impressive people I have ever met are the most self-assured and accepting people.
“I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar.”Wash, Serenity
The less you complain about circumstances and people, the less people will complain about you. If you are an artist (of any kind) you know how much criticism can hurt. React to this by simply not participating in it. People tell me I sucks all the time! For a while I tried to argue back, but it never made me feel good. You will find that by letting go, you feel great (and other people will see you as great).
“I will speak ill of no man… and speak all the good I know of everybody.”Benjamin Franklin


Become genuinely interested in other people.

“Every man is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”R. W. Emerson
Everywhere I go, I talk to people. I try and learn from them. I genuinely care about what they have to say and what they do. Don’t run around trying to be the best (and therefore thinking you are the best). Next time you need inspiration, go out and find someone who makes you say wow! You have so much to gain from other people. Start appreciating them. Better yet, go tell them how much you appreciate them.
Disclaimer: The word “genuine” is of utmost importance here. If you approach someone with selfish intentions they will see right through you.


Give honest and sincere appreciation.

Who inspires you? Go tell them! I have achieved to much through appreciating other people. When I started the Nonsense Society, I wanted to bring all the creative people I knew together. I loved their creativity so much! I wanted to do whatever I could to promote them. After I did that, I began to write to everyone else I admired. They ALL gave me a response. Every single one. I wrote to band managers. I wrote to incredible artists. I wrote to famous people asking for advice. They ALL gave me whatever I wanted. You want to know why they gave me what I wanted? I appreciated them. Now incredible people find me, and I don’t have to ask anymore.
“For example, many years ago a boy of ten was working in a factory in Naples. He longed to be a singer but his first teacher discouraged him. ‘You can’t sing,’ he said, ‘You haven’t any voice at all. It sounds like the wind in the shutters.’ But his mother, a poor peasant woman, put her arms about him and praised him and told him she knew he could sing, she could already see an improvement, and she went barefoot in order to save money to pay for his music lessons. that peasant mother’s praise and encouragement changed that boy’s life. His name was Enrico Caruso, and he became the greatest and most famous opera singer of his age.” (Carnegie, p.228)


Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately

When I read this chapter title in How to Win Friends & Influence People, I immediately felt invigorated. Just thinking about saying “yes, yes” gets me all worked up. I’ve met so many creative people who inspire me with their ideas. When you meet someone interesting. Think about what makes them interesting. What are they passionate about? When you figure that out, talk to them about it. Find a similar interest and go nuts. This person will respect you, get involved in your projects, and help you in whatever way they can. I’ve had people give me more than I could have ever dreamed of. I didn’t even have to ask. How? I found a connection between their passion and mine.


Let the other person do a great deal of the talking

I don’t understand people who talk constantly. I rarely argue or debate. Why do you need to know my opinion? Does it make you like me more? Does it help me learn anything? Not really.
Rather than blabbing on and on about how great my latest film is, I’d rather hear what you have to say. I already know why I made the choices I made. I’d much rather hear about what you would have done. I’d much rather hear about what you think about film as an art form. You can learn so much from listening.
I tell people all the time, “Shut up and let everyone else talk.” People like to talk. I challenge you to stop being a good talker and start being a good listener. It will do wonders for you! The more I get people talking, the more they like me! It works every time. Talk less. Constantly ask questions. You will notice people calling you a “good conversationalist” and just smile.

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