CREATE | Bouquets of flowers, men in suits, somber faces
It’s Thursday morning. I was out front wiping the dew drops off of Luca’s bike seat before he goes to school.
Across the street were three cars, well, three cars more than normal.
Young men I don’t know came out from the back gate with way too many bouquets of flowers. They were wearing suits.
A woman had something of an elegant evening gown on. But it’s 8:30 in the morning.
They gave me courteous waves. I waved back.
I saw my neighbor. She saw me. She’s one of the sweetest people I have ever (barely) known.
You know those types? You don’t really know them “well” but you know they are good, warm, genuine.
Her husband had some bad medical news a few weeks ago. Seems like it may have turned for the worst.
They all drove off, Luca’s seat was well dried by now, and Pepper was hoping we’d go for a walk.
In other words, life goes on.
For some of us.
I don’t pretend to have all of the answers. Just some of them. Some that have worked for me.
If I were the one whose life they were celebrating this morning, would I be OK with it? Am I ready to go? Have I done here what I wanted to do?
But I have to admit: over the past short few years, I’m a whole lot closer.
My wife said to me this morning as she was getting ready for work that she has been missing San Francisco lately (we lived there for 17 years).
“Maybe it’s because I have a job now and I’m back in the daily grind.”
Now it wasn’t terribly appropriate to bring up my Big Answer at 7:18 in the morning to my wife who is, how do I put this delicately, not exactly a morning person.
But I have a Big Answer.
I believe we’re all creators.
I believe we need to create stuff. Make things. Build, draw, write, compose, do.
Where there was nothing and now there is something.
It doesn’t mean it has to be commercial. We don’t all need to be best-selling authors or famous composers or oil painters.
But we need to create.
We need to get it from inside to the outside.
What is it?
Whatever it is you have inside that wants to be outside.
Let’s take my neighbor.
Want to ask him what has left with the world? I don’t mean to be morbid, but he can no longer answer.
What do we want to create to leave behind?
Or let’s get those morbid thoughts out of the way for a moment. What do we want to create right now? What’s holding us back? Why aren’t we doing it?
I can think of a host of reasons to not do it.
Enough? Anything resonate?
Now let’s not put you on your own deathbed, but what if you were attending the funeral today of my neighbor. You might have one of those moments where you think, “Gee, if that were me, would I be OK with it? What might I have done differently?”
Do That Thing.
I don’t mean to say that we’re all creative.
Oops, scratch that.
That’s exactly what I mean to say.
We are all born creative we just allow other stuff to get in the way.
I hear you now. You’re asking.
“OK, Bradley. Let’s say I buy into your message here. Great. But what do you want me to do?”
Make something. Do something. Turn a thought into a thing. Create something.
It won’t be judged, there is no fear, no one is watching.
Well, except for the future version of yourself.
What does that future self want? What would they advise you to do right now?
When I have an idea that won’t go away, I write about it. Can you tell I’m working on a book called … create?
When I see things simply and clearly yet I can’t quite get the full power of the message across it usually means I need to write more about it.
Did you catch that?
I don’t need to learn, research, take in, consume.
I need to write, revise, think, let it out.
I have to stop.
I have my idea.
It might not be clear to you. Yet.
But if I had the solution to all of life’s problems? We’re down to one word.
If you want extra bonus brownie points, here’s an even more powerful word although this is for the advanced class:
I’ve turned “co-create” into a simpler word: Spark.
Are you ready? Join me.