It takes a lot of effort to sustain creativity. As a person who started in the design industry almost 20 years, I could attest to the fact that motivating myself to create quality output is always a challenge. I tried a lot of ways to keep the creativity flowing and maneuver it to the place I need it to flourish. While all of that is happening, I also consider deadlines, client preferences, maintaining branding, and other projects I am working on. Not to mention my ministry in the church and my responsibility as a husband and dad. So, before I start burning out, I need to do some self-evaluation. Assessments and evaluations are crucial to any kind of growth. That is why I would like to go through my personal evaluation question on my creative self.
WHAT IS MY ULTIMATE PURPOSE?
Creative people are subconsciously trained to strive to visualize the end in mind. Every project has an ultimate purpose. Every design has a definitive objective. In every project I involve myself with, I always remind myself of my ultimate purpose. I’m not talking about the purpose of what I am currently working on, but my own ultimate purpose in doing this project. Why am I even doing what I’m doing right now? Why do we create content? Why do we pursue these things? It might be a cliché, but having a definite purpose in life will create certain standards in our life processes. Objectives and goals are easier to conclude when you are guided by your purpose in life.
If you haven’t thought about your ultimate purpose then maybe you have to go back to your core beliefs. What do you believe in? In my case, as a professing Christian, I hold on to the standards set forth by the Holy Bible. My purpose is then founded on my spiritual walk. Don’t get me wrong, this post is not designed to push my belief system on you. But it is not an impossibility for you to also acquire what I have. Whatever you decide on, one thing is clear – WE NEED AN ULTIMATE PURPOSE IN LIFE!
Now, what you are about to read next might confuse you, so take your time and re-read if needed. YOUR ULTIMATE PURPOSE IS BOUND TO CHANGE OVER TIME. Huh!? Yes, and I can attest to that. When I was young, my ultimate purpose was to survive. Get through everything as quickly as possible, by any means, to get to the next thing. Then when I started to work, I looked for stability. My goal was quantitative. I wanted to reach a certain salary grade and a certain amount in my bank account. Then, I got married and started a family, and I think I found my ultimate purpose with much finality. It’s letting God lead me to a life where I can point people to my core beliefs. Every project, write-up, event, family gathering, business tie-ups, and future endeavors are pursued with that in mind. As I type away, I think about what people will receive once they finish reading this (I hope you do finish reading this).
Once you refocus your mindset on your ultimate purpose, then it’s time to move on to the next question.
HOW AM I CONTRIBUTING TO MY ULTIMATE PURPOSE?
As we define our ultimate purpose, it’s now time to assess if our decisions in life are contributing to it. The artistic mind might seem to be very complicated, but it processes data and information just like any other person. In my opinion, we are just wired uniquely because of our heightened imagination and the ability to look at a situation from different perspectives. That is why this question should technically be easy to answer. SHOULD. But nothing in life is a walk in a park.
Countless decisions are made every single day and considering all of them is daunting for a creative like me. So focus on major decisions that are game changers – pursuing a new client, changing the artistic direction of a project, investing in a new partner, etc. Look into them with our special artistic viewpoint and evaluate if they would contribute to your ultimate purpose.
Just recently, we moved into a new home and the process my mind had to go through was the most meticulous I ever experienced to date. I had to reconstruct different situations in my mind from the time we make the down payment up to the actual move. It was like Dr. Strange going through every possible scenario to find the crucial one that would fit my ultimate purpose. Don’t get intimated by possible failures, because it hasn’t happened yet! Fear of failure may be a setback for artists like us. Risks are part of life but don’t make it a necessity. Adhere to the natural inclination of our mentality as artists and make that a basis of making calculated risks. Don’t delay your growth just because you see failure ahead. Inevitably, we move forward…just make sure you turn to the direction where your ultimate purpose is served.
AM I GENUINELY HAPPY?
As we create art, either for ourselves or for other people, is there joy? With every brush stroke we place in our painting, every word we add to our story, every element we include in our composition, does our heart jump in natural elation?
All my life I am taught that HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE. We choose to be happy. I always struggled with that saying, because I felt that emotions are somehow uncontrollable. But as I grew older, I accepted the reality that happiness IS a choice! In my experience, it’s not a conscious choice with immediate results. Happiness came from past choices that constructed my current condition. Just like any other emotion, it is built upon the norms and standards that we have. That is why most normal people don’t burst out of anger, because our conscience says otherwise.
If the reason for your self-evaluation is because a current situation is stealing your happiness, then mentally step back from where you are and consciously look into your other affairs and assess if you are still happy doing those things. Sometimes, I also get caught up in the hassle of my current project that I immediately dismiss life as unfulfilling and unfair. But as I refocused on my family and my other personal projects, I instantly realize that life is good. So don’t let a hard situation define your overall happiness. That is why we need to evaluate ourselves from time to time and just be reminded of the important things in our lives.
Only three (3) questions? Yes. These are the only questions I need to realize the general status of my life. If you really think about it and chew on the questions, a lot of other questions will come up. I often do this whenever I was woken up by an upcoming project or a pending problem that I need to address. I alternately reflect on the questions while talking to God in my mind.
I pray that you take the time to slow down and evaluate yourself as you pursue creative excellence in your life and career!