I had a grandmother who was next door to Mrs. Santa Claus. Not only did she look just like Santa's wife, she acted like her – always ready for a laugh, funny story, scrumptious goodies and a cozy, happy evening in her warm kitchen.
She died when I was 13, and I’ve since spent a great deal of time pondering about why she was such a happy, creative person. Here’s my list of some of the reasons:
So what are the ingredients for a happy creative professional’s life?
Most creatives want to serve the world, but we need to remember to extend these charitable feelings to ourselves by providing ours with this kind of healthy environment, which becomes a fertile ground for our talents to flourish.
The kind of environment I have described was common when my grandmother was alive, but has become less so. Having this kind of life requires charting a clear direction and setting aside blocks of time to bring your life into this kind of order. A desire to have this kind of orderly environment leads naturally to simplicity, civility and an increased sense of balance, beauty and good design. It is the beginning of solving 90 percent of your problems.
To end up in the right place, you need to choose a destination. You can’t go everywhere. Then you need to choose the way you want to get there. Only if you choose both carefully will you have a joyful life and result. You can’t go to a chalet in the Swiss alps without a stunning mountain ride. You can’t go to Santa Cruz without enjoying the Central Coast of California along the way. The destination is intimately connected with the journey.
Everyone needs a life with healthy food, interesting work, family and friends, clean safe housing, a reasonable income, spiritual and emotional growth, development and use of their talents to better their lives and the lives of others, and something worthwhile to commit to.
Start with these needs and build a world that pulls them all together and you’ll find it will be big and wide and free and satisfying.