Creativity is energy, and creative energy is at the heart of all life. In fact, it’s an everyday staple. It helps us grow our talents and keeps us happy and healthy. Even as infants we learn to sing before we talk and dance before we ever walk.
As parents, we can purchase a high-end toy for children one day and the very next day watch them turn a cardboard box into a plaything that will pique their interests for hours. Creative energy is part of our nature, and we love being creative. It is the energy that makes your mind flow and helps you find new ways to be happy and radiate good vibes.
You are a creativity engineer
Our minds are flooded with 11 million bits of information per second (no typo, 11 million), but some scientists say we can only focus on 40 bits. To give you an idea (measuring two bits per typed character), by the time you read the words “August, September, October,” you have already used up your 40-bit allotment. That fast. This means that an awful lot of what’s happening around us and to us goes undetected. Yet, our allotted maximum attention of 40 bits of data, which may not sound like much, accumulates throughout an average life span. It is from these 40 bits of data that we “choose” who we want to be and how we want to live.
What differentiates humans from every other animal on the planet is that we can imagine a fictional scenario and put ourselves into it. We can visualize how we want things to turn out. We can imagine how we want to build our lives. And then we can creatively engineer our plan from the river of information streaming at us moment by moment. In my opinion, this uniquely human capability has much to do with achieving our purpose in life. Positive, creative thinking is nothing less than sacred.
What causes creative burnout
Concentration (especially on the same thing) for long periods of time will burn you out. You know you are almost running out of steam when you begin to feel tense or become fatigued. You also might experience a wandering mind or body pain. You start to crave caffeine drinks, high fructose drinks or even harmful substances. These are signals that you need to re-balance.
One thing I recommend is shifting between your analytical, physical and creative energy pipelines. For example, if you are learning a new melody on the piano or painting a landscape, or doing anything artistic, get out of your “creative” mind for a while and do something physical. Sports like jogging or swimming or even sweeping a floor, gardening or rearranging a room work very well. I love cleaning house as much as I love practicing martial arts, yoga and jogging, as these activities send my mind into organizational mode quickly.
Physical action gives your creative mind a rest while activating your organizational side.
Next, I recommend shifting to something analytical. Try something new: start a book you’ve been wanting to read or research a fascinating topic on the internet; the higher the interest or personal significance, the better. Make it something positive. This way, the energy you feel and glean is high quality.
When you toggle back to your creative activity, each of the other energies you have been dabbling in will merge. This is key. This is what gives you the biggest surge of energy. You will feel better organized, more analytically creative and have more pizzazz. As you shift back and forth to keep a balanced mindset, you are not turning off parts of your mind in preference to others. You are, in effect, putting one up front while the other is still running like a file (on a lower energy consumption mode) “underneath.” So, although you shift from playing your melody on the piano, writing a poem or creatively assembling a future goal to jogging or housekeeping, your creative mind is still working solutions for you. This switch is essential to keep you charged and to protect you from burnout. May the energy be with you!
Energy tips to keep creativity fresh
• Look for a connection between your activities and a personal life priority. Look for a poem in the walk you take through the park or when you observe sunlight touching a flower, jot down the details right away and assemble them later. Connect the poem to something that can improve your life, like finding a peaceful solution to a conflict that is gnawing at you.
•Make yourself aware of physical activities that refuel your creative mind. These are not a one-size-fits all. Mine are jogging, hiking and playing the violin. Einstein had the habit of taking a break from his research every now and then to play the piano before going back to work. Enjoy finding yours and use them often.
•To stay balanced, shift to another activity at or before hitting your 80 percent energy reserve mark. When you shift, push the pedal to the metal to get those juices flowing.
• Stay fresh and creative by discovering what balancing activities work best at different times of your day. Some people find that reading inspires their creativity, but they need to read, say, first thing in morning, before they get to their own work. Timing really can be everything.
Listen to our podcast with Joseph Cardillo: How to Master Body Intelligence
Read more by Joseph Cardillo: 3 Quick and Natural Energy Boosts You Can Use Anytime and 5 Ways to Recharge Your Energy Anytime You Need It