Last weekend, my wife and I went back to our first church we ever attended as a couple for a homecoming celebration. We had the privilege of staying and visiting with some dear friends, some of whom live about a half-mile off the main road. Being out in what looks like the middle of nowhere with no cell service and just the company, God, and His creation to keep you occupied is incredibly freeing.
It just so happens that both couples’ houses have a wood shop. One friend made the comment that he can go out there early in the morning and completely lose all track of time until he’s called in for supper by his wife. It definitely gave me the desire to visit again and get lost in constructing a project for my wife or just for the sake of doing so.
But daily creation doesn’t have to take the form of woodworking, necessarily. It can be anything from writing to music. Just make something. My rule for blogging is that I need to sit down and write for at least 30 minutes each day. It doesn’t matter what it is that I actually write, just that I go through the process of creating.
Still need some extra motivation? Here are some reasons why you should:
1. It’s Rewarding
Making something with your hands or utilizing your creative outlet is often far more rewarding than anything else you could otherwise be doing. My wife recently took up painting. We have 2 of hers hanging in different places in our house. You can only imagine the smile on her face knowing that the art work she was about to hang was the work of her hands. Did it cost money to learn? Sure. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Being able to watch her being so proud of her accomplishments was definitely one of the greatest experiences a husband could ask for (selfish, though it may be).
Creativity and finding innovative ways to add value is an incredibly marketable skill. Companies search for candidates who can solve their problems while finding new solutions that actually work. Demonstrating that you’re creative is very impressive in a job interview and will cause more opportunities to come your way. Understand that this doesn’t just happen by going through your daily tasks the same way day after day. You have to take on the hard stuff. Volunteer for your boss. Trust me. The addition to your portfolio and the practice your creativity gets are well worth a little extra time.
3. Exercises Your Mind
This is something we don’t do enough of in our society. We regularly spend the majority of the day at work and the rest of the day engaging in mindless activity like TV. You need to give your brain the ability to work without actually working. Give yourself the chance to engage in fun work, not just what you do for a living.
My father-in-law loves to garden. It seems like that provides his constant sometimes when life gets completely crazy. It gives him something to cultivate – the plants and his ability to create. That makes him considerably more effective mentally in his other daily tasks. It appears backwards to think that adding to your plate helps you be better at doing more. But when it comes to something creative, your brain could use the break to work on something fun.
Creating something has a way of forcing people to have a one-track mind. It’s like your brain is working so hard on the actual task that it’s impossible to think about anything else at the risk of sacrificing the quality of the product. Is it an escape in that there is no work involved? No. But I personally believe that humans were wired for work. God didn’t set man in Eden and say “Go lay around and watch TV now.” He said that He had put man there to keep the ground and to work. That’s where real fulfillment comes from.
5. See Things Differently
Those who practice parkour have a very unique perspective on what a playground looks like. They don’t see monkey bars, slides, etc. They see a way to get from point A to point B. If you’re lost here, go youtube “parkour”. You’ll be hooked immediately. Guaranteed.
The point is that people who create on a daily basis tend to see the ability to express that creativity everywhere. You see a set of stairs with a handrail; a good skateboarder sees a grinding rail. You see a modern building; a parkour artist (tracer) sees a way to get up high/a playground. You see a sidewalk; a chalk artist sees a canvas. It’s really exciting and fun when you start to see the world through the lens of your craft or hobby.
Buena suerte, amigos! Go forth and make something. You’ve been reading on your computer long enough.