How to Be Optimistic In a Recessed Economy

Wednesday April 01, 2009 by Ian Summers,

Posted in: Stimulating Creativity

Ian is generously offering a special bonus to our Insight readers. Get Ian's e-book "1,001 Quotes, Questions and Ponderings" totally free. Just send him an email with the subject line "1001" and you'll receive it in your inbox.

How are you maintaining an optimistic attitude in a recessive economy? Some wallow in the deep dark doom and gloom prophesies emanating from government, politicians, media and other sources. Some gather in groups to complain.

Therapists advise that a way to relieve depression is to take actions. What actions may you take that will turn you towards hope, growth and abundance? Most readers of this newsletter are creators. Is there a way to use the power of creation to manifest your dreams?

Is photography or illustration a calling? If the assignment business continues a downward turn, would you continue to make photographs or illustrations? Many of you are happiest when you are creating. Will you make pictures no matter what?

When you are making pictures, do you feel happy and hopeful or do you feel angry, sad, fear or shame?

When I am creating, causing something I love or something that matters to come into being, I am a lot easier to be around. My coaching work gets better. I feel balance. And I am optimistic. I adapted the following list, years ago, to define my own circumstances. I have discovered most are universal.

When I am creating...

  • I feel purposeful
  • I am deeply involved
  • My focus is outward
  • I am functional
  • I am focused and living in the moment
  • I feel relevant
  • There is a sense of timelessness
  • I have a sense of vital energy
  • There is a feeling of freedom
  • I have a sense of myself
  • I feel independent
  • Life seems important

When I am not creating...

  • I often feel lost
  • I feel separate and uninvolved
  • My focus is inward
  • I am often dysfunctional
  • I lose focus
  • I feel irrelevant
  • I feel pressured by time
  • I feel tired and depleted
  • I feel oppressed by circumstances
  • I have an unclear sense of myself
  • I am co-dependent
  • Life seems arbitrary

You may want to add some of your own particular traits. Do not limit your list to observations which occur only when you are creating art or artifacts. Creating is a life activity; a way of life. Creating may be present in your relationships, sales, marketing, and practically everything else you do.

Want to be more optimistic? Create some work that represent optimism your way. Post them to me and I will post them on the Heartstorming Blog.

Some optimism from my book: 1001 Quotes, Questions & Pondering on the Creative Process

The world of achievement has always belonged to the optimist. - J. Harold Wilkins

Who are the most optimistic people you know? What are their achievements? What do you know you could be more optimistic about? In what ways will that change in attitude effect your life?

Everyone who's taken a shower has an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference. - Nolan Bushnell

Where and when do your best ideas come to you? When have you had a great idea and did nothing about it? What were the results? When have you had a great idea and acted upon it? What were the results?

Everyone in our address book is a potential partner for everyone we meet. Everyone can fit somewhere in our ever-expanding business universe. - Tim Sanders

Go to your personal and business address books? In what ways is each member of your network a potential partner? What gifts do you have for them?

In order to allow ourselves to be creative, we have to relinquish control and overcome fear. Why? Because real creativity is life-altering. It threatens the status quo; it make us see things differently. It brings about change, and we are terrified of change. Human beings are born with a great deal of creativity, and by the age of 12, we've lost most of it. The world just slams it out of us.

Our teachers and parents tell us that what comes from our imagination isn't true; it's just "imaginary." I think that what's imaginary is truer than what's "real." Adults prefer facts, because facts are limited. Like truth, imagination is unlimited, so many people are afraid of it. Go outside at night in the country, where the sky is very clear. Then look up. Each one of those tiny points in the sky is a flaming sun. We're a tiny part of an enormous universe, which may be one of many universes. No one really knows for sure what's out there. So we use our imagination. Imagination allows us to ask big questions -- questions that scare us, and for which we don't have easy answers.

We live in a wild universe -- a universe in which the truth is frightening. My son died last December. He was only 47 years old. That's scary, and it's lousy, but it's true. Creativity comes from accepting that you're not safe, from being absolutely aware, and from letting go of control. It's a matter of seeing everything -- even when you want to shut your eyes. - Madeleine L'Engle

What did the well-meaning caretakers in your life tell you was not true? How did it effect how you create? If you could speak freely to those caretakers, what would you want to tell them? Write ten questions that are so huge that you are not likely to find easy answers?

If Michelangelo had wanted to play it safe: He would have painted the Sistine Chapel Floor. - Anonymous

What did you do for your art today that represented a risk?

If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes. - Andrew Carnegie

Write ten goals which reflect these characteristics.

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. - Albert Einstein

Is Einstein talking about the perfect balance? In what ways do you strive towards simplicity? What happens when something is over simplified?

We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses. - Carl Jung

What do you need to accept before you can change it?

To Contact Ian Summers:
Ian Summers
Career Coach
145 South Eleventh Street #4
Easton PA 18042


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