“Composing gives me great pleasure… there is nothing that surpasses the joy of creation, if only because through it one wins hours of self-forgetfulness, when one lives in a world of sound.”
Pianist and composer Clara Schumann (1819-1896)
In an article of hers, career change mentor Valerie Young writes:
“People told you to put away your silly ideas about being ‘happy’ and just get a ‘good job.’ So everyone from your guidance counselor to your mother swayed you toward being a teacher or an engineer or an executive. There’s just one problem. You’re miserable.
“And sadly, you’re not alone. As Benjamin Disraeli once said, ‘Most people will die with their music still in them.’
“But, what if the most ‘real’ thing you can do is to do work that reflects your authentic self? To find a way to actually live your life on your own terms? What if what you really need to do is to get ‘unreal.’
“After all, as Will Smith reminds us, ‘Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.’ Is that what you really want?”
From “What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?” by Valerie Young, “Dreamer in Residence” at ChangingCourse.com – “Helping People Around the World Work at What they Love, Follow Their Own Road and Live Life on Purpose.”
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Therapist and coach Maria Grace asks us to imagine someone asking: “How many hours a week do you spend working?” or “What do you do?” and notes you are likely to answer something like, “I am a full-time student and I work part-time at a department store,” or “I am a full-time mom of three boys,” or I am a professor,” or “I am a computer analyst”, etc.
She points out, “Your answer describes the daily routine of what you do for a living, which is a job that gives you income, a social identity, a certain professional status and, sometimes, public recognition.
“However rewarding, very often a job includes duties, tasks and requirements that we are obliged to perform, whether we like them or not.
“Our freedom to do only what we like in our job is almost always limited. This is a main reason why so many people suffer from job-related dissatisfaction and see their work as the necessary evil they must endure in exchange for a monthly paycheck.”
In contrast, Grace continues:
“Now, imagine someone asking you ‘How many hours a week do you spend creating something that gives you joy?’ or ‘Do you have a creative habit that helps you handle stress?’”
She lists some likely or common responses: “Hmm, you know, I’d like to be creative but, truth is, I’m too tired”, or “Well, I’d love to have some time for creativity, but I’m too busy with other things,” or “It would be awesome to have a creative habit but that’s a luxury for the rich and I have bills to pay” or “Me, creative? But I’m not an artist, I am an office manager!”
“If your answer to the question about creativity resembles any of the answers above, it is high time you changed your attitude toward your ability to be creative.”
From her article Practice Creativity.
Maria Grace, Ph.D., is “an expert at teaching people how to learn lessons from popular movies to find the job, home, relationship, and healthy body and mind they want. She is a Fulbright scholar, licensed psychotherapist, sought-after public speaker and coach.”
She is author of “Reel Fulfillment: A 12-Step Plan for Transforming Your Life through Movies.”
Photo above: actress, dancer, poet, painter Juliette Binoche – who commented in an interview:
“I’m put in this situation of being an actor, which is related to the public, and I need to connect to people’s creativity. ‘Wake up you creators, wake up. Do things, paint, express yourself and make life possible, whether it’s having children, whatever. Just wake up; it’s time for you to do things.’ That’s I want to say.”
From my article Multitalented Creative People.
The Wikipedia profile on Clara Schumann notes
“From an early age, Clara’s career and life was planned down to the smallest detail by her father. She daily received a one-hour lesson (in piano, violin, singing, theory, harmony, composition, and counterpoint) and two hours of practice, using the teaching methods he had developed on his own.
“In March 1828, at the age of eight, the young Clara Wieck performed at the Leipzig home of Dr. Ernst Carus, director of the mental hospital at Colditz Castle. There she met another gifted young pianist who had been invited to the musical evening, named Robert Schumann, who was nine years older.”
Related article: Adult Genius, Unexceptional Kid – “The young Mozart’s prowess can be chalked up to practice, practice, practice. Compelled to practice three hours a day from age three on.. No wonder they thought he was a genius.” Malcolm Gladwell.