The Practice of Creativity

Posts Tagged ‘creating meaning

This is the season of gratitude and I am so grateful for *your* support of my blog during 2014.

I have a treat for you. If you participated in my Creativity Bonfire Series telesummit last spring then you got the distinct pleasure of hearing one of my favorite creativity mentors – Dr. Eric Maisel. The telesummit gathered together 12 authors, artists, coaches and visionaries to share their expertise, passion and insights about how to develop and sustain creativity so that it benefits every area of one’s life.


I was so happy that Eric accepted my invitation to participate. He is the author over 40 books (!) on creativity and has so much wisdom to share about the creative process.

I’m so excited, because Eric has written yet another fantastic book – Life Purpose Boot Camp: The 8-Week Breakthrough Plan for Creating a Meaningful Life (New World Library). The book provides an eight-week intensive that breaks through barriers and offers insights for living each day with purpose. Below, Eric answers a few questions about the book in a mini-interview.

I discovered Eric’s work in 2001 and his approach was instrumental in helping me to move forward with my intention to write. More than thirteen years later, I’m still applying his insights in my work as a scholar, writer and creativity coach. I’m also a graduate of his creativity coaching program.

In honor of Eric’s book, I’m gifting you with our conversation from last spring. In it you will discover:

-How to fight back against the great silencers of creative expression-fear, doubt and anxiety

-How to create ‘in the middle’ of your busy life

-How to manage difficult emotions that arise as you pursue a creative life (e.g. jealousy, envy, fear)

-How to create more

Get your recording here. I know this conversation will keep your creative fire stoked all during this busy month and into 2015. It also provides a great introduction to Eric’s work. And after listening, you’ll probably want to grab Eric’s latest book, too.

Enjoy and thanks!

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about your reasons for writing Life Purpose Boot Camp? There are a lot of books about life purpose out there already—why did you think that another book on the subject was warranted?

Most traditional books on life purpose argue that life purpose is a kind of alignment with the universe. You discern what the universe wants from you—that information passed to you via books like the bible, via gurus or experts, via meditation practices, spirit quests or desert treks, via preachers and their sermons—and then you align yourself with that wisdom and knowledge. Life purpose is seen as something you must seek out and, if you are lucky, find. This is our long-standing vision of life purpose and connects to all sorts of religious, spiritual, and philosophical traditions.

It is time to change our mind about this and make the profound paradigm shift from seeking meaning to making meaning. If you believe in ideas like evolution and if you have a secular orientation, then it follows that there is no life purpose to find because the universe has zero life purposes in mind for you. Nature is not interested in offering you life purposes or in commenting on your life purposes. Rather, life purposes are decisions you make about what you value, what feels meaningful to you, what principles you want to uphold, how you want to represent yourself in life, and how you want to make yourself proud by your efforts and your actions.

Life Purpose Boot Camp presents a systematic program for doing exactly that: identifying your life purposes, articulating your life purposes, and making plans for holding your life purposes “close” so that you actually get to them on a daily basis. Growing up, you never learned these ideas, skills, or strategies: skills like writing life purpose statements, creating your life purpose icon, starting your day with a morning meaning check-in, and so on. Might be a good time to start <smile>!

  1. You do a lot of work with creative people—in fact you’re widely regarded as America’s foremost creativity coach. Do creative people have some special troubles with life purpose?

The majority of people today have trouble with life purpose but creative folks have special problems with life purpose for the following two reasons, among many others:

+ It is hard to succeed in the arts, so while you may feel like you are following your life purpose by performing or creating you are likely thwarted at every turn and may end up in unfulfilling day jobs, in arduous second careers engaged in to support your creative life, and so on. The challenging nature of the creative life makes it hard to sustain the effort of holding creating or performing as a primary life purpose.

+ Creatives tend to put all of their meaning and all of their life purpose into their creative pursuits and end up taking too few other meaning opportunities and pursuing too few other life purposes—for instance missing out on love, intimacy and relationships. It is fine to have a primary life purpose like creating but we really need multiple life purposes, not a single life purpose. Putting all of our meaning and life purpose in one basket is a dangerous thing!

In Life Purpose Boot Camp I spell out how to identify—and then juggle—multiple life purposes. Really, nothing is more important to learn.

Michele Tracy Berger

Michele Tracy Berger

Author, Academic, Creativity Expert I'm an award winning writer.

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