10 happiness secrets of highly creative people
I find that there’s a lot to learn from the creatives and artists among us. And although it’s certainly true that...
I find that there’s a lot to learn from the creatives and artists among us. And although it’s certainly true that the creative life is not always an easy life, because making a living can be hard, or staying true to your heart might not always be that easy, I find that living a creative life and being a creative person offers ways to happiness that are often unique and worth exploring.
So, here’s a list of 10 things that I have found to be uplifting, and which help make me happy, and that highly creative people often do, too.
As a child, I used to daydream a lot. I was a wandering child, always asking questions and looking up at the sky in awe, overwhelmed and intrigued by all the mysteries of the world. Back then, really, I used to daydream a lot. And in that world, surrounded by my stories, I was not only happy, but my imagination was fed and my emotions were expressed. As adults, we don’t daydream nearly enough for our own good. By starting what I call a “daydream practice” – that is, by allowing yourself to daydream regularly and to let your mind wander off for no other purpose than to do so, I’ve become better at thinking things up, putting things into perspective, and even contemplating alternate solutions to problems. And this has helped me to be happier.
2. Write it down.
Creative people have a way to nurture and harvest their creativity, and it often looks nothing like what you think it does. Creativity requires work – hard work, sometimes. It might well be that some of us are born with a more creative mark-up than others, but that doesn’t mean that creativity doesn’t need to be practiced. And, in fact, it really does. A first and important step for me has been to start writing all of my ideas down, whatever they are. This has not only helped me to see clearer inside my creative mind, but also to get a lot of noise out of my head and onto paper. And that has quieted my mind, which in turn has made me happier.
3. Express yourself.
We all want to be seen. In fact, I believe that this is one of the most important things for us in this world. We want to be acknowledged for who we are. And, as creatives, we want to offer the world what is uniquely us. We have a creative fever that never really goes away, and which is eased only by the creative process. That process is mostly about expressing ourselves, our ideas, our feelings, and our emotions, but also our torments, and even our darkest hours, and letting all of this be seen. And as terribly difficult sometimes to really show and express yourself authentically, if you don’t – and I think this goes for anyone, creative or not – you’ll always feel like something is missing from your life, and you’ll never be truly fulfilled.
4. Enjoy solitude.
It’s so uncommon to be really alone these days. And I’m not only talking about the physical aspects of not being surrounded by others. Of course, it’s fairly easy to separate yourself from others and look for a quiet spot, but that doesn’t mean you’re alone or even enjoying a moment of solitude. With the media at our fingertips and in our pockets, all the time these days, it’s extremely rare to be absolutely alone. And that’s a shame. Because solitude can be very beneficial to your well-being, and it offers so many beautiful things. Solitude, for instance, allows you to simply sit with yourself, to get to know yourself better, to calm down from your hectic life, to reflect upon your actions, and even to hear and listen to your own voice much better. And I believe that all of these things are ingredients for a happy and fulfilled life.
5. Follow your passion.
Highly creative people have a tendency to follow their hearts more than the less creative among us. Because creativity defines them so much, many will have much stronger opinions about what it is they are willing to do to sustain themselves. And very often, doing what they love will be at the heart of that.
At our core, I believe that we are creative beings with a need to express ourselves, and, as a result of this, our happiness greatly depends on it, too. And it might be that you don’t have the opportunity to quit everything and start your passion project full-time, but whatever it is that you’re passionate about, my point is: Do it as much as you can, infuse as many hours of your day with it, and always try to move closer to it. Even an hour a week spent on your passion project will make you happier.
6. Explore and observe.
Creative people have a different way to look at the world. Simply by looking around and observing what goes on, new ideas and projects can emerge. And this capacity to create by looking and exploring is something that I was able to develop within myself, too – a work in progress – and this makes me happy. And my bet is, it can make you happy also, whatever your level of creativity. Because, when we make new things or think up new ideas, we tap into the essence of what we are: creative beings. And doing that feels good.
7. See beauty everywhere.
The world is a magical place. Life is a magical thing. The mere fact that we’re given the opportunity to experience it and live through it is a mystery that I can’t stop wondering about. And, lately, I’ve been more aware than ever before about how beautiful the world is. Beauty is everywhere. And looking at the world like this – with the eyes of an artist, almost – lifts me up. Everywhere I look, I notice little signs of beauty, of love and compassion, of what the world has to offer. It can be as simple as a flower blossoming, or the love of a cat for her little kittens. Other times, I’m witness to courageous acts by women who decide to finally follow their hearts or to engage in acts of compassion towards themselves when they accept the challenge of loving themselves for who they are. All of that is beautiful, and by looking at the world this way, I become more optimistic and, in turn, happier.
8. Don’t just do – be.
I’m an ambitious woman; I have been for most of my adult life. And until about five years ago, my biggest ambition was to be perfect and be worthy of love. That translated into me wanting to always be in control, to accept all that came my way, to never question the workload others were giving me, or that I was giving myself, and to always be doing. I’ve spent many years like this – disconnected from myself, my body, and the world around me. Until I couldn’t anymore, and I realized that all these years I had just be doing, without being. And by returning to my body, and allowing myself to be instead of always needing to do, I found a new sense of calm and peace that I hadn’t known existed.
9. Take a break.
Creative people know that it takes time to create. And that taking a breather once in a while, or taking a break by changing activities during their work day, is very beneficial to the work they’re doing. And taking breaks like this is not only good for the work itself, but also for you. Moments like this can ground you, and bring you back to yourself. They can help you to feel nourished throughout the day by the activities that you undertake, and they can make you feel more alive, more useful, and even more joyful.
Enjoy yourself. Discover what you love. Then do more of it. Don’t take things too seriously, and explore yourself and the world around you. This is what creative people do. They need it to express themselves fully, and to enjoy their lives. And you know what? They’re not alone. We all need it. We start our lives as playful children, and along the way we lose this part of ourselves and become so serious sometimes. And with that, we lose a bit of happiness. When you see creative people play, you see how good it makes them feel. It’s essential for many to be happy. And I believe this is true for all of us. So, play!
I hope this list inspires you to find creative ways to find more happiness in your life. And, tell me, what habits do you know of that make you happy?
Hi, I’m Murielle. I created the online course Soulful Productivity™, a 6-week program to redefine productivity and help you get from overwhelm to flow, and I have a private coaching practice where I help ambitious, multi-passionate creatives and entrepreneurs start, grow & scale businesses, and create their freedom lifestyle. PS: I love Instagram. Let’s connect!