Courageously Creating Outside of The Box
An expansive number of years sharing space with people who have sought from my guidance – clarity, solutions, support and understanding, has revealed to me how easily we complicate our experiences with limitations created through constructs of language and our blind compliance to societal norms.
A recurring example – I frequently have people present to me the dilemma of being unhappy in their current work experience. Their reaction to this dilemma is to seek another “job”. A “job” that they hope will bring them greater satisfaction.
The simple use of the word job narrows the person’s ability to discover what will bring them happiness and satisfaction because they leave themself able to only look inside the box called job.
My first task is to ask the person to discuss with me their passions, interests, and ideals – without thinking about a job. We share a vibrant conversation about the fascinating things we read on social media, the global topics that grab our attention, the seemingly small but precious moments that warm our inner self.
As we share, I make note of the snippets of inspiration that the person raises, eventually laying them all out for some visual acknowledgement. You speak it – you own it. You see it – you own it.
You speak it – you own it.
You see it – you own it.
The response to this visual display? Surprise. Shock. Sometimes even sadness that those things are such a small portion of their daily life – the realisation that they have created a life that they are barely inspired by, at least not anymore.
Then inspiration and hope come to their face. The mind consuming its passions lightens and becomes playful and joyful. This is a mind that is courageously creating outside of the box.
Then I suggest – “Now let’s make a career (not a job) out of all of this so that this feeling gets you out of bed each day.”
At this point many people almost climb back into the box. They almost give up on those things that bought lightness, enthusiasm and energy to their whole person as they retort to my suggestion “I can’t do that as a job and get paid.”
So the gentle, creative process of grasping that courage to climb begins. Let’s dare to be creative for a moment in private – committing to nothing, publicly announcing nothing – just splashing some creative dreamer thoughts out there to see what happens.
Let’s dare to be creative for a moment in private – committing to nothing, publicly announcing nothing – just splashing some creative dreamer thoughts out there to see what happens.
“What would happen if you took these things that you chose and creatively made your own version of a “job” with them?”
“What could we even call that person that does that as a “job”?”
“Can you imagine other’s benefiting from you doing this?”
“How would it feel to get up and do this each day?”
The light returns to their eyes. There remains some ambivalent hesitation as their world has taught them to caution climbing out of that box. They have also learnt the comforts that come with staying inside of that box.
So we might question why it takes such significant courage to allow ourselves to create and be outside of the boxes that we have been taught to exist within?
It is the early experiences of reward and punishment that we have endured in relation to compliance and sameness.
Compliance and sameness receive acceptance and approval, a conditioning reward for ensuring that our courage does not extend beyond certain limits.
In contrast, non-compliance and different receive isolation, alienation and punishment for breaching the imposed and assumed limitations.
As children we are given boundaries – “boxes” – to keep us safe until we are competent enough to comprehend risk and danger.
However you are now an adult with a comprehensive understanding of your world and a vast capacity to evaluate risk and danger when making choices.
You are, as such, more capable of ‘being outside of the box’.
Are you willing to expand your possession of courage such that you can climb to see outside of the box?
You are now an adult with greater ability to create connections for belonging, and cope with rejection or disapproval from those that do not understand, align, or value you.
Are you willing to risk being different from others such that you can forge your own path away from the box toward a space where you can create your box?
Are you willing to risk being different from such that you can forge your own path away from the box toward a space where you can create your box?
You are now an adult, and as such the master designer of your own experiences.
Are you willing to reignite the passions and creativity that you possessed as a child, combine it with the power and ability that you now possess as an adult, and courageously immerse yourself in that which you are naturally inspired by – that which sits outside of the confines of the box?
Reflect on history…there are amazing human beings that have courageously acted in this way, and today we reap the rewards of their courage and speak of them as great people. It would be unlikely that any did as they did without resistance or disapproval from others – without nay-sayers that yelled their complaint from inside the box.
The take home message about courageously creating outside of the box?
Be the Master Designer of your own life and forge the wonders of your future…possibly the future of others.