Living a Creative Life

Bill Abbate
Photo by Victor Malyushev on Unsplash

Did you know you can create practically anything you want? All you need is to understand some fundamental truths, clearly see what you want, and give it some thought.

Create anything? Yes, anything! There is nothing magical or mysterious about it, only good old common sense.

Let's start with a little background.

One of my favorite authors, Robert Fritz, wrote his seminal book on creating some years ago. It remains the top book on my list for creating anything in life. More about it later.

One of my favorite subjects in Fritz's books is his explanation of how most people live in a "reactive/responsive orientation" instead of a "creating orientation." Learning about these orientations changed everything in my business and personal life.

Reactive/Responsive Orientation

What does it look like to be in a reactive/responsive orientation? When you react or respond, you are not creating. You are reacting or responding to a situation or circumstance. Reacting requires little or no thought. It is simply that, a reaction.

You may be more thoughtful when you respond, yet you, in effect, are reacting. Responding is a reaction based on what you already know and rarely on something new. This reaction can also come from how life has conditioned you. You may think, "this worked in the past, so that is how I will respond," or "so and so would do it this way, and that is how I should do it." Additionally, the possibility exists that you respond because of coercion.

Creating Orientation

Neither reacting nor responding is creating. In creating, you are producing something new. You are deliberate and thoughtful. You see the reality of the current situation, but it does not control you. You clearly know what you want as an outcome.

When attacking an issue in a reactive/responsive orientation, you become trapped in a problem-solving mode. The "problem" with most problem-solving is when you fix one thing, something else inevitably comes up, requiring you to fix another problem. Rather than get caught up in simple problem-solving, why not create a solution that eliminates the problem once and for all?

"Creating is no problem - problem-solving is not creating." Robert Fritz (1943-present)

An example of this is in our medical system. Too many doctors simply treat the symptom rather than help the patient find a way to create a path that eliminates the problem.

The Typical Approach

If someone is overweight, they may develop high blood pressure, diabetes, and a host of other "problems." The doctor will provide them band-aids in the form of medicine to lower their blood pressure and help with their diabetes.

Some doctors may suggest the patient lose weight and begin exercising; however, little change will likely occur from this simple problem-solving technique. Perhaps many doctors react or respond in this manner because they have little faith in the patient's ability to change. Or it could be it is how their training conditioned them to respond!

The Creating Approach

The doctor helps the patient see the current reality and the resulting dire consequences of their situation, clearly understanding what will result if changes do not happen. Then the doctor helps them create what they need to eliminate the problem.

The Result

If the patient values their quality and length of life, they may be open to creating a new path to a different outcome. Should the patient simply not value their life, they must accept the consequences of reacting or responding to their situation. The choice to embrace the new outcome is on the patient, not the doctor.

However, the doctor can certainly influence the understanding of the patient in their ability to create a different outcome. The doctor will then be free of guilt and truly fulfill their Hippocratic oath of doing no harm.

"You can get rid of all your problems and still not have what you want." Robert Fritz (1943-present)

How to Create

One of my biggest takeaways from Fritz is his suggestion to create something new rather than just trying to solve a problem when it arises. Instead of only fixing the problem, eliminate it. To do this, you must understand the current reality, clearly see the outcome you desire, and become intentional about making it happen.

To move to a creating orientation is a simple matter, yet not always easy to do. Here are some steps you can use to create something new:

  • You must see and acknowledge the current reality. This is not always as easy as it may sound. As Fritz says, reality is an acquired taste. It is not natural for most people to see what exists. Reality grounds you in what is real instead of fantasy. Without a solid grounding in the reality of the current situation, you are subject to deception. Unless you have a firm grasp on what actually exists, it is unlikely you will find the resolve to create something new.
  • You must develop a clear picture of what you want to create. The more clearly you see the outcome, the more you increase a healthy tension to move you toward the result.
  • Use the tension to create steps to move you from what you have to what you want, the new creation. When you want what you see bad enough, the tension will draw you toward it. So long as this tension between what you have and what you want is maintained, you will continue to move toward the new creation.

With the new awareness and approach of this method of creating, you can more easily create the outcomes you want in your personal and professional life.

Final thoughts

Robert Fritz's work on creating is known worldwide and has helped many thousands of people shift from problem-solving to creating. His books are must-reads for anyone serious about creating in their life, although my favorite is The Path of Least Resistance. The book is easy to read and understand and will help you see creating in a new way as it has so many others.

To uncover more on how you can become what Fritz refers to as "the creative force in your life," I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Path of Least Resistance. The book is filled with wisdom and will help you grasp his clear and powerful creating process.

Why not embrace the fact that you are a creator and work on this invaluable ability in your life!

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

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