Rise Above Mediocrity – 5 Steps to Create Your Masterpiece

When we create in life the world is changed.

Jeffrey Steele, singer/song writer, leaned back from the microphone to hear about a hundred voices gain strength as his faded, still strumming his guitar.  He smiled and listened as they sang his lyrics back to him in a hushed voice:

What hurts the most
Was being so close
And having so much to say
And watching you walk away
And never knowing
What could have been
And not seeing that loving you
Is what I was trying to do

The song made famous by Rascal Flatts was written by Jeffrey Steele. He sang it at a YMCA benefit at Puckett’s with BWSC in Nashville last Sunday night. I saw in that moment how his creativity, in this case, his song, his creation, filled him with joy as he heard others sing his song back to him.

When we create in life the world is changed. We are fulfilled as we hear the world sing back our song. Reflecting on the satisfaction in Jeffrey Steele’s smile I thought of the times when I have been most creative in my work; the design of new systems, authoring, leading new teams, taking a step of faith.

Yet, honestly, in the workplace rarely is individuality and creativity expected or encouraged. Yes, with Apple and other standouts we recognize it in product design and function. But in professional service companies and many other organizations we seem to reach only to the expectation of the client or leader, rarely do we dare go higher.

We must learn to encourage the creative in our work. Creativity rises above expectations to bring something new to life.  It brings something new or something old in new way. A creative solution can deliver profit and new products by finding new paths that take fewer resources and less time. New paradigms are an act of creation.  When we each work with creativity something unique from our God-given ability and our life experience is birthed. Michael Hyatt frequently says it so well; we each bring our unique experiences and gifts to every endeavor.  In so doing something entirely new is added to the world.

Here are five steps to bring about your creative ability in the workplace:

1. Live beyond your chosen profession. Realize you are not defined by your profession. No profession or career can capture all the diverse talents,temperaments, and soul of each person. David in the Bible was not just defined by his Kingly role; he was creative; a psalmist, a lover of God, a warrior, and architect.  He was a renaissance man!

2. Live beyond the expectations of others. Many including those most close to us do not know our future, just our past.

3. Live beyond the expectations of the current task. Many of our endeavors require a modest effort to succeed but when we imagine something better with extra effort we can produce greatness.

4. Live above the routine. Routine and habits have benefit but if taken to extreme they stifle the creative. Change your routine by doing something you normally would not do to recharge your creative energy.

5. Live beyond the natural. Many times I have been prompted by The Lord to take a slightly different path than the expected, and following His supernatural lead, extraordinary opportunities and life experiences have been birthed.

What gives you the most satisfaction in your life, in your career, or in your family?  How is your workplace allowing creativity in your work?

Follow In the Footsteps of God – Create in your Workplace

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Creating is an attribute of God. We read in Genesis that in the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth. The Spirit of God was brooding over the waters. Then the Lord spoke and there was light. In this passage we see the Holy Spirit moving upon the new earth and new form and new life were created as a result. Was this a unique one-time event, or a pattern?

We know of biblical accounts of the Holy spirit leading and creating with man. Moses, the architect of God’s Tabernacle, received the plan dimensions of the Tabernacle of Meeting from the Lord. Jacob, a shepherd and ancestor of Abraham, received dreams of how to prosper his flock and it made his wealth exceed his employer. Joseph as Governor of Egypt received and interpreted dreams and became second only to Pharaoh in power. It goes on and on. We see a pattern of the Lord showing us of how He wants to communicate and “create” with His creation.

Will the Lord still guide and direct us today? In an earlier post I wrote about the creation of the McPherson Bow Company through a divine dream. The Bible teaches us that the sons and daughters of God are led by His Spirit (Romans 8:14). This working together of the Holy Spirit and men and women continues today. Divine collaboration in your workplace can both be fulfilling and rewarding. Those that create in our society are generally more fulfilled and more compensated than those that are “working” the ideas of others. Why not step toward creating something new in your life and step into your full potential?

What is deep in your heart that you want to create? Would creating it make your workplace, your family, or the world a better place? Would it bring you closer to God. Would it allow Him to lead you more personally? Follow in His footsteps. Begin now to take your creative idea to the next level with these modest steps listed below. Each have helped me become more creative in different areas of my life:

Step 1. Ask God. No one knows you better. Drop what you’re doing now and ask Him what He has already placed in your heart and mind to create. You may be surprised what is already there waiting for you to recognize, name, and produce.

Step 2. Create a Mind Map. Map your idea using free mind mapping software. A mind map is a diagram used to visually outline information. It is created around a single idea around which is organized associated ideas or concepts. Then words or pictures are attached to each supporting idea. The benefit is that your idea can be taken from a general thought to an organized map to work through its implementation. Check out www.xmind.net for a free example.

Step 3. Change Your Environment. We all work more productive with a change of environment. But, equally important, our environment affects the type of work we produce. Get out of your cubical and go to Starbucks or hide out in whatever creative cave you need to connect your heart and mind to God. Get away from the normal, everyday, environment you are usually in.

Step 4. Connect with Others in Your Creative Passion. It is simple now to become part of an on-line community that is passionate and creative in the subject area of your interest. Use blogs, social networking, and on-line media to become part of the community that understands, values, and encourages your creative pursuit.

Step 5. Know Your Tribe. Surround yourself with others that believe in you. You will have to do things differently than most people to create something totally new. It will involve time and effort pursing your dream. Hang with those that believe in you and don’t take it personal if others just don’t get it.

Remember, your life will be most fulfilled as you create something new. It’s worth your time! It also may bring you closer to God by requiring that you follow in His footsteps.

Rise Above Mediocrity – 5 Steps to Create Your Masterpiece

When we create in life the world is changed.

Jeffrey Steele, singer/song writer, leaned back from the microphone to hear about a hundred voices gain strength as his faded, still strumming his guitar.  He smiled and listened as they sang his lyrics back to him in a hushed voice:

What hurts the most
Was being so close
And having so much to say
And watching you walk away
And never knowing
What could have been
And not seeing that loving you
Is what I was trying to do

The song made famous by Rascal Flatts was written by Jeffrey Steele. He sang it at a YMCA benefit at Puckett’s with BWSC in Nashville last Sunday night. I saw in that moment how his creativity, in this case, his song, his creation, filled him with joy as he heard others sing his song back to him.

When we create in life the world is changed. We are fulfilled as we hear the world sing back our song. Reflecting on the satisfaction in Jeffrey Steele’s smile I thought of the times when I have been most creative in my work; the design of new systems, authoring, leading new teams, taking a step of faith.

Yet, honestly, in the workplace rarely is individuality and creativity expected or encouraged. Yes, with Apple and other standouts we recognize it in product design and function. But in professional service companies and many other organizations we seem to reach only to the expectation of the client or leader, rarely do we dare go higher.

We must learn to encourage the creative in our work. Creativity rises above expectations to bring something new to life.  It brings something new or something old in new way. A creative solution can deliver profit and new products by finding new paths that take fewer resources and less time. New paradigms are an act of creation.  When we each work with creativity something unique from our God-given ability and our life experience is birthed. Michael Hyatt frequently says it so well; we each bring our unique experiences and gifts to every endeavor.  In so doing something entirely new is added to the world.

Here are five steps to bring about your creative ability in the workplace:

1. Live beyond your chosen profession. Realize you are not defined by your profession. No profession or career can capture all the diverse talents,temperaments, and soul of each person. David in the Bible was not just defined by his Kingly role; he was creative; a psalmist, a lover of God, a warrior, and architect.  He was a renaissance man!

2. Live beyond the expectations of others. Many including those most close to us do not know our future, just our past.

3. Live beyond the expectations of the current task. Many of our endeavors require a modest effort to succeed but when we imagine something better with extra effort we can produce greatness.

4. Live above the routine. Routine and habits have benefit but if taken to extreme they stifle the creative. Change your routine by doing something you normally would not do to recharge your creative energy.

5. Live beyond the natural. Many times I have been prompted by The Lord to take a slightly different path than the expected, and following His supernatural lead, extraordinary opportunities and life experiences have been birthed.

What gives you the most satisfaction in your life, in your career, or in your family?  How is your workplace allowing creativity in your work?

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