Creativity and inspiration – we basically agree it’s a good thing, but we often do so little with it. There’s a lot of fear that comes with having so many ideas and possibilities inside us, because when we have to move it from inside to outside, we have to place it into judgement. That judgement might not even be from the public arena, but just from ourselves (when we realise what we’ve actually been thinking & facepalm). Whatever our personal root for the fear is, it’s stopping us from getting to those really awesome ideas that only we could ever think of. Only our own mind will be a culmination of life experiences, skills, and attitudes at a single time and place. No idea is original – I agree – but every brain is individual. Only you can think a certain thought, see a solution from a certain angle, and bring your energy from a certain understanding.
So how do we get to those ideas?
By treating our brain like a lemon tree. A lemon tree in the right climate will have a piece of fruit ready to pick every.single.day.of.the.year. And the tree puts everything it’s got into making that fruit. The more lemons you pick, the more lemons the tree will grow! If the lemons aren’t picked, they’ll sit on the tree slowly drying out or going mouldy. Eventually they’ll fall off, but the tree isn’t stimulated to grow more while it waits for that old mouldy lemon to fall off. So a lemon tree only really responds when there is someone there to actually pick that fruit!
Now, like ideas from one mind, not all lemons will be good from the same tree. Imagine you are like most Australian suburban dwellers, and there’s a lemon tree in your backyard ready for you to pick from:
- Some are diseased, some are affected by the environmental conditions, some will be attacked by pests – pick them and destroy them! The quicker they are dealt with, the more resources that can be spent on the already good or new.
- Some are huge, abnormal, and overwhelming – pick them and juice them for all they’re worth. They might not be perfectly formed, but they can certainly be used. The guts are fine; it was the packaging that didn’t work.
- Some are a little too green, a little too small, a little just not right – let them grow. They’ll get to where you want. And if, for some reason, when you go to pick them, nothing turned our right – never mind. There are always more!
- Some are growing in the hardest to reach places, surrounded by thorns (yup, lemon trees are thorny buggers), hanging over your neighbour’s fence. If you need it, work for it. If you don’t, let it go.
- Some are perfect. Beautiful. Glowing. Ready. You know exactly what to do with those.
You display them in bowls. You add them to your water. You add them to your cooking. You give them away to friends and family. You use them to clean your house. You use them to kill bad odour. You put them in your gin and tonic!
You use them! There’s no preciousness or protectiveness about them. They’re a resource to be used, to share, to trust in the abundance of.
Trust in the abundance of your creativity and inspiration. Let go of the preciousness of your ideas. More will come, every single day. They’ll suck, they’ll change your life, and they’ll annoy the hell out of you. But they won’t ever stop coming. The only thing that will slow them down is by letting them stick around too long without doing anything with them.
And you can do all of this in the most simplest of ways: get your ideas down onto paper. If you don’t have a notebook, get one today! (Seriously, go find a tattered school exercise book until you figure out the right size and design for you.) There will be excuses and awkwardness and blank pages. But that’s ok! Whatever you do, be good to yourself and start picking those lemons.
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.