Go Completely Mental
Not only, “Tis the season to be jolly,” but I say, “Tis the season to go mental!” It’s nearly impossible to avoid it anyway, right? Just about the time when the leaves wither and fall and the afternoons turn in early, our attention starts to turn as well. Our thoughts move inward and we settle into a gentle reverie, contemplating the meaning of life and recalling what’s dear and important to us. Many of us unconsciously look for an outlet, and many times, it’s a creative one like painting, journaling or photography.
There are plenty of well-documented theories on why the change of seasons directly impacts our state of mind. However, what I believe would be more impactful than reading about the cause is discussing how to capitalize on the effect!
First, let’s illustrate the two avenues people take when they “go mental” during the colder months. There’s the group that searches out creative outlets and there’s the group that stews in their ruminations.
You may recall a brisk December day when you came home to find your significant other curled up in a blanket, staring out into the backyard. You, being the concerned and sensitive partner that you are ask, “Honey, is everything ok?” And your partner, having gone mental, responds without turning to look at you, “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about a lot of things…” Unfortunately, the outlet for the “Stew In It” group tends to be the unsuspecting partner.
On the flip side, you may recall a brisk December day when you came home to find your significant other curled up in a blanket at the kitchen table with family photos strewn about, scrapbooking tools at the ready. Or, perhaps your partner had pulled the table saw out from the garage or the paints and paint brushes that had been in the closet since last year. And you, being the interested and curious partner that you are ask, “Honey, what are you up to?” And your partner, having gone mental, responds by looking at you with enthusiasm sparkling in their eyes and says, “I just got this crazy urge to….” (you fill in the blank).
We know instinctively what comes next in both of the above scenarios. So which avenue do you want to pursue?
I believe that allowing ourselves some creative play during this contemplative time of year can ignite and inspire our career and personal aspirations. For most businesses, the winter months dictate a slowing-down period. What better opportunity to release your creative genius and tap into a part of your brain that mostly lies dormant the rest of the year?
So, what can you do right now to draw the best out of this winter “moodscape”?
Like everything else in life, it boils down to choice, which further boils down to conscious effort. Here’s an exercise to get you conscious about your choices. For the best possible outcome, invite your significant other to do this exercise as well.
Select 5 creative activities that you can engage in once a week throughout the winter:
- Create a skit with your kids
- Pencil sketch
- Play a board game
- Write poetry
- Create a skit with your kids
- Write a letter to a friend
- Create bead jewelry
- Blueprint your dream home
- Do a science experiment
- Create a new logo
- Write a song
- Play an instrument
- Create a new chili recipe
- Build a house of cards
- Do a puzzle
- Make & name your own beer
- Create a vision board
- Write a sermon for church
- Sculpt with clay
- Write a family newsletter
- Rearrange your furniture
- Build a blanket fort with your kids
- Bake and decorate a cake
Of course, these are just examples to help get your creative ideas popping. Once you have selected the activities that you will engage in, put them into your calendar and treat them like any appointment you wouldn’t dare miss.
By taking advantage of this seasonal phenomenon and engaging the creative mind, we set off a domino effect that leads to more ingenious problem solving, negotiating, strategic planning and brainstorming in our business lives.
The following famous quotes capture the importance of unleashing one’s creative brilliance.
Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. – Franklin D. Roosevelt
The ability to convert ideas into things is the secret to outward success.
-Henry Ward Beecher
Imagination is more important than knowledge. – Albert Einstein
What if, instead of giving your boss a 20-page sales plan, you gave her a 30×40 Vision Board instead? How about having your team “Show-n-Tell” their goals during their next performance review? You might be thinking, ‘Has she gone completely mental?’ Yes, yes, I have and though I cannot predict where this creative landscape will take me or you, I know that it will provide solutions, new perspectives and limitless rewards.
I invite you this season to succumb to your creative genius, unleash the possibilities and enjoy going completely mental! I promise that your significant other will thank you for it.