self-care - Live Life Well

On Growing Up: Wisdom for Emerging Leaders

Somehow there’s a time when we remember one autumn day – when we looked around and realised that we’re were no longer a kid. We’re still vibrant and young, but our real potential lies in front of us, and we begin to step into our roles. In doing so, we transition from young dreamers into emerging leaders. It’s a phase that brings both excitement and challenges. It can bring a little sadness and fear, because we know change is happening.

The process of growing up is the same as nurturing a plant. With the right care and attention, it blossoms into something extraordinary. Here are insights to guide you on this transformative journey.

Journey Insights

Lifelong Learning
Growing up doesn’t mean you have all the answers; it means you’re open to learning them. As emerging leaders, adopt a growth mindset. Seek new knowledge, whether it’s through formal education, mentors, or self-study. Wisdom is a lifelong pursuit. Each day presents an opportunity to expand your horizons.

Failures as Stepping Stones
Failure is not a roadblock; it’s a stepping stone on the path to success. Embrace your failures, for they teach invaluable lessons. Remember, many great innovators and entrepreneurs faced countless setbacks before achieving their dreams. Resilience in the face of adversity is a hallmark of true leadership.

Growing up isn’t about having all the answers; it’s about asking the right questions. Be willing to seek advice and feedback from peers and mentors. Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. It’s a catalyst to boost personal growth and connection.

The world is in a constant state of change. As emerging leaders, adaptability is your superpower. Embrace change, for it fosters creativity and innovation. Stay agile and open to new ideas, technologies, and ways of thinking. Your ability to pivot will set you apart.

Growing up means discovering your authentic self. Authentic leaders are genuine, transparent, and true to their values. Authenticity fosters trust and genuine connections with peers, employees, and clients. Remember, you don’t have to conform to someone else’s mold to succeed.

The journey of growing up can be all-consuming, but balance is key. Nurture your mental and physical well-being. Focus on self-care and maintain a healthy work-life balance. This means putting aside time for hobbies and passions. Creativity often thrives in moments of relaxation.

Finally, as you grow into your leadership role, never forget the power of empathy. Effective leadership demands an understanding of the perspectives and feelings of others. Empathy fosters collaboration, innovation, and harmonious relationships.

Growing up is not a destination; it’s a lifelong voyage.

You’ll always have those poignant memories, that special movie, those songs that define and remind you of where you were at that exact moment. Friends, even enemies, parents, family – the people that share to make you who you are. It’s the bitter-sweet part of growing into the next phase of being you.

Embrace the process, it’s shaping you into a remarkable leader. Keep learning, stay resilient, be adaptable. Above all, be creative and remain true to your authentic self. In doing so, you will not only prosper in your career but also leave a lasting impact on the world.

Photo by Torsten Dederichs on Unsplash

Take Notice: Balancing Work, Life, and Mental Well-Being

Monday: Take Notice by Trevor Romain

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week here in Aotearoa New Zealand. I think we might be the only country in the world that makes a kind of national festival raising awareness of mental health. Mental health issues are reaching crisis levels around the globe. Is there anything we can do to protect our loved ones and ourselves? What can we do about caring for our mental health?

Our careers and businesses demand our constant attention. It’s easy to become caught up in the relentless pursuit of success. The pressure to excel in both our professional and personal lives can take a toll on mental health. If you recognise this in yourself there’s some things you can do to help.

There’s a valuable lesson in mindfulness practices: the importance of taking notice. Continue reading “Take Notice: Balancing Work, Life, and Mental Well-Being”

Your Creative Journey: Living Your Best Life

We all want to live our best lives, but it’s not always easy to know how to get there. The days seem to blast past at a dizzying pace, leaving us little time for finding meaning, fulfilment, and purpose.

For creative professionals, the ‘living your best life’ mantra takes on a unique dimension. Living your best life doesn’t just mean indulging in luxury or adventure – it’s about nurturing your creativity while undertaking your unique journey. Here’s how you can infuse this mantra into your creative practice: Continue reading “Your Creative Journey: Living Your Best Life”

Rising Above the Shadows: Navigating Creativity After Bad Experiences

Dear Creative Souls,

Life is a journey filled with peaks and valleys, and for us, the artists, creators, and visionaries, it can be especially tumultuous. We know all too well the weight of past bad experiences that can cast a shadow over our creativity. Whether it’s emotionally destructive employment situations, challenging clients, or loss-making contracts, these experiences can dim our creative light. It can feel like a lonely world, and frankly, it sucks.

I don’t mean it to sound cliché, but in the midst of darkness, there is always a glimmer of hope. As creative beings, we possess an innate resilience that allows us to rise above adversity and find inspiration even in the most challenging circumstances. Here are some empowering ways to navigate the aftermath of negative experiences and reignite your creative spark: Continue reading “Rising Above the Shadows: Navigating Creativity After Bad Experiences”

The dark side of creativity

Stories of movie stars and rock stars self medicating themselves into oblivion, chefs and doctors suiciding, and designers burning out are common in the news. There’s an aspect of creativity that isn’t all sweetness and light. Some of the brightest and best end up hurting themselves or taking their lives, and end up breaking the hearts of the people who love them the most. And there’s always that lingering question: “Why? They had everything going for them, they had everything to live for.”

The dark side of creativity refers to the potentially negative aspects or consequences that can arise from the creative process or creative individuals.

While creativity is celebrated and valued, there are several aspects that can be problematic or detrimental: Continue reading “The dark side of creativity”

How Good People Thrive in Tough Times

How good people thrive in tough times
Life is full of challenges, and tough times can often test our resilience and character. But it’s the strength of good people that shines through.

Somehow, no matter how overwhelmed, burnt out, tapped out, and/or freaked out, individuals with integrity, empathy, and creativity manage in tough times, often connecting with other creative people who are also navigating adversity. And that’s one clue right there. Continue reading “How Good People Thrive in Tough Times”

How come it’s easier to believe in aliens than it is to believe in me?

Alien at night drawn with sparklers
There are a few reasons why it might be easier to believe in aliens than in ourselves.

Aliens are outside of our own experience. We don’t know what they’re like, so our imaginations can run wild. We can fill in the blanks with whatever we want, and there’s no one to tell us we’re wrong.

Aliens are a mystery. The unknown is always more exciting than the known. We’re naturally curious about things we don’t understand, and aliens are the ultimate mystery.

Aliens offer hope. The idea that there might be other intelligent life out there can be a source of hope for some people. It can make us feel less alone in the universe, and it can give us something to aspire to. Continue reading “How come it’s easier to believe in aliens than it is to believe in me?”

Relax! How Taking Breaks Boosts Your Creativity

Man in a tree boosting his creativity by relaxing.
In our fast-paced world, it can be hard to find time to take a break. Worse than that, if you’re driven, you feel guilty or bad if you’re not working 24/7 (and the weekends too). But did you know that taking breaks can actually help you be more creative?

That’s right! When we’re constantly working, our brains can get overwhelmed and fatigued. This can make it difficult to think clearly and come up with new ideas. But when we take a break, our brains have a chance to rest and recharge. This allows us to come back to our work with a fresh perspective and renewed energy.

In addition, taking breaks gives our brains a chance to “incubate” ideas. Incubation is the process of subconscious thinking that happens when we’re not actively working on a problem. This is when our brains make connections between different ideas and come up with creative solutions.

So, how can you take breaks that boost your creativity? Here are a few tips:

  • Get outside. Taking a walk in nature is a great way to clear your head and relax your mind.
  • Listen to music. Listening to music can help you focus and de-stress.
  • Engage in a hobby. Doing something you enjoy can help you tap into your creativity.
  • Take a power nap. A short nap can help you recharge your batteries and improve your focus.

Taking breaks doesn’t mean you have to stop working altogether. You can still be productive while you’re taking a break. Just make sure to do something that relaxes you and helps you clear your head.

So, next time you’re feeling stressed or stuck, take a break. Your creativity will thank you for it!

Here are some additional benefits of taking breaks:

  • Reduces stress
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Boosts energy levels
  • Increases productivity
  • Prevents burnout

So, what are you waiting for? Start taking a few deliberate breaths and a fewbreaks today and see how they can boost your creativity and overall well-being.

Photo by Rob Mulally on Unsplash

Achieving a Work/Life Balance

Neon sign inviting you to work harder. A healthy work/life balance is essential to sustain passion and prevent burnout.
Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is crucial for creatives to sustain their passion and prevent burnout. The media is full of stories about stressed out executives who reinvent themselves as artists or undertake a midlife apprenticeship – but it’s nigh on impossible for a carpenter or a fabric designer to reinvent themselves as a corporate high flier. People in the corporate sector might even have the luxury of going part-time while they pursue an art or trade as a hobby that becomes a side gig that becomes an income. Good luck with reversing that flow if you’re milliner. Drain layer. Gardener.

In the realm of arts and trades, finding a balance between the tensions of professional pursuits and personal well-being becomes an absolute priority. Sure, right? Sounds so easy but before you know it you’re working through the night, through the weekend, 24/7 no problem. That’s not unique to arts, trades, corporates, business, or even a job of any kind. We throw our lives at our work. Before you know it our precious lives are quickly fading echoes.

Actually, that’s if you’re lucky…

You know among your extended family and contacts there are people who’ve experienced mental and physical health issues that are at the very least catalysed by their daily work. Stress, trauma, long hours, disrupted sleep, drugs, alcohol, self medication, suicide. “It’s only rock ‘n’ roll” is not an acceptable, mature response.

Establishing clear boundaries and prioritising self-care are key to finding balance. Setting realistic goals and managing time efficiently helps creatives maintain a sense of control over their workload. Embrace creativity outside of work, explore new hobbies, and seek inspiration from diverse sources to reignite passion and prevent monotony. Collaborating with peers and mentors provides valuable support and guidance. Maybe do some volunteer work. A weekend workshop. Get a coach. Striking the right balance between work and personal life not only enhances overall well-being but also fuels creative growth, productivity, and long-term success.

Photo credit: Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash