• Dick McEvoy

Find Your Creative Spark For A More Fulfilling Retirement

Updated: May 18, 2020

I have been referred to as an old soul at various times in my life, and I have been blessed to have close, dear friends who are generations older than me. What I found so attractive in these older friends was their energy and their deep desire to get up and attack each new day with gusto! I was drawn to these people who were driven by their passion – and the subject matter of their passion was secondary to my interest in them as exciting and vibrant people.

I believe that we are all creative, but we sometimes need a little guidance, or maybe even permission, to be able to look to find our hidden spark. Whether your hidden passion takes the form of sculpture, or playing an instrument, maybe learning a new language, or studying how to be truly excellent at playing Bridge; there is a hidden passion within all of us. Now is the time to unleash that passion!

7 Tips to Finding & Unleashing Your creative Spark

1. Believe in Yourself – you are creative! – and believe deep down that you deserve to reach for your passion. We all have roles and responsibilities in our lives where we provide for others, but I want you to make some time for your own creative needs as well.

2. Identify a list of things/activities that you have an interest in, but which you have never given a real shot to explore. These activities can include: learning a new language, playing an instrument, traveling to see the U.S. National Parks, learning how to excel at playing Chess/Bridge/Sudoku, writing (your novel, poetry, short stories, historical fiction …), learning how to really cook well (breads, pastries, Italian, Vegetarian, French countryside, homemade soups …), learning how to paint (watercolor, oil, pastel, Impressionist style, Abstract style …), gardening (organic vegetable gardens, flowers, herbs, wildflowers …), traveling to the land of your ancestors, and the lists can go on and on.

3. Pick the category that gets you most excited – not necessarily the one that you are already pretty good at – but the one that really gets the juices flowing.

4. Take Action! Get Inspired! Research ways to get started. The internet has a plethora of activities that can help you learn any/all new things; and even better, you can very likely find assistance quite close to your own home. There all kinds of “Meet Up Groups” for dozens of different creative ideas. There are “Meet Up” cooking classes, language learning groups of all levels, gardening tips, chess lessons, hiking groups, travel groups etc.

5. Don’t Overthink It! Just Dive Right In! The best advice anyone ever gave me was when an older artist friend told me – “Just Paint! You’ve got some talent, but you’ll never truly improve by doing 5 – 10 paintings a year. You will get a little bit better every 50 paintings!”

I came home from that encounter in 1986 and immediately set a goal of painting 25 paintings/year, and after 10 years, I raised my goal to 40 paintings per year. Now, nearly 1200 paintings later, I can attest to the fact that “you do get a little bit better every 50 paintings.” The best part is that I have enjoyed my passion every year for the last 25 years!

6. Don’t Worry About Getting Great! Do it for yourself, and make sure you are enjoying yourself. Believe in yourself and you will improve, but more importantly, make sure you are enjoying yourself. No one is grading you. Revel in your successes and laugh about your mistakes along the way.

7. Remember that Everyone Learns from Someone Else. As John Lennon famously said, “There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.” Look at the best of what people are doing in your desired category and learn from their styles, practice habits, lectures etc. You will find that over time you will grow into your own style and you’ll start to recognize your own unique voice.

I read a short but impactful book that can help you to unleash your creative mindset. The book titled “Steal Like An Artist” was written by Austin Kleon, and is available on Amazon Books.

As Jean-Luc Godard said, “It’s not where you take things from; it’s where you take them to!”

Find Your Creative Spark for a More Fulfilling Retirement and Enjoy the Adventure!

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