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Creative on Purpose Blog

Insight and Inspiration for Flying Higher in Endeavors that Make a Difference

The Problem with Culture

personal development Jul 06, 2020

You probably heard the joke about an old fish swimming by a couple of youngsters and saying, "Hey, kids, how's the water today?" The young fish return the greeting, and then after a bit, one young fish turns to the other and says, "What the heck is water?"

That's the problem with culture. Most of the time we don't recognize we're surrounded by it. Yet, it informs and inspires our unconscious attitudes and habitual responses toward our situation and each other.

But at some point the culture, as is its wont, shifts dramatically or even violently. We're shocked and unprepared to navigate the new normal. It's upsetting and unsettling.

But does it have to be?

Most of the time, most of us swim in cultural ponds that are pretty small. We actually have more influence over 'the way things are' than we're willing to embrace.

What if we spent a little more time thinking about the culture we want to compass? What if we then convened enough of...

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What Outrage Teaches

personal development Jun 29, 2020

Outrage is a natural reaction to injustice. We're programmed by biology and culture to express disgust, anger, or frustration when experiencing a personal offense or moral injustice.

Outrage triggers our ‘fight or flight’ instinct. When confronted by an abuse, the impulse to either lash out or stand mute is a fundamental human inclination.

To deny or suppress outrage is neither sensible nor healthy. We must sit with our outrage and the outrage of others. We must listen and consider, and do so with care and compassion.

It's seductive to feel entitled to our outrage. It's easy to let outrage inspire what we do next. But are acts dictated by outrage likely to promote progress or well being?

Can acting on outrage make things truly better? Can we honor the humanity and dignity of all concerned while outrage reigns?

Yes, we are entitled to our outrage. But if we put it in control of what happens next, we must...

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Volition is one of my favorite words (although coddiwomple is still in the top spot).

Volition is the exercise of will. Pursuing a difference worth making with integrity and intention. Volition and will reflect your character, who you really are.

Volition requires a readiness to make decisions and a willingness to commit to acting on them. Volition demands the exercise of will in service of creating a worthwhile or necessary change happen.

Volition entails resolve. Resolve implies firmness of purpose and determination to see your decision through, regardless of challenges, obstacles, or distractions.

Embracing volition doesn't guarantee the outcome you seek, but it does ensure the journey will be worth it. Wherever you end up as you coddiwomple along in your endeavor, volition helps you build identity and forge meaning as you go.

Are you applying yourself to your endeavors with volition?


Scott Perry - Chief Difference Maker at Creative on Purpose.

Ready to get out...

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Productivity Vs. Progress

personal development Jun 15, 2020

I conflated productivity with progress for a long time.

What I learned is that getting lots of different things done (productivity) is a seductive way to hide from getting one thing done well (progress).

Productivity is merely the ability to create or generate goods or services. Progress is the more important activity of moving toward a goal.

Progress doesn't demand that you grind, hustle, pull long hours, over-do, or anything else you might do to feel productive.

Progress simply requires that you commit to making a change worth making and do only what must be done to achieve it.

Progress isn't the result of productivity. Progress is the result of essentiality.

What can you put on your 'stop-doing' list today to help you make actual progress in your endeavor?

Scott Perry - Difference Maker at Creative on Purpose.

Ready to get out of your own way and get going in endeavors that make a difference? Stepping Into Possibility is a 3-minute...

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Right Now It's Not My Turn

personal development Jun 08, 2020

When you're a committed difference maker, the impulse to try to make things better is strong. The default posture for people like us is to leap to action and lead. We want to help and think the best way is for us to do something now.

I wonder if the more helpful thing for some of us to do right now is to pause, pay attention, and listen? Maybe this is a moment when some of us should resist the urge to stand up and speak up. Perhaps some of us can better serve others and the situation by collecting dots before connecting them.

For some of us, the hard part about work that matters is sitting with the tension of unknowing and uncertainty. We're programmed to jump in and thrash our way to clarity. Often we are quick to judge and slow to consider.

We have that quite backward.

If you think you might be "some of us," let's make some time and space for seeing, hearing, and understanding the perspectives and lived experiences of others before we chime in with...

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What I've Been Reading - Spring 2020

book recommendations Jun 01, 2020

This article contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase, Creative On Purpose receives a commission. Thank you!

"Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn

Books are my go-to source for inspiration and information in my endeavors. Here are four books that currently inform my journey in developing Creative On Purpose and help me enhances the lives of those who collide with it.

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, by Steven Pinker

Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker persuasively reframes the idea that the world is coming to an end and makes a powerful case for returning to Enlightenment ideals of reason and science to enhance human flourishing.

Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl

A timeless memoir and meditation on forging meaning and building identity by leaning into adversity with intention and...

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Values Vs. Virtues

Values and virtues are terms frequently confused or conflated. Yet, the distinction between the two is worth teasing apart.

Values are your core beliefs and guiding principles. They're aspirational goals that provide you with a moral compass for navigating choices and decisions.

Virtues are your convictions. Values as lived and acted upon. Virtues are experienced and observed.

Put another way, values are theory, and virtues are reality.

For example, wisdom is a worthy virtue. However, if we deny our creativity or execute poor judgment, it is impossible to be seen as, or actually be, truly wise.

Equanimity and a sense of flourishing require harmony between virtues and values. And you can't make exceptions due to expediency or situational cherry-picking of when they apply and when one or the other doesn't.

This is why we feel internal dissonance and discomfort when the way we behave is out of alignment with or contrary to who we are.

What you do in many ways is who you ...

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Is resilience required?

personal development May 18, 2020

Is resilience required?

The short answer is, it depends...

If you're happy with the way things are (and the way you are), then the answer is "No." Resilience is unnecessary if you're satisfied or settling.

If, however, you're a difference maker pushing the edges of possibility for yourself and those you seek to serve through work that intends to enhance the prospects and prosperity for all. The answer is undeniably, "Yes."

Work that matters is work that might not work. Failing, misfortune, and being ignored are just a few of the difficulties that you will meet daily. Endeavors that make a difference must be done with and for others. Refining, both the work and whom it is done with and for, is a never-ending challenge.

Resilience is a skill acquired and honed through doing the work. Doing human work. Committing to your craft and community, showing up daily like a professional, and doing all this with intention and integrity cultivates...

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Finding Solace in the Slog

personal development May 11, 2020

What have you noticed about the moment we're all currently living through?

There is suffering, for sure. Sadly some of it could have been avoided. Now we're likely in for an extended slog through disarray and distress. Finding meaning or solace in this tumult can be a challenge.

And yet...

There are opportunities and silver linings in this situation as well. We're relearning and reconnecting with what it means to be human. Rediscovering that we are social creatures born with consciousness and a creative instinct. When the world presents problems, we imagine a better possibility and work together to realize it.

When we endeavor to make things better together, we forge meaning from difficulty, loosen the grip of fear, and mute the voice of anxiety. Whatever the outcome, when we put forth our best effort, we build character and cohesion.

Whether or not our situation gets better, we get better. We cultivate patience, resilience, patience,...

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Do the Work

personal development May 04, 2020

Flying higher in meaningful endeavors requires committed and consistent effort. It's a daily practice of leaning into worthwhile challenges and interesting problems in the pursuit of making things better.

And it's definitely not for everybody.

But for people like us, we can't imagine doing anything else but to do the work.

Thinking about the work or educating yourself about the work is a seductive substitute. Still, to truly get better in your endeavor, there's only one path. Do the work.

To some, it sounds exhausting. But when we do the work with intention and integrity and do it with and for the right people, the exertion is exhilarating.

We get better in our endeavor when we reach for the edges in our knowledge and ability and maybe just a bit beyond. Stretching and striving to create possibility.

We know we're heading in the right direction when we meet and feel resistance. Fear is a compass. Failure is part of the gig. Resilience and resolve are...

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I'd love to share the Stepping Into Possibility guide and two additional resources with you. Where should I send them?