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Creative on Purpose Blog

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


personal development Apr 27, 2020

Commitment is a word we all use, but I'm not sure we all fully understand what it means. Here are some reflections from a recent conversation inside the Difference Maker Community and on the Creative on Purpose Broadcast.

Commitment Is a Promise

You're putting yourself on the hook. If you're pledging to stand up to be seen and speaking up to be heard, make sure whatever you're committing to is worth it. Best to do so deliberately and with integrity and intention.

Commitments and Priorities

Your commitments speak to your priorities. You may not see this, but others surely do. Choose your commitments wisely.

Commitment Is a Habit

Commitment speak to your beliefs and revealed through repeated behaviors. Be conscious of your commitments. 80% of our activity is unconscious, so weave in mindfulness into the routines and relationships to which you're committed. 

Don't Confuse Commitment with Overcommitment

Commitments aren't always something to which you should say, "Yes." There...

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The Gift of Adversity

personal development Apr 20, 2020

Today often looks and feels a lot like yesterday. It's easy to assume that tomorrow will look and feel much the same. This is the seductive delusion woven by the status quo. Every day is more-or-less "another one of those."

And then something happens. Things go sideways. The world gets turned upside down. Every day is a topsy turvy carnival ride. Suddenly everything is uncertain.

"Adapt yourself to the circumstances in which your lot has cast you; and love these people among whom your lot has fallen, but love them in all sincerity." - Marcus Aurelius

Our instinctual response to unpredictability and the unknown is anxiousness. Adversity causes the evolutionary imperative for "fight or flight" to kick in. You find yourself lashing out or hiding under the covers.

But every situation, no matter how dire, presents as many opportunities as it does challenges. In fact, problems and misfortune are often a great gift. They remind us that nothing is ever...

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The Possibilitist

personal development Apr 13, 2020

What do you call someone who looks for and steps into possibility despite uncertainty or adversity?

I call a person who cultivates and demonstrates that approach a possibilitist.

A possibilitist is someone :

  • who sees the opportunity, lesson, or a silver lining in any situation.
  • who frames circumstances to reveal choices.
  • who sets their aim and plans with intention and integrity.
  • who's instinct is to find the others and lean in together.
  • who accepts what happens and then starts again.

 A possibilitist isn't reactive or reckless. Advancing into uncertainty requires responsiveness and deliberation. Their impulse is to not hesitate, hide, or hinder. Instead a possibilitist's instinct is to acknowledge, act, and advance.

I'm a possibilitist. What about you?

Let's see and step into possibility together.

Scott Perry - Difference Maker at Creative on Purpose.

Ready to get out of your own way and get going in endeavors that make a...

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What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do

Human beings are fascinating.

No creature on the planet is better equipped to connect and work through challenges or make things better. We are inherently curious, social, creative, and aspirational beings.

At the same time, when we can, we settle for the status quo. We are comforted by knowing where we stand and what's expected. More often than not, we're happy to settle for the way things are and the way we are.

But sometimes events conspire to make the status quo obsolete. Sometimes settling for another day just like yesterday is not an option.

In a moment like this, you have a choice. Sit and wait for things to sort themselves out or for someone to sort them out for you. Or seize the moment. Decide to take the initiative to find the others and endeavor to make things better.

If we choose the latter, we become agents of our destiny rather than passive recipients of our fate.

When we get together and lean into challenges with intention and integrity, we create the possibility...

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Every Day Is a Chance to Start Again

Every day each of us is presented with a choice. To do the same things the same old way, or to try new things and new approaches.

When things are going well, or at least well enough, the natural thing is to just show up today like we did yesterday. But when things are broken, expecting what worked yesterday to work today is probably unhelpful or even foolish.

It's natural to slip into reactive attitudes and behavior when things go sideways. Shutting down, tuning out, and sitting still, are encoded default human responses to crisis. The hope is that things will sort themselves out, or someone will fix things for us.

While these knee-jerk responses are common, they don't promote anyone's health or wellbeing. What helps us flourish through troubles is the opposite of what our instincts encourage.

Crisis reminds us of what it really means to be human and happy is to shun our selfish impulses and lean instead into our social and creative nature.


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Stillness in the Storm

Life in the ancient world was full of adversity. If you lived to adulthood, you likely endured war, famine, plague, or some combination of the three.

And yet…

In antiquity, there was a flowering of philosophical approaches to the art of living well and even flourishing while navigating such difficulties.

One of the most enduring of those traditions is Stoicism.  Within this tradition is pragmatic wisdom and a practical, straightforward approach to stave off anxiety, cultivate resilience, and find meaning in any challenge you face.

The Three Disciplines

Stoicism, more than any other approach, is a lived philosophical practice. Epictetus, an important Stoic teacher, established three core practices, or disciplines. 

  1. “The Discipline of Perception,” sometimes called the Discipline of Desire, has to do with how we see our situation and acceptance of our fate.
  2. “The Discipline of Action,” has to do with our attitude...
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Articulating Adversity

personal development Mar 23, 2020

When things go topsy turvy, upside down, or sideways, the usual reaction is to dig in. We insist that things go back to the way they were, or simply sit in stunned silence, and wait for someone to do something about it.

These reactions are dangerous. They prevent us from seeing the many opportunities within any unfortunate or even dire situation.

A response that helps us start to take more meaningful and helpful action is to articulate what's really going on. Take a pause, put the moment in context, and decatastrophize the experience. Express the situation plainly and objectively.

Describe what's going on by stating only the facts without any value judgments . No strong emotive language allowed. This helps move us from the anxiety of "what if?" thinking to the agency inherent in "what's next?" thinking.

Less catastrophic and more constructive language helps everyone cope and opens the door for collaboration and a creative approach to solving whatever...

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Navigating Challenging Times

personal development Mar 22, 2020

Everything is  just fine most of the time, and so are we. That's why so few challenge the status quo. Human beings like to know what's expected and where they stand.

And then...

Things get topsy turvy, turned upside down, or go sideways, and the status quo is no longer the status quo. As creatures who find comfort in "another one of those," this can create uncertainty and anxiety.

Here's a five-step process that can help you navigate challenging times.

  1. Acknowledge - State what is going on now as plainly as possible. Avoid language that includes value judgments and strong emotive language.
  2. Affiliate - Find the others. Who are the 3 - 6 people you already know that you can convene to assess the situation? Work together to make things better?
  3. Aim - Decide the destination and intention of where you want to get. What does that look like? How will you feel when you get there?
  4. Act - Having appraised the situation, gathered the right people, set a goal, take a...
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Make America Create Again

Disclaimer - This isn't about politics. It's about coming together to make things better.

The Situation

Too many of us deny or have lost touch with our creative drive and instinct. This is sad, and this is wrong. It's time we all reclaim and reconnect with our creative capacity to build a brighter future for everyone.

Step into Possibility

  • Creativity is a fundamental human impulse. Everyone is a creative.
  • Creativity is an effort to make change happen. Creatives see what is and what can be.
  • Creativity curbs false certainty and judgment and fosters curiosity and consideration.
  • Creativity is how we solve interesting problems and overcome difficult challenges.
  • Creativity, at its best, is a collaborative enterprise done with and for others. 
  • Creative enterprise unites us and builds trust.
  • Creative projects done with intention and integrity enhance the prospects for all.
  • Creative work reflects who we are and who we seek to be.
  • Creative...
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personal development Mar 16, 2020

I spent much of my life trying to achieve "work-life balance," which means I spent most of my life deeply frustrated.

For the past thirty-five years, I've been engaged in multiple roles every day, including husband, father, teacher, musician, writer, and coach. I used to believe each role was a bucket and that all the buckets had to be filled equally.

Even if I grouped all those roles into two categories, personal life and professional life, balance was never achieved.

Work-life balance is a delusion and an invitation to shame and suffering, at least in my experience. What about you?

Things really turned around for me when I decided to show up everywhere simply as myself. What I mean is, I started living my values in every situation. This reflects my virtue. Whatever I find myself doing and whomever I am doing it with, I represent both who I am and who I wish to become.

Finding the points of intersection and alignment in my roles and duties along with the facets...

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Get going with the work you're meant to do now!

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