I thought today I might address a little bit about what to do AFTER you've accomplished a goal.
Some people step very easily from one project once it's finished into another. But a lot of times we are so focused on getting a project completed with all our energy going into it that once that project is finished there can be a bit of a let down. How many of us after completing a book, poem, painting, or collection for a show have a sense of being at a loss, a bit at loose ends? Am I the only one? The day after a show or book launch, there is a strange sense of 'what now?' and feeling somewhat empty. The great high of the accomplishment can often be followed by an empty low. Creativity expert Eric Maisel describes this sense of loss or emptiness as a loss of meaning. Our lives have had meaning while we are focused on that project. Once it has been completed, our sense of meaning has to shift or we feel at a loss.
This is why it is important to have the goals list and schedule at hand. We chose to make our own meaning in life and we can chose what our focus will be. To keep us on track and looking toward meaning making, goals written down in doable chunks helps us create that sense of meaning and an orderly track to follow. Chaotic vague ideas usually don't help us with meaning making. Chaos usually interferes with meaning making. So a sense of clarity of direction can be found in our little map of goals. What is our next step? Ah, there it is on my calendar!
Most coaching is about getting you into the studio or to the writing table in the first place; what we feel after the project is done is often overlooked. Sometimes people feel a fear that they can't accomplish something that big or good again. But each project is its own individual thing with its value being simply in its existance and not to be compared with anything else. Doing something creative is not a one time thing--it is ongoing. There is a circular movement with creativity; once you've finished, you begin the whole process again: concept, planning, doing. Fear of what to do next can block us, but we address that the same way we addressed it initially: action and employing all the techinques we used initially to get us through the project we just finished.
Also, any time you've completed a goal, be sure to give yourself a pat on the back, whether it's a small accomplishment or a large one; they are all of value and you've done well to complete it!
For now, I'll leave you all with just one quote. It is from a lovely friend who lives and loves in Illinois. Her creativity in life is inspiring and her book is a wonder: 'Ollie Tibbles--The Boy Who Became a Train.' Her book will be released in it's second printing in July.
'It takes great courage to recognize your GIFT. It often amazes me, when I see talent in others, their own FEAR of who they are yet equally can relate. Embracing who you are and what God put you on this earth to do is not about ego, is not about being selfish, it's about ACCEPTANCE and doing what needs to be done to HONOR that gift.' ~Debi Tibbles