Quote for Today: Elizabeth Gaskell

feet-in-chains

The daily life into which people are born, and into which they are absorbed before they are well aware, forms chains which only one in a hundred has moral strength enough to despise, and to break when the right time comes – when an inward necessity for independent individual action arises, which is superior to all outward conventionalities. Therefore it is well to know what were the chains of daily domestic habit which were the natural leading-strings of our forefathers before they learnt to go alone.
Public Domain Image via publicdomainpictures.net

Seven Common Assumptions That Chain Creativity

Would you like to be more creative? Some common assumptions can chain our creativity and limit our experience of life.

Fragile Brain Shield by AllAllucinations with  CCLicense

Fragile Brain Shield
by AllAllucinations with CCLicense

We have incredible minds. The mind helps us perceive and make sense of the world around us, constructing a worldview and processing information to support that view. For this reason, the mind can also be a powerful weapon of oppression. If we hold particular beliefs without any power of review or adjustment, we become easier to control, less independent, and less individual.

Here are some common assumptions which bind creative people, presented with some pop culture slogans for a little whimsy.

Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids! Creativity is only for artists.

Public Domain Image via Pixabay

Public Domain Image via Pixabay

From Fortune 500 companies to parents interacting with their children, everyone benefits from creativity and a sense of play. Projecting the attitude that “normal” people are hard-working and dull while artists are colorful children is a wonderful way to divide creative people from the masses and devalue both groups. Lean in, I’ve got a secret. You can be as creative and as playful as you want to be, wherever you are. I’m not saying everyone will like it, but the potential lies within you.

I’m a Pepper, he’s a Pepper, she’s a Pepper, we’re a Pepper, wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too… If you want to get ahead, you need to conform.

In any profession there are role models. They can be inspiring and wonderful people. Unfortunately, we tend to try and emulate their success by becoming their clones and submitting ourselves to the worst side of peer pressure. Trying to be someone else is an excellent way to be unhappy. Wouldn’t it better to be yourself, even when it means you don’t fit in?

No place for second best. If I can just be perfect, I’ll get the job.

CCLI by HikingArtist.com on Flickr

© HikingArtist.com with CCLicense

Young people are advised to pick one thing in life, concentrate on it and try to be the best at it. This is a trap. Focusing on being number one at all costs will alienate your neighbors and destroy the moral fabric of your life. Cheating to win isn’t really winning; ask Lance Armstrong. It’s the simple things that we forget to be grateful for that are the building blocks of life and creativity… our families, our friends, our pets, nature… The list is endless. If we can’t enjoy these things, no amount of productivity or success will fill the void created by their absence. Why not be a dreamer and stay interested in people and the world around you instead?

Where’s the beef? Everything that isn’t “serious” is fluff.

CCLI by alexik on Flickr

© alexik with CCLicense

To build and maintain a human body takes nutrients that come from different foods. Eating only beef for a week would not help us feel or be healthy. Some question whether beef is good for us at all. The body requires a more balanced approach. Is a human spirit any different? Go ahead, have a salad. I won’t tell anyone.

Oh, I’d love to be an Oscar Mayer Wiener… That is what I’d truly like to be… ‘Cause if I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener… Everyone would be in love with me! Fame brings love and satisfaction, and with it greater artistry and artistic freedom.

Our culture idolizes celebrity. Conventional wisdom says if we reach more people and make them like us, we will feel better about ourselves. What we overlook is that, in order to “sell” ourselves to great numbers of people, we have to become a mass-produced commodity. Who really knows what is in a hot dog?

No pain, no gain. If it doesn’t hurt, it can’t be worth anything.

CCLI by slim45hady on deviant art

© slim45hady with CCLicense

This isn’t to say that we should avoid pain at all costs. There will be things in life that hurt us and make us want to quit. I’m talking about courting pain. Some examples? The guy that exercises every day until his body screams for him to stop. The artist who thinks exacerbating her own mental suffering or loneliness will make her art better. The actor who thinks he has to be an alcoholic to play an alcoholic.  Pain is there to get our attention so that we can  do something about a situation that isn’t working. So if something really hurts, try doing it in a different way or not at all.

Leggo my Eggo! The success of other people poses a threat to my success.

Public Domain Image via Pixabay

Public Domain Image via Pixabay

Siblings get into arguments simply because of proximity. Maybe X is feeling a little tired and irritable when Y walks over. Pretty soon both are screaming at each other, “I hate you! You are breathing my air!” We like to think that we outgrow this behavior. The truth is that when someone is successful we tend to react as if there is a limited amount of success to go around and that person is bogarting it. Relax. Be happy for other people. When you have some success it is nice to be able to invite true friends to the party.

Sound familiar? At Synkroniciti we seek to free people from the chains in their minds. Would you like to join us?

In the near future, Synkroniciti will be announcing some new experiences available to our fans and readers, including web-based projects for those around the globe who would like to collaborate remotely, and workshops for those in the Houston area. We are very excited to take the next step in our journey.

Slogans are from Trix Cereal, Dr. Pepper, StockRunway, Wendy’s, Oscar Mayer, Jane Fonda’s Workout Videos and Eggo Waffles.