Creative or Reactive? Same Letters But Different Results

Posted on Jul 2, 2012

imagesIt is unfortunate that when we think about creativity, we immediately think of the arts.  The reality is that we are all creative in that we have the power to create the way we live. The problem is that many of us become reactive instead of creative. We forget that our health and well-being comes down to the choices we make.  I’m not referring to big and dramatic lifestyle changes, but the smaller and mundane choices. Without really thinking about it, we spend time everyday making choices to maintain our physical health.  We brush, floss and use sunscreen.  We try to eat well and exercise. We spend significantly less time considering how our every day decisions affect our emotional well-being.

For example:  Imagine you have a difficult relationship with your mother.  One of her habits is calling you up to 10 times a day.  She leaves you messages at home, at work, and on your cell, acting as if it is urgent that she get a hold of you.  When you do speak, she has nothing important to tell you.  You have asked her not to call so often but she continues this habit. You love her and you want to have a good relationship but every time she calls, you experience it as an unwelcome intrusion.

Here are reactive ways to handle the situation:

You accept every call in the hope that it will result in fewer calls–but it doesn’t.

You call her before she calls you hoping to prevent her from calling you later–but it doesn’t.

The result: You feel resentful and hopeless that the relationship will ever improve.

Here is a creative way to handle the situation:

You decide that you are willing to speak to her once a day. Every day, you look at your calendar and decide when you will speak to her based on your schedule. Regardless of how many times she calls, you call her back at the time that is good for you.

The results: You do not feel drained because you are not compromising yourself to satisfy your mother.
Because you feel less frustrated, the quality of the interaction is much better.

Just as we can create habits to promote our physical health, so too can we make choices that support our emotional well-being. It is a process of adjusting your overall attitude toward life. Approach experiences with an open mind and cultivate the belief that possibilities and solutions are always within reach, and you’ll be equipped to handle any challenge with creative flair.