Coloring outside the lines

Hugh MacLeod gets it. He (and others like him – Austin Kleon, Seth Godin, et al.) do their best to bring out the best in us. Hugh’s 2009 book Ignore Everybody (And 39 Other Keys to Creativity) is quite inspiring. His blog, which features a sketch of his and some musings on life, is highly recommended. Sign up and each post will go directly to your email inbox.

This Monday’s post was an excerpt from Ignore Everybody. It’s about how each of us is born creative, but our creativity can be stifled over time.

Hugh’s artwork can be purchased here.

Reconnecting with that “wee voice” as Hugh calls it, can add color (colors, actually) to your life. It’s not a “nice-to-have” — it’s a “need-to-have” for your soul.

The wee voice didn’t show up because it decided you need more money or you need to hang out with movie stars. Your wee voice came back because your soul somehow depends on it. There’s something you haven’t said, something you haven’t done, some light that needs to be switched on, and it needs to be taken care of. Now.

Hugh MacLeod, in Ignore Everybody

“Don’t let them take away your crayons” is a message we need to hear over and over. Because so many of our societal “norms” (including our education system) are designed to steal them away from us, and because our “adult” brain is very good at trying to overrule our inner creative child.

They’re only crayons. You didn’t fear them in kindergarten, why fear them now?

It’s simple, really.

Time for another installment of “dubbatrubba sings the praises of ‘Gaping Void'”… it’s a monthly feature of this blog. Hugh MacLeod sends out a daily email with a cartoon-like doodle of art, and a few words of wisdom. They’re all great, and you should sign up for the mailing list on the Gaping Void website. Reading his email is often the best minute or two of my workday.

You should also read Hugh’s book Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity.

A Gaping Void post from last week struck me as particularly poignant. Check it out:

One of the things we affluent, supposedly happy Westerners suffer from, is that we like to make our lives far too complicated.

We take on far too much responsibility at work, we buy houses that are far too big for our families, we spend far too much money going out, fancy cars etc., we try to read far too many books, we buy far too many toys, the list goes on.

And then the bill comes… as it always does.

You’re much better off with a simple life.

The simple life begins not with stuff, but from the human heart.

The latter, by the way, doesn’t scale.

True happiness is an inward journey. 

That’s where the real joy is. 

Good luck.

Ah, Hugh, you’ve done it again. Genius… plain and simple!

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