Action

Action = Your Creativity in Motion

S ince we covered Your ‘Fierce’ Perception, the next logical step is to discuss Action = Your Creativity in Motion. I’m racing to meet another deadline, but I just had to take a moment to share my thoughts with you while they’re fresh from the imaginal tree.

If you read ‘Your Creative Gravity – and how to hack it’ you already know that creativity is the act of rubbing two or more ideas together to create Action; now I want to connect and expand on that by adding ‘Your ‘Fierce’ Perception’ (FP) to the mix. Your FP starts the ball rolling by placing your attention on the Big Picture. When you follow the electric pull of the most emotionally charged of your perceptions, you’re moving toward dazzling creative opportunity.

Now here’s the interesting part – ‘Charged Feelings’ exist to focus your attention on meeting a specific need! Let’s say you perceive sadness, like the passing of a beloved parent or friend. That internal ‘Call to Action’ pulls up memories: Idea #1. Which leads you thoughts of your old Family photo albums: Idea #2. Which leads to the Creative Action of pulling out the albums. The Action continues as you relive the supercharged moments that speak to your emotional need, and then share them with others to spread the love – because creativity is all about connection. It’s that easy, rub #1 & #2 together and you get ‘Action = Your Creativity in Motion.’ Now flip through every area of your life – can you see your perceptions and ideas putting creativity into motion?

The Example above is an ‘Internal Call,’ here’s an Example of an ‘External Call:’

As a Baby, my Daughter was a Champion ‘Bawler’ – so whenever she cried I engaged my ‘Fierce’ Perception and scrolled through my impressions to figure out what she needs.  1) I’m singing & rocking her, but is she entertained? 2) Is her diaper dry. 3) Well, no Rashes are present. 4) And I Just Fed her. 5) She’s not tired, because she had a nap. 6) She’s holding her Favorite Blankie. 7) Hmmm, maybe she’s teething? I dip my index finger into ice cold water and slip it between her gums, and she bites down contentedly! In this case the Call to Action/Idea #1 was her Crying; Idea #2 was my intuitive discovery of Teething; And the Action was to Sooth her sore gums. Now that’s Creativity in Action.

Whether you’re building a civilization, sending folks to the moon, curing cancer, or cooking dinner, life is an unending series of creative actions. Forget about ‘re-action,’ there is no such animal: Action is action, Jackson. Action is your uniquely active contribution to yourself, the world, and all the people, places, beings and things that you interact with. Action is absolutely essential to life, which means you are a born ‘Actioneer.’

The Secret to Effective ‘Actioneering’ is to take a page out of the Shark’s playbook and Keep Moving. If you’re stalling and delaying taking action on your ideas, you’re allowing fear to bottle up your emotions and drain your creative energy & momentum. Creativity needs you to engage Your ‘Fearless’ Perception and play through the psychological resistance that negative judgment produces. So stay charged and keep moving & shaking!

Now a word on action & responsibility. Unfortunately not all action has a positive effect or feels good. Buddhists follow the Eightfold Path to guide their ‘Right Actions,’ and some Westerners measure theirs with ‘The Golden Rule,’ but no matter which religion or practice you follow, their powerful teachings often add too much complexity – too many Rules & Precepts. I’m a simple guy, so I like to keep my take on action & responsibility simple: If it feels good and you experience positive energy boost from your perceptions and actions, you’re doing it right. Trust yourself. You are ‘That,’ and you know what ‘That’ needs. Life can be a bawling baby at times, and you know how to make it feel safe, secure & happy.

Remember to Smile & Laugh: Hilarity is also Action. I love smiling & laughing, Why? Because it taps directly into the power of our collective creativity, and shatters the calcified straight jacket that our ego roles wrap us in. Why do Sitcoms use laugh tracks? Because laughter inspires more laughter, and smiling inspires more smiles, because they’re the purest expression of joy. Need a creative boost for your actioneering? Great. Forget the coffee and doughnuts – smiling & laughing are the best natural stimulants available. Practice them before any action you take, big or small, and they’ll fly you past the heavy pull of your false perceptions like a booster rocket, and slingshot you into a scintillating creative orbit.

From an energetic/sub-atomic perspective, matter is motion. Even the most solid rock has a swirling micro-verse of energy holding it together. Remember, you, me, and everything is in constant motion. This means that our essence is action. Consciousness may provide the framework and drivers for perception, thoughts & ideas, but action is the baseline of our creative purpose. That’s why action is bliss!

Backstory: My brilliant mentor, Alexander MacKendrick, once urged me to make ‘creativity’ my professional identity, and allow it drive my projects and career. I thought he meant ‘My’ creativity, and it took me a long time to realize that whenever you put the ‘My’ before creativity, you are turning a vast cosmic firehose into a tiny drip line. The ‘My’ and ‘I’ are ego, and ego wants to control everything in your life – but creativity needs freedom to work it’s actionable magic – which means we have to sublimate ego to achieve full creative freedom.

Let’s summarize and define The Four Types of Creative Action: 

 

  • Physical Action – Pretty self explanatory, it’s basically any action that involves using your body to make, build, shape, perform, craft, move with, or adapt to needs and environment. It also includes all physical labor, hand crafts, physical activities, sports, creative arts, and media, etc.
  • Emotional Action – Is all about expression: Anger, confidence, courage, cruelty, envy, fear, indignation, joy, kindness, laughter, love, pity sadness, shame, etc. You get the picture. These are the energies that stand alone, or combine to animate other actions.
  • Intellectual Action – Thoughts that inspire others to envision an alternate perspective, reveal a specific reality, or use as a springboard to activate one, or more, of the other three actions.
  • Spiritual Action – This is the trickiest of the four, a movement into the ‘Unknown-Known’ that inspires us to connect, commune and experience our relationship to consciousness.  

All these Actions can stand alone, but usually combine in two, threes and fours. Like this post, which is Physical: Typing; Emotional: I’m feeling great!; Intellectual: My Thinking cap is seated firmly on my noggin; and Spiritual: Yep, I’m connected to the collective pool of creative consciousness too! The most powerful actions freely combine all four, creating a multi dimensional resonance that hooks everybody involved to the experience of creativity.

Now that we’ve covered the Process, let’s get physical and chart our own “Creative Action Map:”

1. Every Journey begins with the first Step – Gather paper and black, red, green, blue, orange and yellow pens or pencils – or use a Mind Mapping software if you prefer. Find a quiet spot; sit comfortably; take five deep breaths and rev up your FP. Hopefully you’ve already cleared any negative blocking perceptions; if not read the “Fierce Perception Post”  you’ll want to do this first, so the impressions you get here lead to positive destinations.
2. Survey the Terrain – I want you to survey your Magnificent Life – or if you want to keep it small, scan a current personal issue, project, or experience. Take the broadest view possible, and then Focus your FP on any ‘Landmark’ areas: The internal or external places that have the most charged impressions, emotions & perceptions attached to them. These landmarks will represent actions you’ve taken; actions you’re taking; and opportunities for future action.
3. Map it, Sam – Use the black marker to draw a Circle in the middle – this your ‘Creative Locus,’ your central issue, project, or experience. Draw a line from top to bottom, dividing the page into two equal halves. The left side will represent external landmarks, and the right side, internal landmarks. Now start drawing corresponding circles for each landmark, placing the ones at the forefront of your mind toward the top, and making large circles if they’re highly charged, and smaller if less so. I use the following color codes to separate each type of landmark action: If spiritual use yellow; If emotional=red; If intellectual=blue; If physical=green… Feel free to alter the color scheme, because you’re the cartographer, and fill in the circles with descriptive text. Now use your intuition to start linking landmarks, using the color of the circle that starts the flow to it’s connection.  
4Check Yourself, before you Wreck Yourself – Study the map, check in with your creative genius, and make any adjustments that strongly call out to you. Let the action landmarks and their paths lead you into a deeper understanding of where you’ve been, where you’re at, and where you’re going. Now envision all the outcomes radiating from each landmark, and pay close attention as your imagination guides you to fill in the gaps. And don’t forget to follow through on any revised routes that appear, because Google Maps may be good, but it’s nothing compared to your glorious trailblazing savvy!
5Famous Last Words – For Edmund Kean it was “Dying is easy; Comedy is hard.” But I digress. My final word on action and creative mapping is to encourage you to have fun practicing it. Self awareness is the cornerstone of creative success, and developing mad mapping skills is a great tool to help you see the hidden motivators that shift you into action. If you’ve been reading this series, you’re probably seeing this pattern emerge: Creativity=Attention+Fierce Perception+Ideas+Action; which leads to self awareness; and right back to creativity. It’s a mystical hyper loop, like the Ouroboros, a circular logic that shows us how the universe works within us, through us, and on us – it’s also the eternal symbol of your unique creative genius in action! 

Do You need a creative action map?’ Absolutely! Do you need to draw it? Not necessarily, but getting it down on paper will help you interpret the subtleties of your creative terrain, and all the fascinating internal & external actions that drive your Actioneering. Remember, the ‘You’ that is not a ‘You,’ is the journey and the destination, so enjoy the ride and many, “Happy Trails to You!”

Here are few ‘Calls to Action’ that I’ve found enlightening, fun, satisfying and just plain mind blowing:

 

Photo Credit: Mi PHAM

About Scott J Mulvaney

Scott is a Filmmaker, Writer, Web Entrepreneur and Passionate Mystagog of the divine joys of Creativity, Visual Storytelling & Cinematic Language.

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