The Boomer generation is a very creative group of people and we are surrounded by highly creative writers, artists, musicians, actors, and entrepreneurs who were born between 1946 and 1965. In the US alone, that represents more than 77 million people, but the vast majority of that number did not become members of the Rolling Stones. What about the rest of us? We used the music scene of the sixties and seventies to fuel our dreams of artistic success and then reality rears its ugly head and we learn about car loans, mortgages, 40-hour-a-week jobs, spouses, children, and grocery bills. .
We went to work, as did our parents, and now we wake up in 2010 and say, “Is that all?” Many of us have reached the empty nest stage and are looking at what the future holds. Maybe we could leave the flared pants and polyester shirts in the trunk and find some creative endeavors to find satisfaction. While nostalgia can be enjoyable fun, many boomers would rather look ahead and see what might be possible to stretch that muscle of creativity that has been dormant for so long, but how?
Creativity is a special gift that each of us can access if we choose to dedicate some time and effort in that direction. Many of the most successful boomers have achieved incredible success by reaching inside and finding and trusting their creative core. Here are some ways that anyone can increase their creativity.
- The Morning Paper – Set your alarm half an hour before and before breakfast, the newspaper, the radio, or whatever else, sit back and write a full page of thoughts as they occur in your mind. This can be overnight dreams, fears, lingering concerns, things that come to mind when you used to be in the shower at the time, anything your mind is working on. Do this every morning of the week at the top of your “to do” list. The idea is to stimulate your creative juices, empty out the random thoughts that tend to clog our minds, and bring them out to make room for more creative thoughts to enter. If you have ever tried meditating and found that keeping your mind empty is a constant struggle, then this is the place for all those intrusions that prevented you from experiencing the wisdom and peace of meditation. Try it for a month, it really works.
- Take two hours a week to spend time observing art in your world. Yes, it could be an art gallery visit, but try an unfamiliar music forum, a stroll through the local library where you will find more than just books, but lots of shows too. Even a walk in your neighborhood park with a camera in hand could give you a chance to tune in to the artist in you. It is important to use this time for a solitary search and not for sharing: make it personal, make it your time with yourself. Try some local museums that you may never have considered. You may find yourself keeping a notebook to record some ideas that begin to filter through as you enjoy the creative endeavors you witness.
The purpose of these exercises is to build up your inspiration muscle a bit, so a small notebook might be a good idea. You may even want to start an online blog to record some of your thoughts, ideas, and observations because that exercise will also bring out our inner creativity and it doesn’t matter where you focus your efforts. Some of you will find yourself thinking and focusing on business, but that’s fine as long as you leave room for those other thoughts and don’t judge yourself, let them flow. Boomers are beginning to search for that deeper meaning in life that we glimpse in our youth and we really have the opportunity now to return to that creative space and find happiness and joy.