Reflection: Creating Yourself

When most people hear the phrase “leading a creative life,” they think about continually creating things. We tend to think of Creativity as the act or the ability to bring something new into the world, whether it is a physical product, a work of art, or an original thought. But leading a creative life also has a deeper meaning. Leading a creative life also means never stop creating yourself.

You are your first and most important creation. I know how this might sound to cynical ears, but consider it for a moment. The things you learn, the practices and habits you adopt, what you experience, and the things that make you curious — are all controlled by you. All these things affect you — they build you as a unique, creative human being. You are the designer of your creative journey, and although the road is often unexpected, it is always you who decides what would be the next step.

So, why is that important? If you create yourself, then as any other creative act, it would benefit from applying your Core Creativity Functions. In other words, to become a more creative person, you need to use some creative practices in your most important creation: yourself. And this is where Ongoing Reflection comes into the picture.

Reflection starts as an act of Observation. Instead of observing something external, you observe yourself. Where are you today and what you have Experienced along the way are the most important inputs if you wish to create a slightly better version of yourself. Marveling at your journey and thinking about it in questions by applying the Wonder function is equally essential. But Reflection does not stop with looking back or even exploring where you are now. Reflection also requires future-looking insights: where do you want to go next, or at least what would your next step be. This part involves Imagining a future version of you by Fusing different insights or things you learn into the current version of you. Unlike evolution in Biology, which is based on random mutations that just happen to adapt better to the current conditions, evolving yourself is an intentional activity. Reflection that utilizes the entire Creativity Operating System is a perfect way to drive ongoing evolution.

How to put Reflection into practice is personal and subjective. Some people prefer a structured method, while others are drawn to a more associative approach. If you don’t know where to start, try the following:

  • Dedicate at least 30 minutes to Reflection at least once a week.
  • Find a place without distractions and reflect on your journey.
  • You can use the Reflection Cues as a guide, or any other Reflection method as long as you use your experience from the past week to generate future-looking insights.
  • Use your Insight Journal to record your thoughts and insights.

You can use the c.os Reflection Cues to get started with effective Reflection, or to boost your Reflection even if you are already practicing it regularly. You can use them alone or as part of a group session where each member shares their own thoughts.

Whether you use the Reflection Cues or any other method, turn Reflection into a habit. It is the key to evolving yourself — to always aim to learn and grow. We are the only living beings on our planet able to do that. Let’s make use of this gift.

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