When I took my younger child for one the early follow-up visits, the nurse took one look at him, and said, “Oh, he looks exactly like your daughter! Exactly the same model!”.
While the two kids looked incredibly alike as babies, they couldn’t be more different in how they choose to live their lives, especially when presented with an extended weekend or holiday without planned activities.
One disappears into her room and creates: a photo collage for her wall, a home sewn outfit, a video on how to make pencil case.
The other masters a skill: guitar chords, the latest video game level, hours of shooting hoops. I have fond memories of his 8-hour marathon learning to rollerblade – at age 3.
We all have equivalent activities we love to get lost in. They put us in the zone, and we emerge refreshed, re-energized, and more often than not, with more than what we went in with.
That’s because when we are in the zone, we create.
And there’s very little that’s more fulfilling, more feel-good and more delightful than being in the zone creating.
As an aside, I’m pretty sure the reason many traditional 9 to 5 jobs lose their allure is that the opportunity to create something fresh that plays to your strengths and exercises your creativity is often absent.
Some organizations have processes so detailed that it is a quality assurance practitioner’s dream, but also a creative employee’s nightmare. It’s an assembly line dressed up as knowledge work.
But the organizations that have figured out guided individual creativity, given room to be in the zone, gives them a business advantage? Yes, those are the companies that will succeed both in growth and in retaining top talent.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch with multipassionates building businesses from the kitchen table, getting into the zone and creating as often as possible is the key to getting that business off the ground.
Make no mistake – getting into the zone is not some woo-woo, zen/meditation/law of attraction fuzzy concept.
It’s a skill.
It’s a skill that gets built a little at time, through consistent, frequent practice.
Even if you’re not a morning person (ah, labels, labels …), prioritizing your own creation skills every morning will help you get into the zone earlier in the day, and start your day with a bang.
For a long time, before the disruptive excitement of moving countries hit last year, I enjoyed an hour or so of writing every morning.
Writing a chapter in an ebook. A blog post. An outline for a fiction series (i’m going to get to this one seriously one of these days).
The point was I got some writing done first thing – before email, before breakfast and definitely before life in general.
It was great.
It was with this writing habit and consistently flexing the creation muscle that I was able to build Moonpreneur (a product creation resource blog( from 0 to 5000 views in a couple of months a few years ago.
Back to long weekends, one of which has just concluded.
While I don’t necessary condone disappearing into their respective “worlds” for hours at a time, I also love watching my children discover, create and enjoy what puts them in the zone.
For us adults, it’s less discovery and more yanking back our creativity from the slippery slope of unconscious habits we might have fallen into – especially if it’s been years you’ve been in a routine.
As spring disappears into summer, I invite you to join me in actively creating space in our respective day so we may have more time in the zone.
Start small: just 20 minutes every day – preferably in the morning – creating in a medium you love. It could be writing, music, art, or even a new life for yourself.