In my senior seminar class, students study the creative process, then create an artifact to help them to remember how they want to live their lives. One of my students designed a poster, and this is what it said:
Promises I Swear To Keep To My Creative Self
1) I promise that I will do something creative every single day to feed my inner artist. Be that an artist date, a creative project, or enjoying the creativity of another person, I will always feed my creative mind in healthy, whole ways.
2) I promise I will always remember that I am introverted, task oriented yet flexible, friendly and outgoing, a golden retriever who moonlights as an otter, a feeler who can walk in another’s shoes, an emotional soul who believes emotions are the colors of life, a words of affirmation / physical touch [love] recipient and giver, and that I am perfect just the way I am.
3) I promise I will never ever EVER let the negative voices, the negative influences, the negative people, the negative circumstances stifle my joy for living or my creative work. If there is anything that sets me apart, it is my joy and my hope. As James M. Barrie once said, “Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”
4) I promise that I will embrace my imperfection, learning to laugh at myself with great care and affection because it is only in embracing my imperfection that I will do what is required of me to the best of my ability in whatever circumstance I am in.
5) I promise I will always remind myself that the difference between the novice writer and an expert writer is experience, not talent, and this is the same reasoning behind other areas of creativity as well. I will not let the fear of rejection destroy my hopes to share my creative gifts with the world.
6) I promise that I will always invest wholeheartedly, genuinely, and fully in the lives of other people because other people need me. Yes, they need me, as much as I need them, because it is in the fellowship of other human beings that we experience life to the fullest.
7) I promise that I will find a creative domain that is accessible to me and I will run after it with all my strength. The door will open only if I have the courage and the opportunity to pull the handle.
8) I promise that I will celebrate my accomplishments and take pride in the things I excel in and the things I work hard for. I will not feed my pride with vanity and an bloated sense of self-worth, but rather I will glorify the Giver of the gifts bestowed upon me that is my responsibility to share with the world.
9) I promise that I will do something crazy once a week in order to see sides of the world I did not know existed. I will go out on a limb, get out of my comfort zone, and discover new worlds, people, and ideas that I would not have known if I had stayed in the same place.
10) I promise that I will never ever allow myself to become bored with my creative life, nor any other area of my life. Should I come to view anything as boring, then I promise to read these things that I have listed and remember the creative gifts that I have been given.