So here we go, my first serious blog post after some innocent travel writing. I didn’t think I would find it that exciting -a little scary even- to start sharing, to take a stance, to start creating. But I made this ‘commitment to create’ to myself and I will stick to it. I start today and hope you’ll join me on my journey.
Before you read on, I plan on adding a soundtrack/music recommendation to every post I’ll write. Today it’s the somewhat cliché but slightly altered ‘four seasons’ by Vivaldi, recomposed by Max Richter. You can listen to the album here, I just turned up the volume.
The direct cause for my ‘commitment to create’ is the book by Brenee Brown on “the power of vulnerability” that my sister gave me (check the accompanying TED talk here). I must confess I havn’t really read the book yet, but the title itself already set in motion quite a bit: this blog being one example, leaving the diplomat life by quitting my job at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) another.
Basically, the book made me decide it was time for me to try to accept my own imperfections and those of others. I decided that it is easy to criticize but daring and truly rewarding to create. I decided I want to create and therefore had to take a leap of faith: quit my job and find something new that gives me more freedom.
So here I sit behind my laptop, three more months to go at the MFA (notice period) but then: no boss expecting to see me, no more dealing with forces that often tend to converge to the status quo, no more high level political discussions that sometimes drift far off from daily life. But also, no influence on big themes as energy policy anymore, no secure income, no great colleagues around. That my last day being a civil servant is approaching fills me with excitement, new creativity and a healthy dose of tension. Even though I leave behind many amazing people that make a big difference, I just glow from the idea of creating something myself, to aim for the moon. What’s next? I am not completely sure yet, but I’m thinking about taking the entrepreneurial road and will use the coming weeks to work this out.
Anyway, big change is on its way and I am preparing. First of all, I prepare myself by setting the right framework for boosting my own creativity. What helps me a lot here is the following list of creativity boosters by Konrad, a friend of mine:
- Timed, little and healthy food
- Cardio workout and relaxation
- Selective social interaction
- Less media consumption
- Arts both passive and active
- Traveling overseas
- Frequent breaks
- Paper and pen always ready
- Lucid dreaming
- Brain teasing games
The awesome thing about this list is that it is so much fun and energizing applying it to your life, as a bonus it actually works. One of the first to do’s on my list is to negotiate a 36 hour work week (4x9hours) for the remaining time I’ll spend at the MFA to free up one day a week to boost my creativity and use it.
Among other things I plan to post on this blog at least once a week. Topics that I am interested in and that I can think of now are personal development, entrepreneurship, issues of international/European politics and simplicity (in design). In time I might focus a bit more, but expect a fair share of posts on those topics.
Thanks for reading, if you have any comments please share them! Are you thinking about a career change yourself? Trying to figure out how to get the most out of your current job? Or maybe you already found the way to optimally use your creativity? It would be cool to hear about it.
I’ll be back in a week or sooner with an update.