Creative Journeying

I’ve been reflecting lately on the myth that fulfillment is an end point, or destination.

by Amanda Hirsch, Chair of the Communications Committee and founder of CREATIVE DC

“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.”
– Sarah Ban Breathnach

I’ve been reflecting lately on the myth that fulfillment is an end point, or destination. Finding fulfillment isn’t about finding a magic bullet – a “dream job,” a perfect city in which to live, a perfect mate; instead, finding fulfillment is about developing the ability to know what you want, and the will to go get it.

As my life has gotten richer in the past few years – as I’ve filled it with writing, performing, and the luxuries of the freelance lifestyle (like mid-day yoga classes, followed by an actual shower!) – I’ve realized that no matter how content I am with the way my life is going, I’m always actively challenging myself to align my outer life even more closely with the life of my dreams.

Example: when I first started freelancing back in 2006, I billed myself as a strategic consultant and project manager, since, coming out of my role as director of PBS Interactive, those were the skills I thought I could most easily market. And I was right; I got a number of consulting jobs with both non-profits and media companies by selling my PBS experience. At first, I was so thrilled to be freelancing, I thought, “beggars can’t be choosers” – and I took on whatever projects were offered to me, even if they didn’t sound particularly interesting.

And then, this summer, I realized that it was time to move to the next level. Going freelance was a big step in the right direction for me: skipping out on office politics and the like has given me more energy for my creative pursuits, as well as the flexibility to pursue them on my own schedule. But I’d reached a plateau, and it was time to challenge myself to spend even more of my time on work I found personally fulfilling. After all, the more fulfilled we are, the more positive contribution we make to the world.

And that’s what creativity is about: contribution. Matching your joy to your efforts and creating something — a painting, a poem, a friendship, or any number of other possibilities. As we begin to transition out of one year and into another, let’s take the opportunity to reflect on what it is we wish to contribute to the world. Let’s live the life of our dreams. Let’s make 2009 our most creative year yet.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman

read more from the December newsletter