I almost felt affronted when a relative stranger asked me this question. It goes against social convention doesn’t it? Like trying to smile at people on the London Underground. It’s so much easier to ask, “So what do you do?” Many times when we ask this we are really asking, “Who are you, and will you be useful to me?”
But, I’m going to ask it again anyway. “What’s alive in you today?” Really, I’d like to know. In fact, if you can, I’d like you to write it down or post it here.
Inspiration and the Power of Art
I thought I’d check in with you and your inspiration. Now might not be a good time… But then, when is a good time to bring up this kind of stuff?
As a follower of my work, you already know there is a lot more in my art than meets the eye. And that is the sort of thing many artists like to keep a mystery.
I love mystery too, but I also like to know why things are the way they are. The more we dig, the more the mystery there seems to deepen. Particularly when it comes to the essence of human experience.
I believe in the power of art and creativity to inspire us to see ourselves and our world in a whole new way. I also believe that we are at a crucial time when art has a pivotal role to play on our lives, and for the betterment of the world we live in.
What does that really mean?
Changing Your Self-Image
Current research shows that our levels of stress, happiness, productivity and fulfilment are all profoundly linked to one thing. That one thing is our self-identity. You have probably experienced this yourself. You’ve been working hard at something, maybe a project at work, or a relationship that matters to you. It’s been a real struggle, and you felt like you weren’t getting anywhere. Then suddenly, it happens. There is a shift. You get the idea, the breakthrough, or the realisation that you were looking for. Suddenly you are able to resolve the tension that was there, and it flows productively once again.
What if I could show you a way to have more of these breakthrough moments? What could you achieve or contribute if you had at least one a day?
But what really happens in these moments? One of three things. You either saw yourself differently, you saw something new in another person, or you saw the situation differently. In my case, and for many others, it’s far easier to see other people differently. What’s a lot more difficult is developing a relationship with that ever so devious and tricky personality, that is, our sense of self.
Your self-identity is really a picture. An image. It governs what you can and can’t do, and what you should and shouldn’t say in any given moment. It’s been hoarded together by a whole series of life experiences that you have assimilated. Want to know what the scary thing is?
You probably didn’t have a major hand in creating that self-image. Your upbringing, your cultural conditioning, and your education probably sculpted the largest part for you. And that’s fine if you are happy with your life experience.
But what if you want to change your life? Well, the first thing is to become aware that you have a self-image. What’s more, like an artist, you can make changes to this self-image. And you have to learn that this is the foundation of any long-term change you would like to make in your life.
“So” you might be saying, “Louis, this is all fascinating information, but I’m busy. Interested. But busy. So, HOW? How do I do that?”
One simple way to step out of your current self-image is to ask yourself that question I asked earlier: “What is alive in me today?” And write down the answer. In this way, you will elicit a response from the creative side of your brain. Make the logical side stop and listen for a moment. You can stop the car, get out, and kick the tyres of your mind.
What Is Alive in You Today?
The answer to this could inform an important decision about how you live your life today.