I was in the UK a few years ago, packing late at night (or early in the morning) to head home. I had the television on, and a documentary was showing about the music group ABBA. I was casually listening but it caught my attention when they talked about how hard they worked to create their music when they were at their peak. Since then, I have seen the musical Mama Mia, which incorporates ABBA's diverse music into a show about a confused young girl about to get married, and after that I became even more intrigued with ABBA's work.
The documentary is now on YouTube and it makes for interesting viewing, even if it is 89 minutes long! If you can't watch it all, pick it up at about the nine minute mark through about minute twelve. This is not a post to promote ABBA's music, but I do want to commend their approach to creativity, for their approach was one of disciplined, hard work. In other words, their creative success was no fluke. They had the talent, but they worked their talent hard, taxing it to produce what it was intended to do.
I write every day. Then I write the Monday Memo once a week. I produce a new Bible study one every two weeks and I write one book every year. Those projects happen because I sit down to do the work, but I am always preparing, taking notes and perfecting my craft. I teach new classes regularly (I have three university classes to teach this fall that I have never taught before) and I read and listen to books every day.
If you want to write, paint, sculpt, teach, or start a business or ministry, then you will need to do what I do, what ABBA did. You will ned to work and apply yourself.
Now you don't have to do this, for when you force yourself, you will find all kinds of reasons not to create. You must want to do this, so you can face and conquer your fears. You will need to deal with the apathy or ambivalence of those around and even close to you. None of my books are considered "best sellers," but I will keep writing to perfect my skills. Maybe one day, God will honor me with that kind of success. If not, I will keep writing - maybe it will happen after I'm gone. Maybe it will never happen.
As we wrap up this series next week, I hope you are encouraged to embrace and express your creativity in new, fresh ways. This will not just happen without your concerted, focused effort. If I can help you in any way, please let me know. Now get busy about the work you were created to create. Have a great week!
KENYA UPDATE: You can read the latest update from Pastor Peter concerning the library project here, along with some new pictures. Then please donate by the time I depart next Monday for Kenya either through my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882.
KENYA TRAININGS: I will be doing several special workshops while I am in Kenya, which include:
- Training to become certified in the DISC profiling system.
- A Purpose Profiling Seminar to help you understand your purpose, gifts and strengths.
- A Turn Your Dream Into A Reality Seminar to help you take your creativity and make it a reality.
- The Investment in Excellence seminar from The Pacific Institute.
- The PX2 Youth Seminar from The Pacific Institute.
NEW BOOK!: My latest book, The Price of Leadership, arrived last Friday. This is a rewrite and revision of my original leadership book entitled, So Many Leaders, So Little Leadership. You can order your copy here.