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Purging Projects

Lesson 3 from: Fulfill Your Creative Purpose

Ann Rea

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Lesson Info

3. Purging Projects

Next Lesson: Crafting Your Creed

Lesson Info

Purging Projects

All right, we're back for lesson number three we just visited less number two which is start where you are and lesson number three is about purging your projects so um here's the thing just tell me if you I have experienced this creative people like to create things like to start a lot of projects all right, cathy I'm a big start your big starter right? But not always a big finisher or keeper upper right? So um that's not good that can become this overwhelming feeling like I got a bunch of stuff I haven't finished and I'm unsuccessful because I haven't finished it or I haven't followed through on it I haven't maintained it you guys experience this definitely. All right, so this lesson is about purging your projects and this is actually and your workbook and, um I'm just gonna, um, give you a little bit of for those who don't have it. I'm going to talk to you a little bit about it, um it's about de cluttering your mind and your obligations so that you can focus on what you need to focus...

on focus on your goals and so it's something that is also important because we would have start to initiate action with this course it's not just there's a lot of taking action with this course is a lot of following these completing his homework assignments following through starting to build a community it's about taking consistent action so it's one way tio one way to do that to start and I'm telling this is a real cleansing exercise is to make a list of all of your projects and you know you have projects that are creative project but you also have these projects that have started in the back your head like I need to learn tango for example or any toe I need thio learn how to ski remember arianna huffington was talking about that in her book in her latest book that she needed to learn how to ski then she realized that she had this never ending to do list this never ending number of projects and she thought to herself to her really need to know how to skate I really need to learn how to ski and she took it off her list and she was relieved that she didn't have to learn how to ski but that was actually taken up some bandwidth in her consciousness that that was one of the things that she also needed to accomplish along with the other things that she needed to accomplish. You need to learn how to ski you guys identify with this all right? So the students and the audience have already received this homework assignment and where they listed their projects and the other action step that takes place after he lister projects is to ask yourself do I really need to do this like, do I really need to ski and and why? Why do we need to do this? We only have so much time on the clock and we only have so much energy to expend so you can't do everything you're gonna have to pick your gonna have to focus and this is a big, big stumbling block with a lot of artists, so john, I'm going to start with you just cause you're on that side, so would you share with us some of the projects that you had on your list and particularly the wacky ones? That thing in those or that upon further reflection, you thought, really do I need to have that? What was on your list of projects? I, um I have so many projects that when I made this list, I actually felt like maybe I have a mental illness and some guy were these work projects personal project, so a combination combination, so I have, um, a lot of them were like web based projects or products, and I I've realized that I've had this for a long time, so I counted just the number of websites that I owned, how many it was fifty one save mental illness, right and sorry, fifty one domain names or was it fifty one actual websites that you had um, in various stages of development, some of them, some of them hadn't been sort of finished, which is what you're talking about on the unfinished task is that's it tugs at our attention, it drains us of our energy, and I have so many interests that they were just wacky like, oh, I should like I'm an expert at exploiting any I should make a er right given example of one x y z on your project list, and you said, all right, this ridiculous. So I had worked on a new course, um, to teach how to do your own search engine optimization, basically, which is what I won thing I do professionally, and I had kind of laid the groundwork for the course and there's a domain and there's a website there, and I never finished it because it was really not fun to do, ok? It wasn't fine, but can I ask you something else? Um, your s e o course, was it a project that was near and dear to your heart? You know, it was purely financially motivated. I realized I could make money doing this, and so it went on the list at one point they didn't have any heart or any little bit of heart, maybe because I because I do believe that there's a lot of um b s in that industry here is yeah yeah and and it's unfortunate thing and I run into a lot of clients and people in general who have been misled and I thought here's an opportunity to, um make a profit and also teach people something so logically you justified this project's he took that off your list I took that off another example of something you took off your list um actually some of them were like friendships that this is a great one and there's this was difficult a lot of a lot of my reflection in doing this project was relationship based just like different professional relationships actually thought of a client that I don't want to work with anymore let me speak to this for a moment so well we're talking about is, you know, really really important your, um for the average of the people you spend most time with the five people who spend the most time with the ten people you might like your salary's pretty much the same your ideals your exercise regimen you're the health of your diet is often reflected in the people that are surrounding you that your that you were with and what's gonna happen is as you aspire to fulfill your purpose and to greater heights I am all giving giving you a warning now that people are gonna fall out of your life they're not gonna be comfortable with it. You are goingto lose friendships, right? Totally. But the good news is, is that it's going to open up the door and leave space for people who you are more aligned with and who are more supportive when you share ideals and you share values? When you think of crossing off the list, some of those friendships is that what you found? They were just we're not supportive or not in a line with you what's important to you? What made you cross them off the list? Something he said kind of struck me the idea of, like, energy in versus energy out some of these things there that's, mutually nurturing and other relationships are like, suck energy, whether it's because of someone's, negativity in general or just maybe it's just complicated, right? Maintain for whatever reason, right? So one of things I talk about in the book sell your art without selling out as of quote, this is, you know, if you're trying to determine whether or not to complete this project or to maintain this friendship or to continue to serve this client, ask yourself this question, does the idea of it give you energy or take it away? Where does it even leaving feeling a little flat? Because if you're going to fulfill your purpose you're gonna need energy and you can't afford those distractions and you can't afford those energy drains so you're gonna have to be pretty decisive and this this exercise is gonna start that process it's going actually force you to examine the areas and in your in your life that are giving you energy that you're excited about creatively that have potential more more potential for profit than things you're disinterested in or you're doing solely out of obligation this list building is really going to start to invite some deep reflection right? So give me another so friendship I'm glad you mentioned that what was the other thing that you crossed off your list um I was going to say one client but actually kind of client relationships or one of them is like kind of a future project that I was contemplating right? And I realized the reasons that I wanted to do it where vanity in money based and they were not like what it doesn't nurture me tow tow engage in that project another one was a client relationship that is if I'm not excited when I get a phone call from a client then it's me they're doing the wrong work or it's the wrong client right? So and this is a clear so let's be clear this is also a privileged choice you've worked hard enough that you can make this choice and some of us are we're all of different levels but even if you are struggling too you get commissions or find jobs I'd still encourage you to pay really close attention to that inner voice because my experience is when I chose to accept a commission or we are engaged in a strategic partnership where I felt a flutter of a red flag and I ignored it because I wanted the money man I always got bit eventually I got bit so this is again about it, you know, trusting your internal compass and trusting your own intuition you're in charge. So yoni, did you have some projects you crossed off your list? I did and give me example one project you crossed off your list that was really draining your energy or your attention. Um it related to socializing and I always enjoy hosting parties so I decided that I needed to cut a lot of that out so that I could focus more on reaching my goals. Okay, great. All right, so you have to make choices how we spend our time that's great that's the most precious resource. So you had to make a choice. You were spending time socializing and you realize that you want to allocate more timeto actually creating your enterprise, okay, so what else? Uni well, when I was doing that exercise some of the things on my list we're kind of like a fantasy goals oh let's talk about the fantasy goal what you needed a fantasy goal well, it's one of my fantasy goals is to learn how to serve and then not only learn how to surf but to serve well and I realize that that's probably not gonna happen because I don't put in the energy into it I don't live in a place where you know serving is easy to dio although the dream of being a surfer is is nice tohave so it was really hard for me to like cross that off the list because I you know want to live in that fantasy world sometimes okay? So so that really just kind of having that in the background blurs your focus I think if if we look at the title fulfil your creative purpose they think the whole outcome that most people are hoping for here is focus so we're starting with focus we're starting to actually help you focus by get reading getting rid of distractions, getting rid of things that are draining your energy including people if necessary they gotta go all right um felix, I'm gonna jump around. So felix, what was one thing on your list that you said I'm not doing this anymore? I have a tendency to on the weekend just want to get in my car and drive somewhere just somewhere outside the city and I realized that I'm doing it too much well, I think I could stay home and work on things that I need to get done because I worked so hard during the week I think all this is my time to enjoy the weekend and you forget I forget I just talked to leave everything behind which I have to do in a way, but I can do it a different way so I've crossed out leaving every weekend to say you know what? Stay home and get some things done or at least maybe not asleep be aware that you have you can still go away on the weekend and take a break but just have that awareness that you might have some obligations you need to fulfill and make sure you pay attention to it race is a lot of this comes back to managing time. Um so cathy, I know you have you've said over and over that you have creative projects you like aton of creative projects when our first meeting you said I have a ton of creative projects and I don't know where to focus, did this exercise help you move a little bit closer to focus? You know, the the list that I initially came up with has changed since you just started this with john ok had a better had better clarity that I was making my list of tasks that they're actually legitimate tax that have to be done like get the yearbook ad in for this my seniors you know things things that have to be done but after this I'm like oh no I totally get that the project and so I have a whole new list and and when he said websites and I have so many domain names that are so cool have so many great such great potential okay that it could take take me to all kinds of new ventures and that um that kind of you know clouds my mind and I'll walk into the studio one day and think hey I'm gonna work on that right and it goes nowhere well let me clarify here so it's actually about it's called purging projects this lesson but it's not just about projects also about tasks it's both it's whatever that to do that giant to do list in your mind it's about spilling that out on paper and making an honest assessment of is this something you really have to dio and is this something you really want to dio have a really good friend who isthe eh methodist minister retired from glide memorial church here in san francisco his name is pastor douglas fitch and here's what he said about the things you have to dio he said ann you know what you only have to do to thanks two things you need to pay taxes and die that's it that's all you have to do everything else is a choice that's, right? And even if you don't, you're gonna pay taxes but someone's going to come get the taxes, right? You have a choice and everything you do. You don't have to do anything. And I'm gonna bust you, cappie, because remember when you did the list the first time you said I have to do these things? I wrote you back and I said, do that again, do you have tio? You really have teo so where do you? Because that just create such a tightness of obligation list that wass obligations that I actually have no business obligations that have committed to our family obligations that I I have committed to? I'm not gonna let my seniors graduate without an ad in the yearbook that's sort of what you don't, actually, I mean, so yeah, so it's important to you and you're choosing to keep it on your to do list for a very important reason, but I might point and illustrating, is it really? I think if you if you went, if you got in a car accident, you wouldn't do it like it was right. You don't have to do anything. Well, I had another revelation sitting here, and I realize this goes back many, many years since when my children were very small, they're all in their late teens um and I'll call this the gingerbread syndrome because when they were younger I thought, well, I'm creative and I should be making a gingerbread house at the holidays I just should I mean, everybody does that does that would be a good team able to enter a graphic designer and art scene craft saying right you could make a pretty killer right? And I don't get to it and I don't really you know than the next year comes in like, oh, I've got to do the gingerbread house and it's, you know, fast forward sixteen, eighteen years I've never in my life made a gingerbread house, but every time the holidays come it's that that cloud that I'm not a good mother cause I didn't I'd set myself up to failure and it's not even something I really think I want to do and I don't even like gingerbread well okay, so you got that off your list now the gingerbread and really okay now and I guess the other question I would invite you to ask yourself is it's a nice idea making a gingerbread house, right? But is it furthering you in, um pursuing a a much higher ideal into fulfilling a purpose? Because I used to think, well, I can't do anything else until I at least do that, but it's not related to any really critically important purpose like you look back on you're on your deathbed and you look back over the landscape that was your life I'm going to guess that making the gingerbread house is not going to be on the top of the list that's going to be one of the regrets of of your of your dying self right? So I'm over emphasizing the point because I want you to really dump every obligation every task, every project, every initiative that you have rattling around in your brain and be honest about it poured out on paper do this exercise and then really ask yourself is this something I have to dio and if it's something I have to do why do I have to do it when we look at the ginger bread house if you look underneath that it's because somehow in your mind you decided this is evidence of you being a good mom if you made this you know because that's what you're supposed to dio it's not really evidence of you being a good mom and you don't really have to do anything all right? So I'm asked I'm inviting you to make room to fulfill your purpose to actually do work that's meaningful to you and to give yourself the space to do it you can't do it with distraction the other thing is you need some downtime to be creative you actually need to completely unplug your point felix you got to get in the car and drive and do nothing and if this task list and project list is overwhelming you, even when you do take the break it's going to be rattling around in your seat inside of your head and you're not going to be able to fully relax and fully let go, one thing about creativity is it loves the fertile void it needs space debris that's when we get our best ideas, have you noticed that some of the best insights ideas come to you when you wake up in the morning after a full night's rest? You're taking a shower or drive and in your car that's when creativity starts to sprout. So that's another reason why this is important as creatives we need to make space for that. Okay, so, um, jen, what was one thing you crossed off your list? So in listening to this whole conversation, I realize that one thing I crossed off is actually bigger, and when I did exercise and did it because it was social media, it was a social media site. Well, what specifically did you cross off your list? So it's s o I like a site called trip teas had reached out to me your gun said, you've got great stuff, we love it if we could create a profile and you'd post for us okay and so it's always on my to do list and I mean it's been six months like you haven't done anything so you're not going to either prabha ugly right oh I mean every time I feel bad about it and every time it goes back to this feeling of oh but you know people will see it and maybe so we'll reach out to me neither like it will be good marketing or closure yeah either that or the connection like you know what I mean someone will connect with me right? Right ok when you let go when you let go of the gingerbread house how do you feel? Did you get more energy? Did you feel flat? Did you what did dio what did you notice? Well, yeah, the night that I would just wholly change focus on two other things around the holidays or not no when you let go the gingerbread house on your list did you feel I just did that like you just eighteen minutes you feel better? We'll of course ok. Do you feel I got the concept of it is just you know oh it's the holidays it's december I used to do this with the advent keller I gotta have an advantage I mean, I have to have all these things I have to do and it's sort of a metaphor for life, I suppose I don't think that he has that calendar I am I am uh oh my gosh, okay, but you know, when I did let go, like of the advent calendars, my kids started to fight over this stuff and it just wasn't pleasant so much morning was really tasking and I did let go, nothing really bad happened, okay? And I write for me it's always if I don't do that, you know, I have to do that, and I don't think about well, what if I don't do that? I mean, you're not gonna have time to fulfill your purpose, cathy, if you don't write if you don't let go of this number of I know you have a lot of projects we've talked and you do have a higher calling you do have a purpose and you there's no accident that you have been able to create a platform but it's time now to focus on a higher ideal it's time now to focus none of us are getting out alive. We only have so much time and with what time we have left, you wanna make it meaningful and impactful and if you have this b s in your head or on your calendar it's not going to get done it's focus it's this is all about focus and sometimes artist well, I don't want to focus on one thing. I have all these different interests, I have all these different ideas, and they feel like they're being imprisoned in a cage. Let me tell you, there is nothing more freeing, then being focused, you will earn confidence, you will gather steam with focus, you're allowed to change your focus, by the way, but if you have so many distractions, you're never gonna get anything done, and you're only gonna feel disappointed, and you're going to feel like you're failing. So it's, critically important. When I started, um, as a full time artists, my focus was very clear, and it was very simple and moved to san francisco. I didn't know anyone and my focus, wass I need to make at least one hundred thousand dollars selling my art by the end of this year that drove everything, they drove everything, and it wasn't it wasn't just that it wasn't just the money. I also understood that I needed to be of service and others in order to make that exchange, but it was a pretty singular focus. I wasn't, you know, um, meeting my neighbors and, um, going out to the wonderful restaurants in san francisco, I was focused on that, and when I had that, I was able to meet people, find resource is and it just gathered steam so that's the point of this exercise purging your projects, it's, your projects that you have in evidence in your studio and rattling around in your head. Okay, that's, what? We're going to dio so everybody at home do this exercise. Did you guys find it valuable? You killed my space and time. Okay, great. So three, I'm gonna give everyone three action steps. All right? So get make yours if you haven't done this exercise, put a time on your calendar when you are going to dedicate an hour, fifteen minutes, whatever it is to actually complete this exercise. All right, then what I want to do is I actually want you to, um, share it with someone you trust who could hold you accountable, support you and then celebrate. Do something nice for yourself. I mean, like, go get yourself a chai at the corner. You know, like the tea house or whatever it is. It makes you feel good. Reward yourself throughout this course. Okay. All right. So that was lesson three. Purging your projects. And now we're gonna go on to lesson for which is about crafting your creed.

Class Materials

bonus material

Discovery Journal
Alex Blumberg Interviews Ann Rea
Find Your Why

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a Creativelive Student

I think this course is extremely helpful if you follow her steps and do the work. This course can go through some very intense emotional moments, but it is all towards the greater goal of refocusing you and helping you find your meaning and purpose and most importantly, taking action on that to help others. I had many breakthroughs, but one of the areas that most helped me was to be patient with the process and give yourself the emotional payoff along the journey towards your long term goals. There is a lot of psychology in this course and it is necessary to tie your emotions into the actionable steps to get you past your struggles and focused on what is really truly important to you. I highly recommend this course if you want to get unstuck, want a road map to making a living as an artist from where you are today, and want to fulfill the best life that you can achieve.

John Muldoon

I'm so grateful to be a part of this transformational course. I've gotten so much out of it already, and my vision for my creative enterprise has never been more clear. My thinking and vision have become much bigger, as well. I can see so clearly how to use my creative talents to create a profitable business that I can work in with passion and integrity.

Don Diaz

“Like all worthwhile pursuits, you will get out of this what you put into it” Ann Rea. I am having a positive life changing experience thanks to this class. Now, I am able to identify much more clearly that my hobby was only fulfilling me and was not providing a service to anyone, therefore it was not allowing me to obtain the financial success that I am after. I expect to continue to mature during this class. I want to thank you, Creativelive and Ann Rea for creating content that will allow us to grow and possibly succeed in life.

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