Is There a Science of Creative Success?
By Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach
I've been studying science lately, in the form of a book called "The
Science of Getting Rich", written by Wallace Wattles in 1910. This book has created enormous shifts for me in how I think of wealth, creativity,
work, other people and myself.
I believe that most if not all of the concepts discussed in this book would
benefit creative artists, and I highly recommend that you read and study it.
Here are some of the book's main concepts.
It's natural to want to be rich
It's a fundamental law of nature that we want to be more and better than we
are — that we want to improve ourselves, know more, be more and have
more. The happier, healthier and more advanced you are, the better you'll be
able to serve the world. You'll have more to give, through your creative expressions
and in many other ways as well.
Because of the way our society has developed, we need specific materials in
order to improve ourselves. For example, I want to be a better songwriter and
guitar player than I am now. One way I can make that happen is to take lessons
from someone who's farther along that path than I am and who has the specific
skills I'm looking to develop. In order to make that happen, I need money to
pay that teacher.
You might feel uncomfortable about wanting to be rich. This probably stems
from the attitudes about money you learned as you were growing up. You might
feel guilty about having money when so many people in the world don't. Or you
might be buying into the stereotypical view of the "starving artist".
The sooner you can shift your mindset about being rich, the sooner you'll
Being rich and successful are noble goals. It's not about being greedy or
taking something away from someone else. It's about being able to add to the
world — with your skills, gifts, talents, creativity, ideas and love.
Nature is trying to make us rich
Because it's the natural law to want to advance, improve and be more than
we are (just ask any plant, tree or other living creature), nature is on our
side. Nature is actually constantly sending a flow of good things towards us
in the forms of opportunities, people and ideas.
And while you don't have to say yes to everything that comes your way, it's
important to be open to the opportunities, possibilities and the unknown chain
of events that are leading you to success.
What we often do instead, though, whether consciously or unconsciously, is
say "no, thank you!" to these opportunities. Through our habitual
behaviours and thoughts, we tend to bat them away as if they were mosquitoes.
The good news is that this flow is inexhaustible and there will always be
another chance to tap into it and receive it. There's enough for everyone in
the world, and there's no hurry.
I've chosen some of the most common habitual behaviours and thoughts of creative
artists (I expand on these more in my free e-course "Roadblocks to Creativity"),
and I'll discuss how practicing the "Science of Getting Rich" can
help to clear them away.
The Roadblock of Procrastination
According to "The Science of Getting Rich", there's a "certain
way" to act. The focus here is on efficient action. Mr. Wattles points
out that every action is either efficient or inefficient. At the end of the
day, if you completed all of the actions you set out to do (even if you only
did two things) you've had a successful day. However, if you did twenty or
thirty things but didn't really finish any of them, then it wasn't a successful
The more successful days you have, the more successful you'll be.
He points out that efficient actions are taken care of one-at-a-time (no multi-tasking),
and that it's important not to overwork, rush through our actions or try to
do "tomorrow's work" today.
So when you wake up with a nagging list of things you "should" do,
set out to do a realistic number of them. Work on them one-at-a-time until
they're done, and then end your day satisfied. Don't give another thought to
what you'll do tomorrow until you get there.
The Roadblocks of Isolation and Jealousy
These roadblocks imply both how we relate to other creative artists as well
as our mindsets when we're working in solitude.
According to "The Science of Getting Rich", at any one time, you
can either have a creative or a competitive mindset. Choosing a creative mindset
brings many gifts while choosing a competitive mindset brings many challenges.
A creative mindset is open to collaboration, sharing, kindness, acceptance,
abundance, ease, faith and empowerment of other people. A creative mind is
working with nature, and tapping into the flow of riches coming towards it.
A competitive mind, on the other hand, is focused on lack, scarcity, fear,
competition, jealousy and power over other people. A competitive mind is working
against nature, and fighting to grab, rip and pull at the flow of riches flowing
The Roadblock of Distorted or Negative Thinking
According to "The Science of Getting Rich", there's a "certain
way" to think. Our thoughts control our realities. Thinking something
will make it happen. How you think determines how you act, and how you act
determines your level of success.
Controlling our thinking and choosing what we think, even when it's different
from what our instincts or assumptions tell us, is the hardest work we'll ever
do. And it's the most important.
For instance, if you submit your work to a contest and don't win, you might
automatically think of that as a failure. If, instead, you sit back and let
yourself be grateful for the experience, something better will show up for
you down the road. Even the simple fact that you got your work together to
submit (so that now it's ready for other contests or shows) is something to
be thankful for.
One thing Mr. Wattles gives us to think about is this: You aren't given the
desire to do something if you weren't also given the power to do it. Art, music,
writing and other forms of creativity exist in the universe only as long as
there are people expressing it. They need us in order to exist.
If you have that spark inside of you that calls you to create, that's the
universe gifting you with the power to do it. When you tap into that gift instead
of fighting it — batting it away — you'll have the power of the
universe behind you. •
© Linda Dessau, 2005. 09/30/05
About the Author | More by Linda Dessau
Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. Feel like your creativity is blocked? Sign-up for the free e-course, "Roadblocks to Creativity" by visiting www.genuinecoaching.com.