I am all about finding your creative place. I believe that the environment you are in at any given time has a huge affect on your creativity. Being in a creative place can spark new ideas, give inspiration, and refresh your mind and soul. With all that being said, over the last couple weeks, I spent some time in some of my favorite creative places, Disney World and Disneyland.
It was actually my first time ever visiting the Disney World Resort and it was magical! Not only was I inspired by being at Disney World and experiencing the environment, but I was even more inspired by Walt Disney himself. When we look around Disney, it’s easy to think about how awesome it is now, or what it would be like to have a multi-million dollar budget, but it wasn’t always that way. Disneyland and Disney World began as a creative idea, a crazy dream in one man’s mind. The creative sparks were happening so fast that I couldn’t even keep up with them. I got some tangible creative ideas from my visits, but I also picked up a few lessons on creativity along the way.
Lesson 1: Take a risk
Creative ideas often involve a level of risk. More than likely, you are trying entirely new, or at the very least, something new to you. That’s risky. Disney was no stranger to risk. To make his dream a reality, he financed everything he had and even took a loan out of his own life insurance policy. He truly believed in the idea while many others didn’t. Most importantly, he didn’t let the risks stop him from pursuing his dream. Disney inspires me to dream bigger, and he embraced that himself, when he said “it’s kinda fun to do the impossible.”
Lesson 2: Be willing to fail
Risk is often accompanied by failure. Disney definitely experienced a lot of failure before he was able to see his dreams come to reality. He started a company that failed and even lost the rights to his first big cartoon character. If he had let those failures stop him, he never would have created the Walt Disney company or Mickey Mouse. Failure is a part of the creativity process. When a creative idea flops, brush the dust off of it, and try something different. Don’t be tempted to give up.
Lesson 3: Give it some time
Big, creative ideas take time! Disney didn’t come up with the idea for Disneyland and complete the construction overnight. He began early sketches of his ideas for Disneyland in 1932, and Disneyland wasn’t opened until 1955. That’s over 20 years of dreaming and planning before he saw his dream come true. We often want our ideas to happen right now, but big ideas take time. You might just need to start small and grow your idea with time. I have had ideas sit on a list for 3-5 years before I used them. Don’t give up on a dream because it can’t happen today! Write it down and keep dreaming.
Lesson 4: Find your inspiration
I love being inspired by other people’s ideas! There are already a lot of creative people doing incredible things, and Disney knew that. He didn’t invent cartoons, he looked at the cartoons people were already creating and knew he could put his own spin on them to make them better. Find the people, places, and websites that inspire you. Don’t just copy and imitate what they’ve done, put your own spin on it, make it your own, and make it work for your culture and your kids.
Lesson 5: Make the most of it
Last weekend we planned a super last minute trip to Disneyland because Disney World just wasn’t enough! However, as we got closer to the weekend it was becoming clear that the weather was going to be anything but sunny. There was heavy rain, (like, flood-the-park rain), and wind gusts up to 50 mph in the forecast! We had two choices: spend the whole time complaining about the weather or make the most of it! We chose to do the latter, showed up early, and ended up practically having the park to ourselves. The rain didn’t end up coming until around 11 o’clock which gave us four wonderful hours in the park with no lines and no rain! We made the most of the situation we were given.
We have the same kind of choices to make in our ministries when we come up with a creative idea. We may not have the budget or the items we need to accomplish the idea. We can either make the most of what we do have, or we can choose to complain about it and give up on the idea. When I don’t have the resources I need to make something happen, I just have to be more resourceful! When I am found lacking in resources or budget, I am always full of creative ideas to make it happen.
Lesson 6: Commit it to prayer
As I watched the Once Upon a Time projection show and the fireworks in front of the castle in the Magic Kingdom, I heard the voice-over say “you are in charge of making your own once-upon-a-time.” While that is inspirational and empowering, it’s not completely true and I’m so thankful for that. We are not alone in creating our once-upon-a-time dream. We have something better than a star to wish on, we have a God we can call on anytime! We need to always take every creative idea to God in prayer and give Him the glory and the credit when our creative ideas succeed. Prayer is the best way to ensure that we are continuing to lean on God’s power to create instead of our own.
I’m heading to California Adventure this Saturday for even more Disney inspiration!
What about you? Where is your creative place? If you haven’t found it yet, get out there and find it!