“Let’s just try!”
The three most exhausting and terrifying words my husband tells me about every time we are at a sporting event. Or Disneyworld. Or a concert. Or a place with a VIP area. Or pretty much anywhere there is opportunity for a better view.
PLEASE, God. Make me invisible. I got the routine down by now, and I’m pretty dang good at it. Our seats are in the nosebleeds. We definitely don’t have tickets in the sipping-on-champagne-in-cushy-seats section. But there he goes with his, “Let’s just try!” eagerness. He boldly approaches the manager who is scanning tickets for people in this VIP section. They exchange a few words and what do I do? Keep my head down, because if the manager says no, I will surely break into a thousand pieces of shame and embarrassment, and they’ll be left to sweep away my pieces. But what does the manager do? Smiles at us, opens the door to the VIP section, and in we go. No lying, just trying.
The amount of times we have upgraded our experience simply because of Ben’s persistence baffles our family and friends. The only reason we “luck out” so often with exclusive seats, impossible tickets, or fancy occasions is because of Ben’s creativity. The amount of people he meets, connections he makes, and opportunities he receives are because of his creative mindset. Something I never knew I lacked until meeting him.
Creativity is far more than just being artistic or musically-inclined. Leadership expert, John Maxwell, writes that creativity is a skill that allows you to believe that there are infinite options, limitless ideas, and endless opportunities. At the core of every creative person is the belief that everyone can get better, and it comes with changing your mindset and not being afraid of doing things differently. This is a natural strength for creative people like my husband. People who, when given an impossible situation, are determined to make it possible, and won’t take no for an answer.
My creative capacity is that of a mule. When I see the impossible, my first reaction is to be stubborn and settle. It’s easier to simply give up in frustration and let someone else give it a go. Quitting on creativity is safer and less stressful, because trying might end up with an embarrassing “no”…and that would be too defeating. It’s just easier not to try.
This mentality was played out big-time on a vacation to Disneyworld. After a day of fun that occurred because of Ben’s “magic” in making experiences better, we rode every ride with no line, scored some front row seats for a show, and even got a free beer from the nicest Canadian in Epcot’s World Showcase! Finally, it was time for the firework show at Magic Kingdom. If you’ve been to Disney, you know that the firework show in front of the castle is about ten times more crowded than New Years’ Eve in Times Square.
For the creative mule over here, I settled on staying where we were, because it was easiest. Where we could see about half of the fireworks because of a giant rock blocking the castle. By now, you understand that my husband stood for none of my fixed ideas. We picked up our things and trudged halfway across the park and landed an amazing spot in the grass right in front of the castle. He managed to make friends with a family in the area, and they let us squeeze in with them. The impossible became possible, as it should in typical Disney fashion…but mostly, it was possible because of Ben’s urgency to try. His creative capacity.
So often, my low levels of creativity make me believe that amazing opportunities, blessings, ideas, and success are non-renewable. Once they are used by someone else, they’re gone forever.
I think that amazing opportunities are non-renewable. Someone else took the great spots, so we can’t get any others. We should settle behind the giant rock. I think that blessings are non-renewable. God gave the other person my dream job. He used up all of his power on her, and there’s not any more left for me. I think ideas are non-renewable. Someone else published a book on everything I wanted to write about. I better find a new passion, because there are no more ideas to develop.
Although these examples are a bit extreme (and quite Eeyore-ish), they are reality to a person with a small creative capacity. This type of spirit not only cultivates negativity, but a heart that roots for others to fail so that I can succeed. With a lack of creativity, I must squash others on my way to the top so that no one takes what is mine. I must pray for their demise. And don’t even BEGIN to ask me to celebrate them. Because to celebrate someone else in their success would mean accepting that mine was stolen. There’s not enough room for my own.
The good news is, being “born creative” is a myth. Yes, some seem to be born naturally creative, but what is false is believing that you can’t improve. Creativity is not something that only “naturals” can have – you are able to expand your creativity through a variety of ways. But the first step for me was to speak truth over my negative mindset that was too intimidated to face the impossible. This truth is hanging in my office to read everyday:
There’s enough space for you here. There’s room for your unique ideas, stories, talents, and gifts. To live in such a way that you think you must squeeze in or stand in the aisle is cheating your very existence.
Before we left Orlando that year, I decided I had to try. Ben was hounding me all day to try and get us a fast pass for Tower of Terror, one of the most popular rides in Disney. Instead of trying to turn invisible like I usually do, I boldly walked up to the ride operator, kindly explained the situation, and wouldn’t you know it?!
He said no.
But you know what happened? Something shifted in me, and I didn’t shatter into a thousand pieces! I just moved on, and didn’t take no for an answer. I changed my approach and found a manager at a kiosk and….got another no. I changed my approach again, found an important-looking person sweeping throughout the park, and on the third try, she gave us four fast passes for Tower of Terror! For once, I made something happen creatively. Our experience was enhanced. My mindset was changed. And in a small way, I think I started to believe that trying, despite my unbelief, created more room for my creativity. It created more room for me.
So, friend, I’ll tell you the same thing. There’s more than enough space for you here. There’s room for every amazing thing you want to do in this life. Don’t cheat yourself out of creativity by settling or fearing someone else’s success.
Surround yourself with people who yell, “Let’s just try!” and listen to them. I promise, you won’t shatter.
creative, getting more creative,