What is it that distinguishes you from everyone else, and your existence from everyone else’s you know?
The answer to that question is what makes you unique, and if you’re seeking inspiration, it’s often a perfect place to start. Be willing to not only answer that question but also to live from the answers, especially when you’re seeking creative fulfillment. It’s like a creative well in which to draw ideas from.
In this day and age, you aren’t trained to draw from this deep well. Instead, you are led to believe that the path to creative distinction begins with studying who and what works and then setting out to emulate them or that —not first examining yourself or what’s inside of you.
Now, don’t get me wrong. External influences should be a source of creative inspiration for you. However, it can be a slippery slope, and at the end of the day, creation is all about origination.
Attach Yourself to the Work
When you attach yourself to everything you do, you manifest pieces of your being into your everyday living. This is the single greatest benefit in being a constant creator. “The process” doesn’t just improve what you create, it improves who you are.
I recently met two individuals who perfectly embody this principle through my new video series and book, The Spark and the Grind. The inspiration that goes into creating an idea and then the work it takes to make that idea a reality.
Great creators embrace both the spark of innovation and the grind of execution. They are precariously fragile standing alone and alarmingly potent when woven together.
Here’s what attaching yourself to the work looks like from their perspectives:
Scott Conant’s Life of Food
Scott Conant is a restaurant owner and celebrity chef who makes regular appearances on the TV show Chopped. He perfectly embodies the idea that passion and purpose are unproven notions until they are lived out in the creative muscles you use every day… and he does it through food.
When asked about this, Scott said, “Attaching myself to the work, to me, means that work isn’t what I do for a living. It’s really kind of a lifestyle. I identify everything that I am and who I’ve become in life through my work.”
Having started at a very young age, Scott took his first cooking classes at age eleven and began working as a restaurant dishwasher when he was fifteen. He since has devoted his life to food.
“I want the customers who come into my restaurants to walk away with a sense of knowing me a little bit better by eating my food,” he said. “You get to learn and you get to teach simultaneously, and that’s one of the best things. …Identify the true pleasures in life and the things that make you happy.”
Ellie Burrows’ Meditative State
Ellie Burrows is a co-founder of a successful meditation studio in New York City named MNDFL, and she’s a practitioner in every sense of the “attach yourself to the work” philosophy.
For Ellie, the spark also started a long time ago:
“In 2008 I think it was, I had a little bit of a health scare and I landed in the office of Dr. Frank Lipman, who is an amazing functional medicine doctor here in New York City. A lot of his philosophy is sort of East meets West, and so that opened a series of doors to different masters, healers, teachers, and it sort of blew open the door on my adult spirituality and my love of the pursuit of consciousness.”
According to Ellie, she is deeply attached to her practice. It’s the first thing she does when she gets up in the morning and she meditates for 30 minutes twice a day.
“That sort of attachment to that consistency is really how I ultimately am able to experience the benefits and then, of course, that’s the best incentive to keep going. You see how it affects your daily life and all the wonderful, beautiful things it brings to it.”
Ellie’s meditation business started as a very small spark, then ignited into a full-blown brush fire, and soon after a blazing forest fire, quickly becoming the only thing she ever wanted to do.
This article is the second in a series that focuses on the core principles of The Spark and the Grind and the individuals who embody them. Check back here for more articles in the series and connect with me across social media @ErikWahl.