This post has been adapted from the original entry from the member-exclusive Evolution Weekly on February 29, 2016. Sign up today and get entries like this sent directly to your inbox!
Do you ever think about trying a new, creative hobby?
As an Architect, one fairly obsessed with everything related to the profession, I tend to get a bit carried away in all things architecture. In order to evolve, we need to foster the interests we have and also cultivate new ones.
Since this is easier said than done, let me tell you briefly about a recent experience I had pretending (fairly well I might add) to be a painter.
HAPPY LITTLE TREES
Do you remember Bob Ross? He's the awesomely, chill guy on PBS (with a badass fro no less) that painted amazing pieces right in front of your eyes. Any time I sat to watch him on TV as a kid, I was dumbfounded and awestruck by how he could so deftly wave his hand across a blank canvas and create beautiful works of art. He was carefree and at peace, helping people learn how to paint in an almost meditative state.
I recently had quite a similar experience in real life.
As a gift for my wife's grandmother, Judy, the immediate family and some friends were given the opportunity to paint in a private class with a familiar, Bob Ross type of character named John at Art by You!.
Now, understand this - I've never really painted before in my life. I've drawn and sketched. As a kid, watercolors were always fun. But I never thought to paint because I knew it would require a lot of time to get good at it and I never wanted to put that much time towards a pursuit that wouldn't benefit me in some way.
It dawned on me as I painted my own happy little birch trees that there was no right answer. There was no purpose to painting other than to unlock another part of myself through the process.
That's the mind set switch I had to make. Painting doesn't have to be about being the best. It's about creation - pure and unbridled creation.
FINDING NEW AND CREATIVE OUTLETS
Having interests that keep your mind sharp, but that challenge you in other creative ways are important to your evolution as an Architect and as a person.
Here are some places you might look to find yours:
There are over 1.4 Billion users on Facebook. That's Billion with a 'B.' If you type in something you're interested in, you're sure to find other people like you who are more than willing to help you discover a new interest. Take a chance and join a few groups that speak to your inner creativity. Side Note - Be on the look out for an Evolving Architect Page and Group in the coming weeks! The group will only be open to newsletter subscribers like you!
You may already use Pinterest as a way to search for the latest and greatest outfit, inspirational quote, or fitness tip. But do you use it to look for new and exciting hobbies? I've found that Pinterest is a great way to not only gather new ideas, but also to catalogue in one location all the things I hope to do. Try and make a Secret Board today (so there's no pressure) and call it "New Creative Outlets." As you find potential candidates for new hobbies, pin them here and then pick one to pursue more seriously after you've thought about it a bit.
If you're looking for a more face-to-face experience, try using Meet Up. It functions in similar ways to social media platforms like Facebook and Pinterest in terms of grouping interests. Those groups though are real life ones that meet at regular intervals in and around your hometown. As we continue to pour more of ourselves into the online world, finding a group on Meet Up to meet in our real one might be just what we all need a bit more of.
It may be simple, but just ask around and find out what your friends' hobbies are. They might be ballroom dancers and you had no idea! If you take a chance to try out something new that your friends are already interested in, you could develop your creativity and the relationships in your life at the same time. Double win!
THIS WEEK'S EVOLUTION
The experiences that may help you in your career aren't necessarily tied directly to Architecture, but rather those that will build your character and creative thinking elsewhere.
Go out into the world and paint your own happy, little trees. You may find a part of yourself you didn't know was there, waiting beyond the forest.