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Nature inspires many creative ideas, but what causes one to act?

Have you ever had the feeling where you are under pressure attempting to conjure up a creative solution to a problem and find yourself in the most uninspiring of locations – an office – to do so? Have you felt your creativity suffocated in the standard office environment? Of course you have, and if you […]

Source of the above picture is from The Funders and Founders…have you had your aha moment?
Source of the above picture is from The Funders and Founders…have you had your aha moment?

Have you ever had the feeling where you are under pressure attempting to conjure up a creative solution to a problem and find yourself in the most uninspiring of locations – an office – to do so? Have you felt your creativity suffocated in the standard office environment? Of course you have, and if you haven’t I warn you now that the vacuum of the office brainstorm is inevitable.

Is it any surprise then that we humans are at our most creative when we are closest to nature? Or are we most creative when we are closest to our natural habitat?

Either of the above works. In my case I know I am most creative when I am in the countryside – creativity seems to flow naturally in such an environment. Everyone will have their individual preference when it comes to igniting the creative mind and we are all more creative when we collaborate as a group and build off each other’s ideas wherever they may be!

The real revelation for me was realising what actually causes one to take action on an idea. You can have hundreds and thousands of creative ideas when at one with nature, but which one should you act upon, if any? This is what came to my mind while studying at Stanford in the summer of 2016. I travelled to Half Moon Bay one weekend to escape the academic bubble on campus and found my mind questioning whether it had been the right decision to leave the military after 17 years or whether I should enact the re-joining clause in my terms to once again join the Navy after finishing business school?

SO WHAT CAUSES ONE TO ACT?

In one phrase it is a deeply rooted sense of purpose that aligns with your values.

That one sentence is the route to freedom for many a trapped soul. I can guarantee you that you will have questioned at some point whether or not you should stick at the career choice you made or whether you should go for pastures new or take a completely different direction. Or perhaps you have even thought what do I need to do to remain valued where I’m at?

For many you will shelve those thoughts for another day, but when do you take action?

For every case that exists I don’t know exactly, but I do know it is likely to be when you least expect it so be prepared for that by saving what funds you can now to afford yourself maximum flexibility for your decision making when the time comes.

In my case I have always held the short term approach of dealing with the nearest crocodile to the boat first, in other words the single biggest threats to my immediate present priorities in life: food, health, shelter. What I realised walking along the beach and cliff top at Half Moon Bay was that it was time to adopt a new approach and to start with revisiting my priorities in life. Where was family on the list for example? Also, was it really sustainable for the long term to continue with my short term approach to dealing with life?

Thank you to nature in this circumstance for opening my mind to the untold potential I possess, one I would not be able to discover had I not realised my sense of purposes and personal values. Nature helped me write those on paper that day at Half Moon Bay in the summer of 2016, but what prompted me to take action and not re-join the Navy was realising my purpose, values and gift to offer the World align in a new and completely different direction to the past.

When you discover that you are questioning your purpose and/or values I implore you to write them on paper and review them. You will soon know by gut instinct whether you have alignment. At that point you can have the same conversation I had with my fear (my fear being leaving the protection, career structure, and benefits of working in the military as well as letting down my family who hoped I would stay long term) and make a rationale decision for the benefit of not just you, but to humanity. You’ve got a gift to offer this World, you owe it to yourself to discover what that is and then give it away because giving as a purpose is fulfilment and happiness all wrapped it in one special package that can be accessed if you are willing to alter your attitudes of mind.

Nelson McMillan

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