How do you live the creative life? I’ve gleaned tips from some of my favorite Creators. For five days I’m writing about these insightful suggestions. Yesterday I wrote about Jonas Salk’s Advice.
Eleanor Roosevelt wrote a newspaper column without missing a day for over twenty years. She wrote her last “post” only two weeks before her death. She tackled big issues like racism, war and poverty and weighed in on life’s simplest trials (i.e., not having anything to say at a dinner party). Roosevelt’s list of accomplishments is long, from helping found the United Nations to inspiring the women’s rights movement, but I think one of the most inspiring gifts she left for us is her autobiographical treatise on how to live the creative life, You Learn by Living. It’s one of my favorite books of all time, alongside Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography.
Check out Roosevelt’s advice on how to court creativity:
- Live every experience as deeply as you can.
- Sift your book-learning through your own intelligence.
- To expose yourself to new ideas make a game of trying to make people talk about their interests.
- Listen to people open and with interest.
- Surround yourself with the best of human creativity– the things you surround yourself with sink into your consciousness.
- Overcome fear with discipline.
- To overcome shyness: Just stop thinking about yourself.
- Freedom comes with achievement.
- You have all the time in the world— just like everyone else. But you need to schedule it as you please.
- Learn to work around noise, disorder and chaos.
- For a sharp mind take care of your general health.
- Avoid burdening your spouse or children by your lack of curiosity and dull mind — stay curious and sharp into old age.
- Choose hope over fear.
- Choose trying over not trying.
- Justify your existence. Learn by living.
My favorites are #3, #5, #8 and #12. How about you? What do you think?