Living In The Limelight: What It Means To Live Creatively

By Jonathan Timar

Picture your life as a movie. Your birth is the opening shot, which is followed by your childhood in which the opening credits introduce the people in your life. Your adulthood is the meat of the movie, and when you die, the credits roll.  Now picture the world as an even greater movie, in which your life is just one episode in an ongoing series.

Many people, probably even most people, participate in their movie/life as an extra. Their modus operandi is to blend in. They don’t stand out in any way, and receive little recognition, in fact most people don’t even notice them, they just kind of blend into the blurry background. They don’t follow a script, in fact, most of them are fairly confused about their purpose in life if they have even considered it at all. They just drift wherever life may take them, and if it turns out bad, they call it fate. Career wise these people are often in minimum wage jobs.

The next most common group of people live their lives in the role of actors. While not aimless like the extras, they nonetheless follow a fairly rigid path in life. In most cases it the path their parents took, and it probably goes a little like this: Go to school. Graduate. Go to college, picking a major that it sure to earn you a good living even if you don’t have an interest in it. Graduate. Get Married. Work, work, work. Retire. Rest. Die. They never really question this formula for life, they just accept that “that’s how it’s done”. These people tend to have labour jobs or non management desk jobs.

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    Next we have the writers. These people have grand plans for their lives. They know who they want to be, where they want to go, and how they want to be remembered. Many writers are idealists by nature, and have many great plans about how to make things better. Often they are full of ideas for other people. Their friends view them as wonderful sources of information and good advice. And yet, writers often fail to execute their plans, and it’s not unusual for someone else to receive all the credit when they do. Think lower management.

    Finally we have directors. Directors know how to get things done. They know how to delegate, how to win, and how to sell. They are not afraid to take risks because they know how to manage them. They are bold, determined and motivated. Sometimes they may take credit for someone else’s work, but they won’t carry much guilt about it. If that someone had wanted credit, they should have taken charge and done it without help. The upper management guys are in this group.

    To live creatively, you must become a triple threat. You need to be the actor, writer and director of your own life’s movie. As the writer, you develop your goals, and map out your plan for achieving them. As director, you develop your idea into actions, and convert them to reality. And as an actor, you enjoy the proceeds. Those in this category know that life is not created for them, they create their own life. They have the vision to see beyond the ordinary, and the strength to travel there. That is what it is to live creatively, in the limelight.