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Creative on Purpose Blog

Insight and Inspiration for Flying Higher in Endeavors that Make a Difference

Values Vs. Virtues

Values and virtues are terms frequently confused or conflated. Yet, the distinction between the two is worth teasing apart.

Values are your core beliefs and guiding principles. They're aspirational goals that provide you with a moral compass for navigating choices and decisions.

Virtues are your convictions. Values as lived and acted upon. Virtues are experienced and observed.

Put another way, values are theory, and virtues are reality.

For example, wisdom is a worthy virtue. However, if we deny our creativity or execute poor judgment, it is impossible to be seen as, or actually be, truly wise.

Equanimity and a sense of flourishing require harmony between virtues and values. And you can't make exceptions due to expediency or situational cherry-picking of when they apply and when one or the other doesn't.

This is why we feel internal dissonance and discomfort when the way we behave is out of alignment with or contrary to who we are.

What you do in many ways is who you ...

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Is resilience required?

personal development May 18, 2020

Is resilience required?

The short answer is, it depends...

If you're happy with the way things are (and the way you are), then the answer is "No." Resilience is unnecessary if you're satisfied or settling.

If, however, you're a difference maker pushing the edges of possibility for yourself and those you seek to serve through work that intends to enhance the prospects and prosperity for all. The answer is undeniably, "Yes."

Work that matters is work that might not work. Failing, misfortune, and being ignored are just a few of the difficulties that you will meet daily. Endeavors that make a difference must be done with and for others. Refining, both the work and whom it is done with and for, is a never-ending challenge.

Resilience is a skill acquired and honed through doing the work. Doing human work. Committing to your craft and community, showing up daily like a professional, and doing all this with intention and integrity cultivates...

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Finding Solace in the Slog

personal development May 11, 2020

What have you noticed about the moment we're all currently living through?

There is suffering, for sure. Sadly some of it could have been avoided. Now we're likely in for an extended slog through disarray and distress. Finding meaning or solace in this tumult can be a challenge.

And yet...

There are opportunities and silver linings in this situation as well. We're relearning and reconnecting with what it means to be human. Rediscovering that we are social creatures born with consciousness and a creative instinct. When the world presents problems, we imagine a better possibility and work together to realize it.

When we endeavor to make things better together, we forge meaning from difficulty, loosen the grip of fear, and mute the voice of anxiety. Whatever the outcome, when we put forth our best effort, we build character and cohesion.

Whether or not our situation gets better, we get better. We cultivate patience, resilience, patience,...

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Do the Work

personal development May 04, 2020

Flying higher in meaningful endeavors requires committed and consistent effort. It's a daily practice of leaning into worthwhile challenges and interesting problems in the pursuit of making things better.

And it's definitely not for everybody.

But for people like us, we can't imagine doing anything else but to do the work.

Thinking about the work or educating yourself about the work is a seductive substitute. Still, to truly get better in your endeavor, there's only one path. Do the work.

To some, it sounds exhausting. But when we do the work with intention and integrity and do it with and for the right people, the exertion is exhilarating.

We get better in our endeavor when we reach for the edges in our knowledge and ability and maybe just a bit beyond. Stretching and striving to create possibility.

We know we're heading in the right direction when we meet and feel resistance. Fear is a compass. Failure is part of the gig. Resilience and resolve are...

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personal development Apr 27, 2020

Commitment is a word we all use, but I'm not sure we all fully understand what it means. Here are some reflections from a recent conversation inside the Difference Maker Community and on the Creative on Purpose Broadcast.

Commitment Is a Promise

You're putting yourself on the hook. If you're pledging to stand up to be seen and speaking up to be heard, make sure whatever you're committing to is worth it. Best to do so deliberately and with integrity and intention.

Commitments and Priorities

Your commitments speak to your priorities. You may not see this, but others surely do. Choose your commitments wisely.

Commitment Is a Habit

Commitment speak to your beliefs and revealed through repeated behaviors. Be conscious of your commitments. 80% of our activity is unconscious, so weave in mindfulness into the routines and relationships to which you're committed. 

Don't Confuse Commitment with Overcommitment

Commitments aren't always something to which you should say, "Yes." There...

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The Gift of Adversity

personal development Apr 20, 2020

Today often looks and feels a lot like yesterday. It's easy to assume that tomorrow will look and feel much the same. This is the seductive delusion woven by the status quo. Every day is more-or-less "another one of those."

And then something happens. Things go sideways. The world gets turned upside down. Every day is a topsy turvy carnival ride. Suddenly everything is uncertain.

"Adapt yourself to the circumstances in which your lot has cast you; and love these people among whom your lot has fallen, but love them in all sincerity." - Marcus Aurelius

Our instinctual response to unpredictability and the unknown is anxiousness. Adversity causes the evolutionary imperative for "fight or flight" to kick in. You find yourself lashing out or hiding under the covers.

But every situation, no matter how dire, presents as many opportunities as it does challenges. In fact, problems and misfortune are often a great gift. They remind us that nothing is ever...

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The Possibilitist

personal development Apr 13, 2020

What do you call someone who looks for and steps into possibility despite uncertainty or adversity?

I call a person who cultivates and demonstrates that approach a possibilitist.

A possibilitist is someone :

  • who sees the opportunity, lesson, or a silver lining in any situation.
  • who frames circumstances to reveal choices.
  • who sets their aim and plans with intention and integrity.
  • who's instinct is to find the others and lean in together.
  • who accepts what happens and then starts again.

 A possibilitist isn't reactive or reckless. Advancing into uncertainty requires responsiveness and deliberation. Their impulse is to not hesitate, hide, or hinder. Instead a possibilitist's instinct is to acknowledge, act, and advance.

I'm a possibilitist. What about you?

Let's see and step into possibility together.

Scott Perry - Difference Maker at Creative on Purpose.

Download the Creative on Purpose Handbook, and let's go!

If these are...

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What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do

Human beings are fascinating.

No creature on the planet is better equipped to connect and work through challenges or make things better. We are inherently curious, social, creative, and aspirational beings.

At the same time, when we can, we settle for the status quo. We are comforted by knowing where we stand and what's expected. More often than not, we're happy to settle for the way things are and the way we are.

But sometimes events conspire to make the status quo obsolete. Sometimes settling for another day just like yesterday is not an option.

In a moment like this, you have a choice. Sit and wait for things to sort themselves out or for someone to sort them out for you. Or seize the moment. Decide to take the initiative to find the others and endeavor to make things better.

If we choose the latter, we become agents of our destiny rather than passive recipients of our fate.

When we get together and lean into challenges with intention and integrity, we create the possibility...

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Every Day Is a Chance to Start Again

Every day each of us is presented with a choice. To do the same things the same old way, or to try new things and new approaches.

When things are going well, or at least well enough, the natural thing is to just show up today like we did yesterday. But when things are broken, expecting what worked yesterday to work today is probably unhelpful or even foolish.

It's natural to slip into reactive attitudes and behavior when things go sideways. Shutting down, tuning out, and sitting still, are encoded default human responses to crisis. The hope is that things will sort themselves out, or someone will fix things for us.

While these knee-jerk responses are common, they don't promote anyone's health or wellbeing. What helps us flourish through troubles is the opposite of what our instincts encourage.

Crisis reminds us of what it really means to be human and happy is to shun our selfish impulses and lean instead into our social and creative nature.


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Stillness in the Storm

Life in the ancient world was full of adversity. If you lived to adulthood, you likely endured war, famine, plague, or some combination of the three.

And yet…

In antiquity, there was a flowering of philosophical approaches to the art of living well and even flourishing while navigating such difficulties.

One of the most enduring of those traditions is Stoicism.  Within this tradition is pragmatic wisdom and a practical, straightforward approach to stave off anxiety, cultivate resilience, and find meaning in any challenge you face.

The Three Disciplines

Stoicism, more than any other approach, is a lived philosophical practice. Epictetus, an important Stoic teacher, established three core practices, or disciplines. 

  1. “The Discipline of Perception,” sometimes called the Discipline of Desire, has to do with how we see our situation and acceptance of our fate.
  2. “The Discipline of Action,” has to do with our attitude...
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Stop Dreaming and Start Doing!

Spinning cycles on regret, uncertainty, and anxiety?

This 3-minute read shares three questions. Answer them to get out of your own way and get going with the difference you seek to make.

I'd love to share this and two additional resources with you. Where should I send them?