Sunday, November 16, 2008

Michael creates because

I heard some quotations from President Uchtdorf this morning that I really enjoyed. Here are some excerpts:

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.

Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.

You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.

What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.

If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it."

His words struck me because they sum up an idea that's been stewing in my brain for quite some time. While I was in Massachusetts my actions and thoughts began to change. Instead of seeking easy, idle activities during free time (which was little), I actively sought things to create (though this word hadn't yet come to mind). I created a clean apartment, a nice meal, a healthier body. I sought to improve existing relationships and create new ones. I took many pictures and shared them with friends and family. I recorded experiences and feelings in a journal.

At the time, I was completely incapable of describing my pursuit or what drove me to do such things. The only word that came to mind was "beauty," but for obvious reasons I wasn't about to prance around the neighborhood proclaiming my discovery of a beautiful life. (People already think I'm strange enough!)

And so with a childish smile, I kept my feelings to myself, only sharing with my closest friends.

Then I returned to Utah. I was afraid of losing the happy life that I had developed and enjoyed during the past two years, but those fears soon dissipated with the continuation of a creative and helpful lifestyle. In fact, my life was really enhanced with the opening of new possibilities. No longer bound by mission rules, I could branch into previously unavailable pursuits, though taking care not to compromise the standards on which happiness is founded.

I live happily, and today I understand that much of this comes from a pursuit to create. I work full-time, sleep, eat, and do other routine things that take up most of the day, but it's the little things that are making a difference. Walking the dog, cooking a meal, calling a friend, reading a book, telling mother how much you love her...

Isn't life peachy?


Anonymous said...

Wow... Your life seems much more organized than mine. I'm jealous.

Mike W. said...

Well, I have to admit that I don't have the stress of school right now...

Mindy said...

Those are great thoughts. I loved that talk Pres. Uchtdorf gave at the Releif Society Broadcast!