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Lions Roar : November 2012
34 SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2012 THE WRONG WAY TO CREATE Let’s say your creative goal for today is something very utilitar- ian—to convince your boss that you deserve a promotion. You know this new job opening is meant for you; you have been thinking about it for weeks. But you know skill will be needed to sell the idea to your boss. If you enter the meeting with him or her feeling positive and spacious, you are far more likely to present a skillful argument from a place of genuine self-confidence, connection, and enthusi- asm. These are qualities any boss would treasure in an employee. Most people, however, seek solutions from a place where the creative flow is blocked and, as a result, their words and actions are contrived and effortful. For example, imagine that on the morning of the day you are meeting with your boss, you wake up in a bad mood. For whatever reason, you are feel- ing a little depressed, pessimistic, edgy. The problem is self- image; you identify with the negative energy. You think, “I am feeling bad,” or “Something is wrong with me this morning.” It’s a familiar feeling of unworthiness we often wake up to. Let’s say you don’t do anything to clear the negative energy. You sit on your bad mood as usual. So as the appointed meet- ing with your boss approaches, it is from this place of negative self-image that you begin to feel nervous. You sit with agitation and your mind becomes increasingly active. You wonder: “Has my co-worker already been chosen for the new position?” “Has anyone even noticed all my contributions at work?” “That mis- take I made last month—will my boss hold it against me?” If these thoughts continue, then by the time you sit down across the table from your boss, you will actively be trying to hide your fear and agitation. You are dressed professionally, speaking well, expressing all your well-rehearsed arguments for why you deserve the promotion, but the right causes and conditions are not realized internally. No matter how well you smile or speak, your words come out as planned and effortful. Instead of seeing genuine confidence and enthusiasm, your boss will instead sense conflict and doubt behind a confident fa- cade. At best your boss will assume this is due to nerves. At worst, he or she will conclude that you doubt your own ability to take on new responsibilities. Maybe that promotion is not right for you. PHOTO©FENGYU/ISTOCK Most people seek solutions from a place where the creative flow is blocked, and as a result their words and actions are contrived and effortful.