Guiding principles from creative geniuses worth emulating


Life is a journey, and our principles its landmarks. If our landmarks are ill-founded or jeopardized due to lack of the right knowledge, we could put our entire life in peril. That is the law of cause and effect – if we don’t know how to read the landmarks, we will get lost. But all is not lost. If we know how to look, we will find guidance for the right direction.

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History is a museum of landmarks. Scholars, writers, and artists made it a little easier for us to navigate the nooks and corners of life. They have left sign boards, warning messages, and scriptures that explain our purpose and the meaning of life itself. In order to enrich our life by inheriting our spiritual, emotional, and intellectual wealth, we must, from time to time, go back and listen and learn. Here are a few examples of principles worth emulating:

 “If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh, artist extraordinaire

Vincent Van Gogh created some of the most authentic and heartfelt paintings ever witnessed by man. Mozart and Beethoven made music that could give goosebumps to the soul. Socrates taught the world the art and science of ethics. The list goes on.

From music to art to science, what do these men have in common? Their mortality. It shows what human beings are capable of. It shows that if we set our minds to our true calling, we can create magic. The only thing that stands between us and greatness is fear – of failure, loss, and freedom too. Only when we uproot fear from our life will we be able to rise up, obey our inner silence and guidance, and shine thus with our true light.

 “From 30,000 feet, creating looks like art. From ground level, it’s a to-do list.” – Ben Arment, author

On the flip-side, a to-do-list is art in the making. However you look at it, the fact remains that true beauty is hard work, which will cease to be hard when we do what we are meant to do as human beings. Man has fallen prey to unkindly devices that distract him, make him weak, make him fear himself, and make work hard. But the truth is so simple. Life is work that must be done in order to realize its beauty. In short, life is art, broken down into a to-do list of right actions.

 “If you want to do something sharp and innovative, you have to know what went on before.” – George Lois, American art director, designer, and author

They say prevention is better than cure. But prevention of what? A disease? Or the symptom of a disease? No. The prevention of the cause of a disease is better than its cure.

History, if read carefully, is nothing but an inventory of causes whose knowledge can liberate us. They are the dots which, when joined together, give us an understanding of the current human condition – our problems, fear, failures, laziness, and courage and wisdom too. Therefore, it’s important for us today to know what got us here in the first place – where did we go wrong, and more importantly, when and why and how? Once you have the right information, you can use it to create a product or service that will accurately and correctly target the cause, rather than just a symptom of it. It’ll not only help you be ‘creative’, but ‘consciously creative’.

The countless luminaries of history have many lessons to teach us, if only one knows how to listen. Identify these inspiring figures and their lessons and implement them to make your life better.

Read Also: The enigmatic leader – inspirational leadership lessons from Google’s Larry Page


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