by Elmarie Bouwer

Imagine that you’re lying on a sun drenched beach in your favourite spot, sipping pina coladas. While watching the surf and local talent in a lazy daze, every little bit of disproportionate body fat you have starts dissolving away as if by magic.

If you’re a guy, your six-pack and calves magically become super clearly defined (move over Atlas!); if you’re a woman, you rise (sand still clinging to your butt) as the breathtaking goddess pictured in the well-worn story book you had as a child. You now suddenly have a build and looks that will cause dislocated necks, lead to car accidents, inspire Hollywood contracts and birth countless biographies.

Apart from this, you just know your IQ suddenly got catapulted right into the god class, you now also have a singing voice that might make Madonna quit and artistic flair enough to decommission the Picasso’s of this world (and although you haven’t tried out that one yet, you just know it to be so).

You simply can’t believe it. Maybe the one who said that if something’s too good to be true then it probably is, got it all wrong. Maybe this is all due to some fairy godmother or weird enchantment or whatever. Who knows. You just don’t care. Floating off the sand, a Cadillac with a fully stocked bar awaits you as you exit the beach and ride off into fame and fortune.

Yeah right.

Except only, it never happens this way.

Funny how desperately we wish something like this to be true but somehow know it will never be. (Damn…)

Because nothing ever happens in a vacuum.

Just as no fairy is going to miraculously spirit our present away and leave us suspended on a golden cloud of only fluff and happiness, just so the ability to create won’t magically appear over night or descend out of thin blue air, especially if your creative muscle has not been used for some time. You have to work at it.

Relax! Please don’t back button! The word “work” here, does not mean sweat!

Okay, say now that you have been trying your hand at free writing and some of the other ideas mentioned in the previous post to try and get your muse back if it has gone AWOL. If you’re lucky, it’s back already. Say for argument’s sake, it is. How do you keep it right there with you, more so, how do you remain creative for the rest of your life?

This last question is especially important if something like the ability to be creative has a direct bearing on your income and business (if you have one). Not even talking about your happiness here!

Whereas the previous post touched on creativity gone AWOL and how to get it back once it’s gone, this post will highlight the need for exercise in always keeping your creative gift healthy, happy and thriving.

This post will highlight exercise? But, doesn’t the very word “exercise” imply effort, exertion, work… practise (ugghh?).


To prevent you from immediately hitting the back button in disgust and trotting off to do some real reading and missing out on what could end up as the greatest, most liberating and exhilarating trip of your life, let me hasten to add: exercise like this is fun! And you don’t need a gym! Or fancy shmancy equipment. Or complex machinery or gadgets.

So stay around…

Creativity is big these days. On the web and off. And it is increasingly understood by everybody who is somebody as the single most have to have item on the shopping list of success. Especially in business.

According to the IBM 2010 Global CEO Study, which says that creativity is the most crucial factor for future success, CEO’s believe that ”more than rigor, management discipline, integrity or even vision – successfully navigating an increasingly complex world will require creativity.”*

Now, there are literally zillions of creativity exercises on the web. Gazillions of links, and even more exercises. To even suggest that I could distil a few of them here and dare to call that a “Guide” would be sheer lunacy, at best arrogance.

No, what I hope at the most to accomplish through this post, is to drive home the absolute non-negotiable nature and importance of exercising your creativity if you have any hope of wanting to keep it functioning and thriving. Take the scene on the beach. Ain’t never gonna happen in a vacuum.

Likewise, you’ll never grow your gift when you don’t nurture it with the right environment and feed it the proper food. That’s where these exercises come in. They’re mostly fun to do and relax both body and mind. Maybe that’s where the whole secret to creativity capture lies.

So consider this post as an intro to Writing your Own Creativity Nurturing Exercise Guide by visiting some of the links to exercises at the bottom and then take it from there. Write your own guide. Follow the unmarked trail. Let your nose guide you. Click. Exercise. Enjoy. Click. Exercise. Enjoy.

Start off by listening to Johann Sebastian Bach. Jeffrey Baumgartner says if Bach doesn’t make you more creative, then “you should probably see your doctor”.#

Your creativity can only benefit. Do it for you and your business or craft. And everybody else’s as well.

Nobody but nobody, can replace you or your gift. Ever. So get on with the business of being the best you there can be. You’ll do everybody a favour. You, most of all.

And as the well-known quote goes: Just do it!

Until next time,

© Elmarie Bouwer


Some links to creativity exercises:

# The Wonderful world of Jeffrey Baumgartner. 10 Steps for boosting creativity.

Kaarina Dillabough Decide2do. 10 Steps to Boost your Creativity to Benefit your Business and Your Life.

Psychology Today. Try Fun, Quick Exercises to Boost Your Creativity. Gretchen Rubin.

Entrepreneur. Lisa Girard.  Five creativity exercises to find your passion.



* Creativity Australia. Creativity is the Most Crucial Factor for Future Success. November 3, 2010. Accessed 1 March 2012.


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