Amidst everyday work, your inner voice can drown in the sea of cellphones, email notifications and video chatter. Life can lose color if you don’t interact with your inner self and find out what interests and motivates you. When you’re bored with your life, you’re not the most motivated as a worker, either.
Creative hobbies have given many a toolset to channel their inner voice with, and the chance to find out what their dreams are. Surrounded by daily pressure, one can easily undervalue the importance of achieving their dreams. That’s why we could all benefit from taking it easy from time to time and seeing what a new, more artistic hobby can contribute to our lives.
Dave Lucas, who has, among many other roles, worked nearly 20 years as an expedition guide and more recently as a road manager for Bullet For My Valentine and Jere Hietala, a photographer who manages three companies simultaneously, are no strangers to the importance of dreams and creativity when it comes to quality of life. Their passion, alongside with ambition and the will to follow their dreams, has has taken both of them ahead in their career.
Creativity widens your toolset
Inspiration makes the mundane interesting. It is probably unsurprising that a creative person finds inspiration from the creativity of others.
“When I’m searching for inspiration for my photography, I look not to other photographers, but to the painters of the renaissance era. Caravaggio, da Vinci and Michelangelo are important role models for me. I love Rome and the Vatican, and the hundreds of churches there always give me inspiration”, Jere says about his inspirations.
Drawing inspiration from creative fields is not a privilege of only the creative. You can widen your toolset through hobbies, even though your daily work may not be of the most artistic kind. As a road manager, Dave’s duties entail making things work, and assuring that the band, the technicians and other employees can fully focus on their work.
“My hobbies and my creativity are not a way for me to relax, but rather a way to widen my professional toolset. I’ve been climbing and exploring the world for most of my life. Due to my demanding expedition guide career, I have an excellent toolset that I use every day. My people management skills and the ability to ”think on my feet” are particularly useful in all my different jobs, whether it’s while on the road with a band, risk assessing or managing tv and film productions or looking after teams in remote and hazardous locations around the world.”, tells Dave.
When my documentary (about rhino poaching) gets finished, it will be the biggest achievement for me, because of all the things I’ve done, it will have the most impact on the world”, Jere says about his passion.
The old truth says that you can’t just wait for inspiration. Jere has noticed that while doing his work, he can not only follow his dreams, but he can grow as a person and find new dreams to achieve. Nothing goes to waste even though the line of work would change, because the toolset that you have acquired can be utilized in other ways.
“My initial dreams were maybe a bit egotistic. But while working on those dreams, I learned skills that I can utilize today, when my primary goal is to leave something good behind”, says Jere.
Good tools are needed to achieve dreams
The hectic pace of everyday life can drain you. Work, family and exercise can fill your calendar to the brim. When everyday life depends on staying on a minute-by-minute schedule, many lose their energy towards accomplishing their dreams.
“When I started as a photographer, my dreams were kind of vain: what kind of a car I’m driving, what type of clothes I wear. It took ten years for me to understand that egoism is not enough for me. I got the most joy out of projects where I was contributing. I realized that I want to leave a positive mark on the world. The trailer of my documentary about rhino poaching, If A Rhino Falls, has received worldwide attention. When my documentary gets finished, it will be the biggest achievement for me, because of all the things I’ve done, it will have the most impact on the world”, says Jere enthusiastically.
Dave knows from personal experience that following one’s dreams can lead them away from a financially more stable career path. In his case his belief in following his passion kept him going.
”I studied marine biology and was heading towards a research career. However, I didn’t find research and lecturing to be the thing for me. So I ended up going on climbing trips instead. I was really passionate about it and I decided that if something made me that happy it was worth pursuing. My logic was that if I just kept climbing, one day I would have enough experience and skills for people to start paying me. It didn’t happen overnight and in my 20’s I did odd jobs in between trips and expeditions to finance my lifestyle. But eventually I had enough experience from doing my own climbing trips that companies started asking me to guide their expeditions. And from there the same skills have been transferable to jobs in tv productions, the music industry and various other fields. I do I believe that if you have passion and stick with it, anyone can be successful in their dream career”, he reminds us.
“Experience has taught me that the best way to prevent apathy is to arrange your life so that there’s no room for it. I’ve heard many people say that they are bored with their lives. I think at that point you should analyze yourself and ask yourself what it is exactly that bores you. We only live once! If you feel like you’re wasting your time in your current job, you should leave that job behind and start working on achieving what you were born to achieve”, says Jere.
A massive change is, however, not possible for everyone. Some people have a mortgage and small kids, preventing them from saying goodbye to their bosses and leaving on a backpack trip to Southeast Asia.
“Many people have asked me what to do when life seems dull, and I’ve given them advice like Jere’s. However, many have said that they can’t change their lives so drastically. But a huge change is not necessary for everybody. Many people are living the good life right now, but they just need a distraction from their work. That’s where various hobbies come in”, Dave says.
“Every day we make hundreds of micro level decisions that bring grayness to our lives. If you’re not ready for a total remodeling of your life, you can start by daily making one of these decisions different and interesting. I’m a spontaneous guy and I could make very drastic and fast changes when bored. But you can find new energy in your life by making changes little by little”, says Jere.
Achieving a dream takes 10 000 hours of work
What is your dream? Some of us can answer this question in a blink of an eye, while for others it can take a bit of thought. Even though your dreams and motivations may not be fully clear, it doesn’t mean that everyone of us doesn’t have dreams.
“No matter the profession, we all want balance in our lives, and different hobbies can help us to find it. Through hobbies we can discover new ways of looking at our lives while also relaxing a little at the same time. Those moments are valuable, as they are the moments when we get to know ourselves the best”, says Dave.
While technology is advancing at a break-neck pace and the pressure increases in the workplace, it is easy to forget that we are not machines. So, if the deployment of a new enterprise resource planning system or networking at an expert convention seems difficult, it’s worth remembering that practice makes perfect.
“We are biological creatures who live in a constantly developing, technological environment. I believe that you can stay in touch with your humanity though creative work, like drawing. Who cares if you are bad at drawing? We have the right to be bad at something! And no one can become a good drawer overnight. It’s valuable to remind yourself throughout your life that we are not perfect, nor should we be, but we can always learn something new. We need at least 10 000 hours of practice to become skillful at a certain field”, says Jere.
While in a hurry, we can demand too much of ourselves and others, forgetting that no one is perfect. By trying new things, we keep in touch with our humanity, learn something new and get new experiences.
Whether we’re talking about working spreadsheets, public speaking or drawing comics, every virtuoso has started from zero. By doing, you learn new skills and get to know yourself better.
So, what’s your dream? What are the things that motivate you in your daily life? Is it time to make a big change, or is your life good enough for you to just make a few different choices to spice things up? Could singing, photography or dancing be a way for you to channel your inner voice and get in touch with your motivation?
Main photo: Ed Giles.