Remember when you were creative?

For some of us, we have to stretch way back to when we were in school. To the morning art class that let us squish paint between our fingers, fill are palms with glue and peel it away to reveal something new, or turn a lump of clay into an item only our mothers could love.

Creativity isn’t something only a few of us have. You aren’t born with it – so sorry, not you! Instead, we all have it buried deep within. It’s something we bring to light when we choose to.

Notice I said “choose to.”

It isn’t something that happens. Instead, people spend time making it a part of their lives. True creatives are hardworking, dedicated souls that choose to make creativity a part of what they do.

And they “find” it every day.

#1: Simple rituals can introduce creativity into your life

If you’ve ever read books on success, you know the leaders in the world all have specific patterns to what they’ve done to achieve success. In fact, entire sites are dedicated to help you put your own patterns in place.

But it doesn’t stop with people who are trying to build businesses or reach the top of their game. The same holds true for a creative too. They implement things into their lives to make creativity more arousing. They do things to ensure creativity is a part of their lives.

I write A LOT. In fact, I’m on track to write a million words this year.

I haven’t had writer’s block in a very long time because I take time to explore.

Every morning I rise. I stretch. I meditate. I journal. I use yoga to feel alive. Then I write just for me. I write fast and furious. I don’t evaluate. I take notes and develop ideas. I write any way my heart tells me to. Then I go for a walk and let the ideas simmer.

I choose to keep exploring some areas and move on in some cases. With so many words to write and stories to tell, why get caught up in things that don’t motivate me? Instead, I explore things that hold my interest.

#2: Find the time for your dreams if you want them to come true

We start out life with big dreams. Ask a five year old and she may want to be a ballerina. But as we grow, we lose sight of those dreams, especially when those around us tell us they are unachievable.

“Get your head out of the clouds and do something practical.” You’ve heard that before, haven’t you?

Here’s the deal: you’ll never find the time to make your dreams come true – you have to create the time.

Aspiring writers, for instance, may say “someday I’ll write.” But the creative that wants writing to be a part of her life knows she has to dedicate the time every day to write something, anything. She carves out an hour in the morning before her family rises for the day. She stops going to the coffee shop after dropping her kids off at school to talk with friends, preferring to spend an hour alone writing instead.

What’s the most creative time of your day? Could you benefit from rising an hour early? Cancel a standing group or meeting? Saying no to a night of television and letting your creative juices flow instead?

#3: Keep going … and going … and going

It’s easy to come out of the gate running, doing everything right. The book flows through your fingers. The project comes to life.

But then things get difficult. You get stuck. You’re not sure what the next step is. You can’t find your way.

We all need rest to give ourselves light, life. A twenty minute walk may open up a door you never considered. A weekend trip to the beach may open your mind to a new possibility. A week away can give you new inspiration.

The fallacy of today’s busy humans is that we have to be busy all of the time. To be hard working means putting in 40, 50, 60, 70 hours or more towards an end goal.

That’s called burn out, my friends. That’s never going to help you achieve your goals.

Sure, in the short run you might accomplish a few things. But eventually you’re going to hate everything and look for escape.

Love what you do. Stay creative. Take it a little at a time, enjoying the process.

Because ultimately, it’s not the destination that matters. It’s the journey along the way.