What If Or If Only

December 08, 2017

In the minds of creatives two thoughts tend to arise often : " What if.....?" and "If only..." Even though only one word is different, there is a world of difference underneath these thoughts. "What if..." broadens your horizons, "If only..." limits your creativity. " What if..." has a promise of possibilities, "if only" holds a universe of impossibilities. " What if..." is this voice of curiosity : "I wonder what would happen if I...." . This whisper from within holds memories of the subconscious mind of all that we really can do, which is vastly different from what our thoughts believe we can do. This is the whisper that drives creative processes and feeds originality. Then there is:  "if only... (the circumstances would be different, I would have the perfect fabrics, I would have that perfect camera.....). This is the voice that will quiet creativity, it will make you look at your ideas as unobtainable, impossible....It will stop you in your tracks, it will cause you to put your ideas in the freezer and keep them there.

For the sake of keeping this post clear, I am not talking about non-creative "what if" thoughts, those that tend to tell you all the dreadful things that could possibly go wrong and that probably will not go wrong in real life..

Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote " Big Magic", said in an interview that she likes to follow the whispers of curiosity. She also said that fear will always be present in the creative process, but she puts it in the backseat of the car. I loved this so much that ever since I heard her say this, I have been on a quest to follow the whispers and shut up the screams. Curiosity is softly spoken at first, it tries to get your attention....Fear will kick in and in comparison will be more of a screaming nature. This is why we quickly put the whispers aside and listen to the voice of impossibilities. The latter though is a thought-based voice and this is the result of a conditioned mind. A mind that has sometimes been lead to believe that you are not good enough, that everything needs to be perfect (which is nothing than hidden fear of risk taking), that you need to be the very best, that you need to make a masterpiece and that everything depends on your succeeding at this. The voice of curiosity comes from deeper within and is not hindered by thoughts just yet, it simply wants to explore, to create, to see what would happen. I have a deep belief in endless possibilities. I choose to believe these curious whispers more than the limiting thoughts these days. It took me a very long time to get to this point, because the things my mind tells me can be amazingly cruel if I tune in to them. The thing is that you have the choice to listen to the voice of impossibilities or you can choose to listen to the whispers of curiosity...

My wish for you is that you find those tiny whispers of "what if...." and see what happens