Creativity Is A Choice: How You Can Paint Your Own 'Mona Lisa'

by Mark Sandusky

Everyone is creative; what separates us is the will and desire to actually create.

How much are you willing to give up in order to create? An instant to post a photo? An hour to write an article? 12 years to make a movie?  There is no right or wrong answer, but it is a choice.

Like everything, creative results are commensurate with effort and dedication. We are all filled with creativity, but we all don’t make the necessary sacrifices to let that creativity out.

I make my living as a filmmaker, writer and musician.

However, I am no more creative than you. I promise. If you truly decide to, you can also live the creative life.

The Creative Life

The first step to live the creative life is simple: wake up and create. Let whatever flows through you to flow through you.

We all have quirky ideas, "artists" simply take them seriously. So please, bring form to the desires of your heart and the visions in your brain.

Most of your creations will turn out strangely, but that’s okay. By simply manifesting your ideas, you’ll be a step ahead of 99 percent of the population.

The second step ahead is harder: stay focused. Turn down that almost perfect job and continue to chase your vision.

Trade in your savings account for the possibility of future royalties on songs, films, novels or whatever medium best suites you. Most importantly, if you have faith in yourself, you can’t fail.

Experience has taught me that whenever I direct pure, conscious attention toward a goal, “interesting things” happen.

More often than not, those “interesting things” are not the exact completion of your goal.

At first, those “interesting things” may even look and feel like failures, but failure doesn’t exist as long as you’re still here on this Earth to make your next move. Pay attention because it’s your turn.


Don’t allow distractions to take you away from your purpose. Dreams fade away due to distractions, but they don’t vanish due to failures.

Distractions can be as easy to defeat as turning off your Xbox, or they can be as difficult to defeat as turning down a six-figure salary when all you’ve eaten for the past week is PB&J and you’re staring at yet another blank canvas.

Your friends and even your family may call you crazy, but don’t fault them. Rarely can they see the potential your blank canvas holds.

End Results

If you do fight through the distractions, give it all up and finally paint your "Mona Lisa," then you'll understand her impish grin.

She knows she didn’t turn out the way you expected. You never saw her coming, and that’s what makes her beautiful.

The end result of your creativity will surprise you, the artist, more than the public. That surprise is what will continue to drive you to create.

On a personal level, creation helps you understand more about yourself and puts you in touch with the deeper, quieter parts of your psyche.

On a global level, your creations will help your audience better understand the world, which is all we can really hope to do.

So, with this writing — with this creation — I am hoping my audience will understand creativity is a choice, not a selective blessing.

If you choose to take the creative route, know it is incredibly difficult and your greatest battle will be with your dedication.

In the end, the question is not, “Are you creative?” but rather, “How badly do you want to create?”