I think a lot about how work feels.
The act of creation seems to contain either one of two opposing qualities. One is characterized by effort and strain. And the other I identify as engagement or flow: a feeling of ease, joy, and creativity. Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi explores this beautifully in his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.
The struggle never completely disappears (nor should it), but another force is present that can override our sabotage systems. It turns that struggle into a game or challenge. It's the great facilitator of breakthroughs and solutions. Enthusiasm takes over when will-power wants to go on a Netflix binge.
But above all, it transforms the quality of the creation.
I love being a scientist in my work-play lab, tweaking how long I spend on difficult but worthwhile activities, or times of day that might optimize this state.
Sometimes I discover that I'm doing the wrong experiments.
Because, in the end, the quality of consciousness that we bring to the act of creation may have a deeper impact than the creation itself.
Practical Wisdom for the Creative Journey
Joel Ripka is a Brooklyn-based actor with 20 years and over 30 professional stage credits from off-Broadway to regional theaters that span the country. He is a blog author and writes about a life lived creatively and in close connection with our deepest expressions of consciousness. He's committed to joy, teaching, sharing, and uniting. He inspires people to do cool things and live intentionally. He is a musician (guitar, piano) singer and also a skilled teacher and writer.