[we] know nothing. Separate the ideas you have from your observations. [This is hard work.] It takes practice to put preconceived concepts aside and observe what is truly going on. When you master this practice, you will have a powerful tool you can use to create what matters most to you in life” (151).
So how do we do the creative process? You first choose. Once you make a choice for what you want to create then you take two steps.
- Conceive of the results that you want; i.e., have a clear vision of what you want.
- Formalize your choice by actually saying the words, “I choose to have . . . .” It is not important that you actually say these words but you should inwardly remind yourself of the point.
True leaders can separate primary and secondary choices and keep them rightly ordered. They can also sort through long-term and short-term demands. With all creative people there is one thing that is steady–fundamental choice is the foundation of the entire process.
Fritz says that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a brilliant leader whose skill did not ultimately come from his intelligence. I found this argument rather compelling (208-211). He writes, “It was King’s ability to embody the values he championed that left an ongoing mark on the history of freedom and justice” (209). King preached peace but he also embodied it in his life. He preached understanding but he also embodied it. He mastered what Fritz calls “structural tension” by casting a compelling vision of freedom and justice.
“What you assimilate internally tends to be manifested externally. Internal changes often tend to be manifested outwardly. . . .You will not be able to create change in all your external circumstances, but you can certainly create change in your inward realm” (211).
It intrigues me profoundly that Robert Fritz ends this study of change, and the power of creation, by retelling the story of the prodigal son from the Bible. His use of this story fits no recognizable exegetical categories I know but it does provide an interesting conclusion to his treatise.
He writes: “It is not the prodigal aspects of yourself that deny your full integration, but the part of you that has been responsive, the part of you that has been responsive, the part of you that tried to be a good person [the older brother in the story]” (280).
What keeps us from responding to our deepest longings–our “good” or “responsive self” rejects our innately strong longing to be one with ourselves. When you awaken to your deepest longings to be whole you can then find life.
Our problem is that we try to be perfect. Christians are, quite often, the worst offenders in this anti-creative life process. Victor Frankl, in his classic book Man’s Search for Meaning, noted that the saints did not reach sainthood by trying to be perfect! If you start with the notion that you have to reach perfection you will be frozen by this desire and never be truly free to live and create. The answer to all of this is what Fritz calls “transcendence” (283-85). It is here that a Christian can find so much to celebrate in this not-so-well written, but deeply intriguing, call to create rather than to simply solve problems.