In every great story or tale, something is at stake.
Let me repeat that: Something urgent and desperate is at stake.
If Indiana Jones doesn't stop the Nazis, the whole world is doomed to destruction.
If Luke Skywalker doesn't blow up the Death Star, the Empire will rule the galaxy.
If Wonder Woman doesn't defeat Ares, the god of war, humanity will be destroyed.
If Wesley doesn't rescue Buttercup, his life will not end happily ever after.
If Ralphie Parker doesn't get a Red Ryder air rifle, Christmas will be a miserable failure.
Every great movie and novel –– every modern and ancient story –– has something at stake.
If there's nothing at stake, why bother?
Raise the stakes on an otherwise happy, well-adjusted character and we'll see what he or she is really made of...
As we root and cheer for the characters we identify with, we all long to know how the story will turn out. And it's only when the stakes are raised with challenges, tests, and overwhelming obstacles that we really see the main character is made of.
When the stakes are raised in a story, big questions loom over the horizon like the crackling lightning and booming thunder of an approaching storm:
So let me raise the stakes and ask you a question...
What is AT STAKE if you don't create your art?
Spend some time with this question. Think hard about it. Pray about it. Really feel it in your heart and the deepest part of who you are.
If you don't create, then what? Fill in the blank________.
I'm serious. Really spend time with this question.
Write about it in your journal. Paint your answers on a canvas. Sing it out...whatever it takes you to get to the heart of really understanding what's at stake in your life if you don't create.
Do you really want to live with delayed dreams, disappointment and the agony of regret?
Yes, you may fail and fail miserably, but if your very best effort is characterized by dogged determination, reckless abandon and joy-filled hope, leaving all outcomes to God, your failure will never, ever be fatal.
Like the mythical Phoenix rising from the ashes, you will rise better. Stronger. Prepared for the next adventure.
The wise father of a friend of mine once said, "Everything is preparation for something."
You are in the midst of a powerful story and this story is your life.
You can choose to live a ho-hum suburban beige existence or you can lash yourself to the mast of your God-given dreams and set out on the adventure you are meant to live.
Is it hard creating your art?
Good. That means you're doing something difficult.
Facing obstacles and setbacks?
Great. The stakes are being raised.
Perfect. Just what you need for developing patience and perseverance.
Feeling like you don't have a creative bone in your body?
Terrific. Pruning back and cutting away dead wood leads to ingenuity and new ideas.
Discouraged you haven't gotten any lucky breaks?
Awesome. Jettison distracting myths and false beliefs. Lean into discipline and hard work.
Living safe and small serves no one.
Just like Indiana Jones had to stare down a cobra, stare down your life-limiting fears.
Stand up. Create. If necessary, raise your own stakes to get out of your comfort zones.
You're an artist, not an accountant, so stop counting all the things you think you can't do.
The high stakes are there for a purpose.
Unless you put a stake into the heart of all the blood-sucking vampires of fear, worry, and failure, your art and future creations will never see the light of day.
You have an incredible story to offer this world with your art.
It's an ageless, ancient story that God has been writing since the beginning of time.
The work's already been prepared for you.
Just step into it today. Keeping do that tomorrow and the next.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
My friends, there is so much at stake. You must create. Why?
Because artists influence everything.
I'd love your thoughts and comments below: What's at stake if you don't create your art?
PS: What is AT STAKE if You Don't Create is one of the questions we ask in our free gift, The 7 Questions You Must Ask to Achieve Your Creative Dreams. If you want to learn how to develop greater creative flow in creating your art, download your free copy today.