You Had an Incredible Year!

screen-shot-2016-12-29-at-1-50-34-pmI know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering how I have any idea what kind of year you had. You think I have some nerve to suggest your year was any better than average or to suggest that anything good happened at all. For a moment you might be re-considering reading this e-blast – if it’s going to be full of annoying hopeful-ness, it’s not for you.

I get it.

There’s ample reason for you to be suspicious – scores of your friends

[Facebook and real] (and others) have been trumpeting the awful things that happened in 2016 – including the deaths of some very talented world-renowned artists. You’re certain you didn’t get everything you wanted this year, artistically speaking. So, really, how could your year have been incredible – when it hasn’t seemed that way to you? And who am I to claim it was?

Fair questions, I guess.

Over the years I’ve observed (and mentioned here and in coaching conversations) how negative human beings can be. TV shows are now marketed with adjectives like “dark” and “cynical” – as if that’s what everyone clamors to see. Snark has replaced kindness. Some script readers consider “earnest” a dirty word. This is, clearly, who we’ve become as a society.

The reason I’ve pointed this out so often is that our defensive cynicism is what keeps us from seeing how good things really are. And I believe recognizing the good is the key to unlocking more of it. You may be skeptical, but go with me on this. It requires you to do a little thing that will take 30 minutes at most. And once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to tell if I’m right (that you had an incredible year) or if I’m full of – (insert snarky negative term here).

Here’s your mission (should you choose to accept it): List the best things that happened to you this year. Take 30 minutes. Set a timer. And start. Make as many top ten lists for 2016 as you can. For example: Top Ten Creative Adventures, Top Ten Most Reliable People, Top Ten Fun and Relaxing Things, Top Ten Spiritual Tools, Top Ten Memorable Moments. Any other category that you can think of – all “best things” for 30 minutes.

I bet you’ll have some incredible things to report. I do this every year and find it transformative. But don’t take my word for it. Take yours.

Use the realizations from this exercise to propel you into a kick-ass 2017. And share with me what you’ve discovered from making your lists.

​​​​There’s so much good stuff people! And there’s more on the way.

Happy New Year!

By | 2017-12-01T18:09:13+00:00 December 29th, 2016|Creative Survival|0 Comments

About the Author:

Steve Harper
STEVE HARPER is a writer, producer and actor. He was on the writing staff of the Emmy Award winning ABC show American Crime (created by John Ridley) and spent two seasons writing for the USA Network show Covert Affairs. Steve's original web series SEND ME, about time traveling black people (writer, actor and Executive Producer) was nominated for a 2016 Emmy. As a playwright he has written more than 20 works that have been produced across the country. Through, Steve has been working with artists of all kinds since 2008, helping them achieve clarity and focus in their creative careers. His specialty is working with artists as they write dramatic scripts. Steve has run workshops in New York, L.A. and in between. Through live events, online seminars, and his channels on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, he’s helped thousands of writers and artists. Steve taught for The Harvardwood Writers Group, Young Playwrights and The Creative Gym. He’s been an instructor at the UCLA Extension School and a guest artist at Interlochen School for the Arts, Drexel University’s summer program in L.A. and USC’s Annenberg School. A graduate of Yale, The A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard and the playwriting program at Juilliard, he was certified by the Creativity Coaching Association in 2013.