3 Things You Absolutely Have to Know About Being Creative | Part 2

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In Part 1 of this 3-part series, I encouraged you to do your most important work when you're at your very best.

Part 2: be a lifelong student. I kind of feel like I'm preaching to the choir because here you are reading my blog or my article, learning. So go ahead, stop what you're doing, pat yourself on the back, and say “I'm going to keep this up.” Seriously, keep it up.

I want you to always be learning and surrounding yourself with people that are going to take you to a new level. Everyone that you're around, they are either going to bring you up or they're going to bring you down. Every person is going to lift you up or bring you down.

Pastor Greg Groeschel talks about the average of the five closest people in your life. Show me your five best friends; you're going to be the average of those 5 best friends. You need to make sure your surrounding yourself with the right people. Here’s my point: adopt a lifelong student mentality.

I hated school; I hated high school. I hated college, but the good thing about school (grade school, high school and college) is you’re a student. You never want to stop being a student; you want to keep learning from those around you. Have a growth mindset. Mine says that I'm going to learn, learn, learn.

There's a rule that’s called the 33% rule, and it actually should be the 33 and one third percent rule, but we'll call it the 33% rule. I tell people you need to spend 33% of your time around those that are coming behind you / under you. What are you doing with those people? You are investing in them. Then you need to spend 33% of your time with those around you: your peers, the people that you work with, and the people you are interacting with.

That first group, those under you, the ones that are following you, you are investing into them. The 33% around you, you're interacting with, and then you spent 1/3 of your time (33% of your time) with those ahead of you / above you. You are being inspired by those people. Those are people that are 5, 10, or 15 years down the road, or they may be your age or younger, but they have wisdom and success, and God is blessing them. You know that they're going to take you to a new level simply by being in their presence. Find those people, every day.

Here’s a frog I want you to eat; who are my 33% people that are coming behind me that I need to start investing in? I want to spend a third of my time with those people. I want to spend 33% of my time with those around me, and I want to spend 33% of my time with those above me / ahead of me.

Let’s get really practical; let’s make it easy. If you're awake 15 hours a day, that means you need to spend five hours every day with those coming behind you, you need to spend five hours every day with those around you, and you need to spend 5 hours a day learning from and being around those ahead of you. That's where the rubber meets the road. That's the frog I want you to eat today.

Mark Twain said that if you eat a live frog in the morning, everything else is going to go easier the rest of the day. Your frog is: how am I doing with spending my time? I want you to write it down. How am I going to spend my time with those under me, those around me, and those ahead of me? Find those people, and invest some time with them. If you are going to stay in the creative flow, if you're going to stay in that creative rhythm, if you are going to really do what you want to do and what matters most, you not only have to do your most important work when you're at your best, but you have to be a lifelong student. You need to be learning from those around you, those who are coming up behind you, and those who are ahead of you.

Learn, learn, learn! Thank you for learning from me. I'm humbled by that; you give me your attention. Go find other people; listen to their podcasts; read their books. Follow them on Instagram; follow them on Twitter; take them lunch. Take them coffee because being a lifelong student is where it's at.

Your #1 fan,


Ryan Frank