Kent Sanders | Unlock Your Creative Potential

Unlock Your Creative Potential

6 Types of Content That Will Take Your Life to the Next Level

Do you want to grow? Do you want to improve your life? We all do. But you can’t do it on your power. You need resources to help you be the artist and leader you were meant to be. The good news is that we live in a time where we have access to many resources that can help you get there.

Add subtitle text (13)Everything in your life grows out of your thoughts. Your actions, attitudes, and relationships are directly affected by your thinking. If you want to grow and reach your goals, the only thing that will get you there are your thoughts.

So what kind of content should you be putting into your mind? Here are the six most important types, along with an example or two of each:

1. Books

Choose books that will help you grow and become a better leader and artist. It’s important to read books from a variety of perspectives and subjects. This will keep you fresh and prevent you from getting into a mental rut. I also believe you should include great fiction books (and some that aren’t necessarily great, but entertaining) because I need to be inspired by great stories.

Great books I’m reading: Screenplay by Syd Field, and Smartcuts by Shane Snow

2. Podcasts

Podcasts are free and don’t necessarily require extra time. You can listen to them while in the car, or during your exercise routine. As with books, I listen to a variety of podcasts, including some just for fun. As a creative person, don’t limit yourself to content focused on business or productivity.

Great podcasts I’m listening to: Starve the Doubts with Jared Easley, and You Leading You with Sean Ackerman

3. Movies

Movies blend storytelling, moving images, and music to transport us into other worlds. Movies can also change your perspective and give you experiences you can’t get any other way. Your mind, heart, and soul are intimately connected. Movies can speak to the whole person while sharpening your creativity.

Great movie I’ve seen recently: Interstellar (It took me two tries to see this one in the theater.

4. Classes

Classes are a great way to increase your skills in a specific area of knowledge. Over the last year I have taken courses on writing for large websites, self-publishing, online teaching, and business. Some of these were free but others required a personal investment. If you want to stay relevant, a class can be a great way to get specialized knowledge from someone more advanced than you.

Great class I’ve taken recently: Self-Publishing Success Academy, taught by Kimanzi Constable and Jimmy Burgess

5. Magazines

I subscribe to a few magazines pertaining to business and creativity, but the danger of periodicals is that the content goes out of date quickly. I have moved almost exclusively to reading content online (rather than print magazines), but the print magazines I still read have a lot of value.

Great magazines I read: Success (print), Relevant (online), Guitar Player (print), Aeon (online)

6. Blogs

There is a huge amount of material available in the form of newsletters from bloggers, leaders, and companies you respect. I subscribe to a few dozen newsletter and use unroll.me to “roll them up” into one daily email digest. That way, I can quickly skim through the content without having dozens of emails clog my inbox.

Great blogs I read: Smart Passive Income, Brain Pickings, The Ranch

The kind of content you put into your mind will in large part determine your thoughts, so make sure you’re reading, watching and listening to great content every day. Over the next few weeks I’ll be digging into each of these areas and offer specific ideas and suggestions.

I love this quote from James Allen’s classic As a Man Thinketh:

All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts. . . . A man’s weakness and strength, purity and impurity, are his own, and not another man’s; they are brought about by himself, and not by another; and they can only be altered by himself, never by another. His condition is also his own, and not another man’s. His suffering and his happiness are evolved from within. As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.

Note: You may wonder why I didn’t include the Bible in this list. If you a person of faith, I assume it’s already a part of your life.

For a detailed list of resources for artists, download The Ultimate Resource Guide for Artpreneurs, which is one of several guides for artists I’ll send when you subscribe.

What is your favorite way to consume good content?

About Kent Sanders

I help people unlock their God-given creative potential. I live with my wife and son in St. Peters, MO. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or YouTube.

  • Aaron Murg

    Thanks Kent!

    Personally, whenever I go out to see a great movie, read something interesting, or take a class, it feels good to be “pulled” into something other than my usual routine.

    Picking my favorite is tough. I don’t really consume magazines unless someone gives me one. But I’d have to say podcasts are definitely number one for me. As of recently, I have found http://www.jeffersonhour.com/ to be really entertaining, enlightening, and inspiring to live in a more Jeffersonian way.

    I’ll take a listen at the two podcasts you mentioned.
    Thanks again Kent!

    • Aaron, thanks so much for commenting. I appreciate it! I will check out the Jefferson Hour podcast – I’m always looking for new great ones. My problem is that there are so many good ones out there that I don’t have time to listen to even a small fraction of them all. 🙂

      I think what you mentioned is critical – we need something to pull us out of the usual routine, or our usual way of thinking. One book I didn’t mention above is “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” a memoir or sorts from a young woman’s experience in a crematory. Very different than the sort of thing I normally read, but it’s giving me a whole new perspective on the funeral business, etc. And it’s really funny also. I love things that take you out of the normal routine.

      • Aaron Murg

        True, there are a lot! Once I get through my usual rotation of shows the next week comes around and I start again.

        That’s sounds like a book to definitely get pulled in a different direction! You know what, I have a friend who is in crematory school right now. I just forwarded her the book per your recommendation. Thanks!

        • Thanks Aaron. My Dad was a part-time funeral director for many years so I’ve always had an interest in that. And as a pastor in my 20’s I took part in many funerals. It’s fascinating to me that in the Western world we do everything we can to avoid dealing with death, but the book is a totally different way of looking at our traditions around funerals, etc.