Why It Can Be Harder for Creatives to Achieve Their Goals
Perhaps, like me, you’re a very creative person. A dreamer. An idealist. And you have big goals and dreams you’d like to achieve. If that’s the case, I’m about to share information that will be very beneficial to you. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, this information is vital—I know so from experience.
The Dreaded Question
It was a hot, stuffy afternoon in Bangkok. We were having lunch at an outdoor food cart.
“So, how’s your business going?” asked my entrepreneur friend.
My heart accelerated. My body tensed up. I so disliked that question. “I’m getting there,” I mumbled between two bites of Pad Thai.
Almost a year before that, I had left my job and apartment in Montreal and flown to Thailand with the intention of “making it happen.” I spent that year in Thailand hustling, starting a bunch of projects and quitting them all, one after the other, most often due to being distracted by a new idea or simply losing interest. I wasn’t making any progress, and my savings were drying up.
“What’s wrong with me?” I remember thinking. The thing was that it wasn’t just that year in Thailand that was concerning; I had been hustling for five years, getting nowhere close to having a profitable business. “Why do most entrepreneurs I know have no problem building businesses, often in just a few months, and I can’t?”
I got the answer a year later.
It’s Because of Vata
A year later, I heard an Ayurvedic expert, Sahara Rose Ketabi, explain on her podcast why creatives (like me) often struggle to achieve their goals. It was one of those light-bulb moments.
Before I share this golden information with you, I think it’ll help to quickly explain what Ayurveda is.
Ayurveda is a holistic health system that comes from India. According to Ayurveda, there are three main archetypes or energy types (called “doshas”): Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each archetype has a specific set of characteristics that influence our physical health and psychology. Everyone has the three archetypes but in different proportions. We usually have one dosha or archetype that’s predominant.
Why does it matter?
Well, highly creative people tend to be predominantly Vata dosha. If you look at the characteristics of this dosha below, you’ll quickly understand why Vata can be problematic when it comes to pursuing goals.
Vata Dosha: The Creative Type
People who are predominantly Vata tend to be very “heady,” creative, and imaginative, with thousands of ideas constantly spinning in their heads like tornadoes. They may be artists, philosophers, or visionaries. They tend to be free-spirited and a bit obsessed with freedom. On top of that, they may also:
- Change their minds often.
- Get easily distracted and be very susceptible to “shiny object” syndrome.
- Have difficulty focusing on one thing at a time.
- Be massive multitaskers.
- Get easily excited but then quickly lose interest and get bored.
- Be good at starting projects but not at finishing them; they have difficulty following through on their ideas.
- Be obsessed with freedom and “allergic” to structure.
- Overthink their ideas, which commonly leads to “analysis paralysis,” anxiety, and even insomnia.
If you’re highly creative, you likely recognize yourself in some of the above. You can also already see why it can be difficult for Vata people to achieve their goals.
That being said, there are ways to make it easier for us creatives to succeed in life. The key is to enhance the qualities of the two other doshas within us. (Remember that we all have the three energies within us, just in different proportions.)
Pitta Dosha: The Action-Taker
Pitta people are usually organized, active, and high achievers. They tend to have type A personalities and more self-discipline and willpower than the other archetypes, and they have no difficulty taking action and following through on their ideas. Contrary to Vata, they love structure and having routines.
On the downside, they may overwork themselves and experience burnout, and they can be impatient and controlling.
A typical Pitta person could efficiently work as a manager or CEO or be an entrepreneur. Athletes and politicians are also very Pitta.
Kapha Dosha: The Nurturer
The third archetype is Kapha. Kapha people tend to be naturally grounded and present. They are friendly and have a calm and nurturing energy. However, when their Kapha energy is out of balance (when it’s in excess), they can become lethargic and stuck.
How to Achieve Goals as Vata Dosha (the Creative Type)
Achieving goals is very Pitta. Therefore, to increase our chances of success, we must enhance the Pitta qualities within us. Plus, since Vata is very heady and prone to anxiety, it’s also essential to ground ourselves and be more present in our everyday tasks (i.e., enhance the Kapha within us).
Here are a few specific things you can do to help you achieve your goals as a creative:
- Make sure to write your goals down and read them every morning and night. That may be the simplest thing you can do to stay focused on your vision and avoid getting distracted. Although this strategy is beneficial to everyone, it is critical for highly creative people to achieve their goals.
- You can also write down why each goal is important to you and the benefits you’ll gain from achieving each goal; that will help you stay motivated and not lose interest in the middle of a project (it’ll help you follow through).
- Write down your top three priorities for the following day sometime the night before. Make sure to tackle those first. Vata people tend to be all over the place, and staying focused on what moves the needle is essential to make our goals come true.
- Practice ‘just in time’ learning—only feed your mind information you plan on using and implementing right away. This will reduce the risk of information overload and the feelings of anxiety that come with it.
- Try committing to one primary project at a time (or one idea or strategy) and finish it before starting a new one. Finishing what we start is an important habit to develop for success.
- Have an accountability buddy, join a mastermind, or hire a coach. It’ll help you stay focused on your goals and progress faster.
- Avoid multitasking. I know how difficult this can be for us Vata. I can eat lunch while watching a YouTube video and searching for something on the Internet all at the same time. But that’s just not efficient.
- Ground yourself daily, whether it’s by going for a walk in nature, practicing yoga, or doing breathing exercises or any other mindfulness practice you enjoy.
These Strategies Will Increase Your Chances of Success
Some highly creative people have enough Pitta energy to achieve their goals without too much difficulty. However, for very Vata people like me, it can be challenging to progress toward our vision. Thankfully, there are ways to make it easier on ourselves.
After years of inefficient hustle, I finally managed to become a location-independent entrepreneur. However, the journey was painful, and I wish I had known about Ayurveda ten years ago—it would have made my life so much easier!
I hope this information can serve you well, too.