What is a Good Life? #20
Living A Creative Life with Pejman (PJ) Milani
On the 20th episode of the What is a Good Life? podcast I am joined by Pejman (PJ) Milani, who is the Content Creator at Milani Creative and the Media Arts Director, and a Teacher, at Episcopal High School.
I follow PJ's daily content where he shares visual metaphors that simplify complex ideas, so I was intrigued to hear his thoughts on this question and the role creativity plays within that.
In this episode we discuss the significance of creativity in terms of fulfilment, flow, connection, empathy, and self-expression. PJ also outlines how a daily creative practice enables us to handle ambiguity and develops greater problem solving capacities.
While he takes us through his journey and motivation for all of his work - inspiring more people to a life of creativity, that leads to a more connected and creative world.
If you don’t presently have a regular creative practice in your life, this episode will give you plenty to ponder, while for those that do, it will give you further inspiration to maintain and deepen that practice.
The weekly clip from the podcast (3 mins), my weekly reflection (2 mins), the full podcast (63 mins), and the weekly questions all follow below.
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After interviewing 150+ people around the question of, “what is a good life?”, I’ve created the following offerings based on this research:
One-on-one coaching programs to help working professionals find their own answer to this question.
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Internal company podcasts for leaders of fast-growing scale-ups to help build trust, retention, and culture.
1. Weekly Clip from the Podcast
2. My weekly reflection
The first guest I had on this podcast, Laurence Barrett, used a term I’ve since adopted, that we have a perversion with performance.
Even our hobbies become things to obsess over in terms of measuring our times, progress, personal bests, and graduating through the ranks of whatever discipline we are applying ourselves to outside of work.
Over the last decade I’ve found that creative outlets are incredible antidotes to much of this obsession. Spaces where we create simply for ourselves, free from expectations, direction, or outcomes, where we can fall into flow and we cease our endless gaze in the direction of time.
A blank page, a blank canvas, an arena for self-expression, a space to play with the ambiguity, complexity, emotions, and uncertainty, that we often look to avoid in our orderly lives.
In the video clip above, PJ shares his top tip for re-engaging with creativity - journaling. JP has been recommending this practice to his students for 19 years, and he notes the difference he observes in his students in the periods they are journaling together, and when they aren't.
For such a simple exercise, getting a blank page and a pen, and simply transcribing down our thoughts, it’s amazing the impact it can have on mental clarity, well-being, and creativity. The byproduct of which can be getting to know ourselves on a much deeper level and potentially understanding what we want from life.
3. Full Episode - Living A Creative Life with Pejman (PJ) Milani - What is a Good Life? Ep. #20
4. This week’s Questions
When is the last time you did something creative or playful with no expectation or focus on outcome and performance?
Is there a medium of creativity (writing, woodwork, pottery, painting, etc.) that you feel a calling to explore or express yourself with?
I am a Coach based in Berlin, via Dublin, Ireland. I left behind a 15-year career in Capital Markets after I became extremely curious around answering some of the bigger questions in life. I started this project in 2021, for which I’ve now interviewed over 150 people, to provide people with the space to reflect on their own lives and to create content that would spark people’s own inquiry into this question. I am also trying to share more genuine expressions of the human experience, beyond the facades we typically project.