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Be the Best Version of Yourself

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Be the best version of yourself... like only you can! #iCreateDaily #BestVersionOfYourself #BeYourBest #YourBest #PersonalDevelopment #SelfDevelopment

There’s Room for You

Don’t compare yourself to others… their progress and success with yours. There will always be some ahead of you and some behind you and others with whom you keep stride. To be the best version of yourself is about your version of you, not trying to be someone else’s version.

When we admire and appreciate the accomplishments and success of others, it can serve to educate, elevate and inspire us to take action. Don’t let yourself feel hopelessly behind where they are, or like giving up before you’ve really gotten going. Remember, for every brilliant creator or creation that we witness, there are many years and countless hours of toil and effort — often alone — that went into their success.

On the journey of pursuing your dreams and creating more meaning in your life, there are always moments and periods of doubt. That’s normal.

Just don’t let fear and doubt determine your future by crippling your present.
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder –®

Table of Contents

Keeping up with the Joneses

Have you ever scrolled through Instagram (or any social feed), and felt that pang of jealousy or resentment at someone else’s life?  That’s perfectly normal too. In this era of vastly more public sharing, it’s inevitable.

Social media places the concept of  ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ (or… the Kardashians), on steroids.

It can be hard to realize that your creative work in the world matters when you witness people who seem to be so far ahead in their journey.  And yet… as with many situations in life, there is always another perspective.

Your art matters because you’re the only one who can do what you do as you do it. And because it matters to you… to your life, and likely to many others whom your art may touch.

We do not steer our car by the passengers in the other cars. Rather, we steer based on the road in front of us and where we want to go.

Don’t compare and despair. Focus on your journey.

“It is a human privilege to create the life we want to live… and we are the only sentient beings who can consciously achieve that for ourselves.”
~LeAura Alderson,®

“It is a human privilege to create the life we want to live… and we are the only sentient beings who can consciously achieve that for ourselves.”
~LeAura Alderson,® #TheBestVersionOfYourself #YourBestSelf #BestSelf  #iCreateDaily #CreateYourLife #Privilege #ConsciousCreation

Inspiring Art

The other night we watched an old YouTube version of Michael Flatley’s original Lord of the Dance performance.

Growing up, this was something my brother, Nikolai, and I—along with our friends—danced to as often as we could. Our living room was converted into our dance studio and we watched the VHS tape of it over and over… and danced to it for many uncountable times of glee.

We didn’t know how to dance, and we didn’t care. We just delighted in the music and the movement.
~Devani Alderson,®

Be the best version of yourself: We didn't know how to dance, and we didn't care. We just delighted in the music and the movement.
~Devani Alderson,® #BeTheBestVersionOfYourself #ChildrenDancing #GirlsDancing #Positivity #Pathway #Happy #iCreateDaily

I couldn’t describe what I obsessing over as a child. However, watching this iconic dance performance again, all grown up’ish, I realize what it is for me today.

Behind the moments we see on stage, or in an art gallery, or from a published book are the hours, months, years, and even lifetimes of effort to create that moment of awe.

Witnessing others embody their greatness urges us into our own.

“Art, dance, and creativity is vital to human evolution, because you’re watching people be the best version of themselves in that moment, which inspires us to become the best version ourselves.”
~Devani Alderson,®

"Art, dance, and creativity is vital to human evolution, because you’re watching people be the best version of themselves in that moment, which inspires us to become the best version ourselves."
~Devani Alderson,® #YourBestSelf #Art #Dance #Creativity #Positivity #Empowerment #Performers #iCreateDaily

Examples of Inspiring Creativity in the World

Michael Flatley, extraordinary Irish dancer, choreographer, director, producer of the Lord of the Dance franchise.

Treat yourself to an invigorating dance break intermission.

Unfortunately, you can’t get the original Lord of the Dance on Amazon or any of the other streaming services right now.  But you can see a second hand rendition on YouTube, or you can buy the DVD here, which we did!

“If you just follow what’s in your heart, and you’re willing to work hard for it, then nothing is impossible.”  
~Michael Flatley, director, dancer, choreographer, producer, b.7/16/1958

"If you just follow what's in your heart, and you're willing to work hard for it, then nothing is impossible."  
~Michael Flatley, dancer, director, choreographer, producer, b.7/16/1958
#YourBestVersionOfYourself #MichaelFlatleyQuote #WorkHard #NothingIsImpossible #YourBest #Inspiration

Lindsey Stirling – Dancing Electronic Violinist, Performer, Producer, Entrepreneur

Another incredible music and dance performer, Lindsey Stirling, tells stories with her music and dance through incredibly creative and powerful performances.  While Lindsey started as a violinist, she taught herself how to dance and eventually produce her own imaginative and captivating shows and music videos.

Lindsey’s story of resounding success after rejection and failure is sure to inspire you and we highly recommend her book. Her story exemplifies one of the things that we’re most passionate about at iCreateDaily and why we’re doing what we do.

About Lindsey excerpted from her Amazon book description:

Dancing electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling shares her unconventional journey in an inspiring New York Times bestselling memoir filled with the energy, persistence, and humor that have helped her successfully pursue a passion outside the box.

Lindsey Stirling…

  • A classically trained musician gone rogue
  • The epitome of independent, millennial-defined success
  • Voted off the set of America’s Got Talent, (thank goodness she didn’t give up!)
  • Has amass more than 12 million YouTube subscribers and 3.8 Facebook fans as of July 2020
  • Recorded 6 albums, many singles and lots of fantastic video productions
  • Released multiple hits with billions of YouTube views
  • Toured sold-out venues around the world
  • Owns all rights to her own music, producing it all without a studio or agents.

Lindsey is not afraid to be herself. In fact, it’s her confidence and individuality that have propelled her into the spotlight. But the road hasn’t been easy. After being rejected by talent scouts, music reps, and eventually on national television, Lindsey forged her own path, step by step.

You can watch or listen to more of her story in her interview on The School of Greatness Show and podcast with Lewis Howes.

And… this is one of our favorite videos from Lindsey, but there are so many. So if you’re just getting acquainted with the phenomenally talented Lindsey Stirling, check out her channel for more delightful artistry and entertainment!

Lindsey Stirling’s Roundtable Rival

Lindsey Stirling’s Artemis

“We can ALWAYS make a difference to someone, no matter what role we play.” 
~Lindsey Stirling, dancer, violinist, producer, artist entrepreneur b.9/21/1986

“We can ALWAYS make a difference to someone, no matter what role we play.” 
~Lindsey Stirling, dancer, violinist, producer, artist entrepreneur b.9/21/1986 #BeYourBestVersionOfYourself #MakeADifference #LindseyStirlingQuote #LindseyStirling

Akiane Kramarik – Poet and Visual Artist

Another artist we’ve seen over the years, Akiane Kramarik, creates breathtaking art. But as entrancing as her art is, her story is about so much more than that.

Akiane has been painting since she was four years old. At the age of eight, Akiane painted an incredible portrait of Christ called “Prince of Peace”. The story behind the painting is both tragic, triumphant, and powerful.

It could be very easy to say Akiane’s talent is just a gift she was born with and assume that there is no way we could achieve what she has, yet there’s so much more to her story. Akiane and her family’s persistence and effort in the face of tremendous adversity is incredible.

Tremendous Adversity Before Success

  • Extreme poverty
  • Prolonged serious illnesses
  • Obstacles and rejection
  • A supposed art agent stealing Akiane’s art and money
  • Depression and hopelessness

But for Saving Grace

  • Akiane’s mom always believed in and encouraged her
  • Life turned the corner to success following an appearance on The Oprah Show

There is so much more to Akiane’s story than what’s listed above which you can hear about in this  video portrayal of her story, and also read about on her website.

“We cannot teach a flower how to grow, we can only learn from it.”
~Akiane Kramarik, child prodigy-visual artist, b.7/9/1994

"We cannot teach a flower how to grow, we can only learn from it."
~Akiane Kramarik, child prodigy-visual artist, b.7/9/1994 #Akiane #AkianeQuote #FlowerQuote #NatureQuote #BestVersionOfYourself #GardeningMeme

Tolkien’s Creation of Elven Cities

Tolkien did a stellar job creating an epic body of work that transcends time and generations. He did so much more than write wonderful stories… Tolkien created new worlds, kingdoms and languages.

Many years later, Director, Peter Jackson and his crew did an equally phenomenal job bringing Middle Earth to life on the big screen.

During my last year of academic homeschool, I got to study a Lord of the Rings study guide, and it was my favorite and most memorable subject. Here’s the curriculum I used, and you can also find study guides on Amazon.

I remember thinking how amazing it was that someone could make up their own world. The detail, rich character development, and depth of effort, cemented the world of Middle Earth as one of the greatest works ever, and Tolkien as one of the greatest authors of all time.

J.R.R. Tolkien — John Ronald Reuel Tolkien…

  • Was part of a writing group called “Inklings”
  • Being a soldier in WW1 inspired elements of Lord of the Rings
  • “Tolkien” is a German name meaning “foolishly brave” or “stupidly clever”
  • Tolkien majored in Old English and had a fascination with languages
  • His passion for language inspired him to create the Elvish language used in his books
  • Tolkien’s youngest son Christopher Tolkien went on to publish The Silmarillion

Here is a three part docu-series on Amazon that delves more into the life and work of Tolkien and the worlds he created. Or you may prefer a more modern movie out based on Tolkien’s life, titled Tolkien. We really enjoyed it, though the war scenes were tortuous.

Tolkien’s fictional worlds have many dark elements which were highly influenced by the wars of his time. However, his magical, mystical elven societies symbolize the eternal hope of beauty, wisdom and creativity, in even the darkest times, and against all odds.

Favorite short clip of the elfin home of Rivendell:

Adrian von Ziegler – Musician, Composer, Producer

Swiss composer and musician, Adrian von Ziegler, produces incredible music, including some favorite Celtic soundtracks. Though shy, Adrian understands how to grow an audience on YouTube: publish lots of content over many years (since 2009)… for free!

Here’s LeAura’s favorite writing soundtrack, Adrian Von Ziegler’s Celtic 1 and Celtic 2, for over four hours of free listening thanks to the generosity—and marketing savvy—of this amazing composer musician.

Most of Adrian’s music is Celtic, though he also produces other types of music as well as video game tracks and soundtrack music. The multitalented Adrian can play the piano, keyboard, bagpipes, guitar, bass, and percussion.

If you’re a super introverted creator, checking out how Adrian shares his content online might inspire some ideas.  While Adrian shares all his music online for free, it’s hard to find his personal presence online.

Adrian has done a couple of Q&A videos on his Facebook Page, but most of his posts are his music and about his music.  Unlike many influencers, Adrian’s posts are neither frequent or personal, so he’s a good example of another way to do social media if you’re more of an introverted creator.

Adrian has grown a YouTube following of 887K+ subscribers just through years of uploading his music regularly.

Adrian von Ziegler 

  • He got his start in a rock band as a teen in his hometown
  • Experiences depression periodically
  • Enya is the only other Celtic voice he would like to feature in his music

It’s very hard to find anything more about Adrian’s personal life because he’s so introverted:-) However, he shares tons of his magnificent music freely with the world.

AND… if you’re wondering how that pays off for him, consider that many people who might hire or commission musicians, can now find him and make contact, including for movie soundtracks.

Here is one 40 minute Q&A video Adrian uploaded to his YouTube. In the beginning of this, Adrian shares candidly about his introversion, struggle being in front of the camera and his — and his wife’s — struggles with depression. In spite of all of that, Adrian makes and shares incredible music freely, and continues in answering questions about that throughout the rest of the video.

4 Hours Celtic Music by Adrian von Ziegler

A family favorite soundtrack to listen to while writing, is Adrian’s free 2-part Celtic compilation albums, Part 1 and Part 2. This link is to Part 1 and you should easily see Part 2 using the same cover image in the playlist sidebar.

“Music continues to tell a story where words end.”
~ Adrian von Ziegler, musician, composer

"Music continues to tell a story where words end." 
~ Adrian von Ziegler, musician, composer #AdrianVonZiegler #CelticMusic #CelticMusician #Creator #CelticComposer #BeTheBestVersionOfYourself #iCreateDaily

The Creator’s Ecstacy

Creators at their best bring captivate and elevate just by the presence of joy irradiating from and around them while they’re creating.

Like Hauser in ecstasy performing Benedictus from The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins with Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra in Zagreb, Croatia, October 2017.

Or the magnanimous Hans Zimmer, playing the song Time from the Inception soundtrack. Watching Hans’ incredible joy and rapture in the creative zone, is as beautiful and entrancing as the music itself.

These are wonderful examples of people being the best version of themselves, and of spirit flowing as art from the heart.

Hans Zimmer – Time (Inception – Live in Prague)

The Creator’s Journey of Becoming

Okay, so maybe you’re not a child-prodigy like Akiane, or have Peter Jackson’s film budget, and Michael Flatley’s dance moves. Yet as cliche as it might sound, it’s true that what you have to offer the world is uniquely yours. Even you won’t know all that’s possible until you give it room to grow in your life.

Every one of the creators mentioned above have been working at their craft for years. Might they be naturally gifted in a specific area of creativity? Sure! Or, perhaps the gift was their immersion and obsession with their craft.

The point is that each of them went on their own journey of discovering how to be the best version of themselves through the process of sharing their work with the world. We all have this potential inside… waiting for us to take the first step on our journey… and to keep on going.

“What you have to offer the world is uniquely yours. You won’t know what’s possible until you give it room to grow in your life.”
~Devani Alderson,®

Dorothy’s Discovery

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy learned after all her trials and tribulations, that she just needed to click her heels to get home.  Yet it is on the Yellow Brick Road journey that she became a better version of herself. In so doing, Dorothy inspired the creatures she encountered along the way, and they—in turn—were inspired to become better versions of themselves.

Sometimes the catalyst for our own change is witnessing greatness in others. The bottom line of the Oz story was about shedding the layers of what you are not so that you can be who you are. 

Each of the Wizard of Oz protagonists realized that in the end, the power was there inside them all along.

Creativity is a journey of creating, and in the creating, a journey of becoming.
~Devani Alderson,®

The Offspring of Your Work

What if being the best version of yourself, inspires others to be the best version of themselves?

Creativity is inside every single one of us.  As you embark on your own yellow brick road of becoming, like Dorothy, you are sure to inspire others along the way in the same way we are inspired by our creative heroes.

Examples of humanity at its best helps you rise into the best version of yourself. So immerse in that which inspires and uplifts you. Get inspired to be your best self, and you will automatically inspire others!

Use these examples of fantastic creators — and add your own — to propel you into your future… to not delay another day of doing the work that matters to you. Send your creations out into the world to become what they may become. You can figure out all the details along the way.

The good news is that you don’t have to have it all figured out before you start. Just head in the general direction that compels you, and if you’re not sure about that, start here with some of these examples and create what you enjoy creating. Keep asking the question while listening for the answer from life. Make it an adventurous journey of discovery.

Your creativity sets positive ripples in motion and reaches shores unknown.
~Devani Alderson,®


“You don’t have to have it all figured out before you pursue a life guided by purpose. Just head in the direction of what inspires you.”
~LeAura Alderson,®

"You don’t have to have it all figured out before you pursue a life guided by purpose. Just head in the direction of what inspires you."
~LeAura Alderson,® #BeTheBestVersionOfYourself #PurposeQuote #Inspiration #WhatInspiresYou #Creativity #PurposeDrivenLife #iCreateDaily

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Oprah on Being the Best Version of Yourself

This is a powerful compilation of the best of Oprah Winfrey speaking passionately on this topic.

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