The desire for control is common with people.

Executives want control in business.

Parents want control of children.

Artists want control of the creative process.

But there comes a time when we must do one thing.


Here’s the main point of the article….

Point 1. Letting go is essential to successful growth .

It is impossible to control everything.

Astonishingly, with the right conditions, people grow by themselves. Like a tree.

And growth shines light in the darkness.

Aireys Lighthouse 771x1024 Creativity and Leadership: The Freedom in Letting Go

‘Aireys Lighthouse’ by Simon Brushfield (2004) Acrylic, Oil & Charcoal on canvas. 1m x 80cm $3200

However, it’s sometimes difficult to let go.

But we must surrender.

It builds confidence .

Plus, life can become extremely frustrating holding on.

Here’s the reason why…

Point 2. The energy needed for surrender is much less and accomplishes infinitely more, than the energy needed for control.

Furthermore, too much control stifles people’s growth.

Plus, it promotes laziness.

And irresponsibility.

Individuals need a sense of freedom and responsibility to grow.

Only then will they gladly give their best performance.

Natural motivation.

It’s really quite simple.

Here’s the truth about human beings.

Point 3. For best results a person needs to feel happy and relaxed.

If an authority figure has too much control, we become demotivated and confused.

Even worse, we become irresponsible.

This can be a challenge, a balancing act for leaders.

For me, leadership is all about not being attached to a specific outcome that must be controlled.

It’s very clear… (and a little weird)

Point 4. I’m not in control of my creativity or my life.

It’s true.

Likewise, when I create an original painting, I totally surrender to the creative process.

There’s no other option.

For my abstract art to be successful, I must let go and let the paint fall naturally on the canvas of an original painting.

Eucalypt painting by Simon Brushfield Creativity and Leadership: The Freedom in Letting Go

‘Eucalypt’ (2001) by Simon Brushfield Oil & Acrylic on Canvas 1.8m x 1.4m (Sold: Private Acquisition)

The same for my life.

To achieve natural results, and manifest the organic growth I want, there’s one thing I must do.


Just let go.

Zen Buddhism teaches the mind should become like an empty rice bowl.

Who knows how things will turn out?

Here’s the great benefit of letting go…

Point 5. Surrendering control refreshes the spirit.

I like what Jesus said about this concept.

“Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will keep it.”

Losing control is truthful and honest.

It’s beautiful too.

Because we’re never totally in control in the first place.

Especially creating original abstract art.

Accepting this reality creates freedom.

It lifts a heavy burden from people.

And produces a joyful natural motivation.

Breathing space.

Plus there’s an added bonus.

It’s exciting.

Things might become a little confusing at times, but here’s my experience.

Point 6. With a little faith everything eventually works out fine.

Writing this creative article is a perfect example.

I felt led to write these words.

When I began the creative process of writing, all I had was a few words.

An idea.

But once the creative seed was planted in the ground, it contained the amazing potential to grow by itself.

Words and ideas came effortlessly.

All without human control.

But like my original art, I needed to let go first.

Allow myself to be led by the creative spirit.

Coral Fish 916x1024 Creativity and Leadership: The Freedom in Letting Go

‘Coral Fish’ by Simon Brushfield (2011) Acrylic on canvas 1.2m x 1.2m For Sale $8,000

This creative process produces delicious fruit that people enjoy consuming.

No need for behind the scenes manipulative power plays.

Or unproductive gossip.

Growth occurs naturally, like healthy plant life. By itself.

True leaders are not highly skilled individuals at manipulative, behind the scenes, power games.

Point 7. Quality leaders are led by the creative desire to see people to grow and flourish.

With wisdom, they trust people.

Granting genuine freedom and responsibility.

This calls for the ‘empty rice bowl’ approach.

A little courage and some creative thinking.

Rather than imprisoning others through a myriad of deceptively authoritative ways, successful leaders empower individuals.

Giving them one very special gift.

A deeper understanding of the authority in themselves.

Motivating people to use their creativity, in unique and powerful ways.

Not for their own financial advantage.

But for love.

Inspiring personal growth.

At every possible opportunity.

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – Creativity and Leadership: The Freedom in Letting Go