Shaun Cooper ‘Appreciating people & situations helps me stay creative’

To know more about your creativity and how it works is one of the best ways to stay healthy and sane. Here’s the thirds interview in the series about staying creativeShaun Cooper portrait and inspired in a busy world.

Shaun Cooper was born in South Africa and now based in London. He’s been involved in entrepreneurial projects for along time, and now he’s focusing on mentorship and personal development programmes.

About inspiration
“For me inspiration is a big value of mine and I see it as a choice, a choice to constantly seek inspiration in everything as much as I can. There is meaning in everything if we seek it. It’s a proactive practice and a life long endeavour.”

“So what inspires me… I’m inspired most when I live my values and involved in things I’m passionate about. I’m inspired by my vision of building international businesses and helping people see their potential so clearly that they are inspired to realise their potential.’

I’m inspired by making a massive difference to young people and empowering them to achieve their dreams.

Sport
“I’m inspired by sport and this often brings the best out of me. I play rugby, football, golf, cricket and I would watch just about every sport there is.”

Learning From Legends
“At the moment I’m involved in a project called Learning From Legends, which is: learning valuable lessons from legends in in all areas of life and what is the key to their success. I’ve learnt just how normal these legends are but what differentiates them from the rest is inspiring. Learning about the adversity they’ve overcome and the choices they’ve made. It’s humbling and at the same time inspiring.”

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About staying creative
“Being present, I believe, has to be the single most important element to our creativity and our ability to feel and breathe life into anything we do.

Curiosity is a great quality and often leads to being more creative.

People 
“People – surround yourself with the right people. I cannot explain what a difference this makes in all areas. I’ve been actively building relationships and networks in line with my goals and aspirations and the creative impact others have on you is massive. I also find helping others do the same in fact helps me even more. As the adage goes, “we rise by lifting others.”

Appreciation and creativity
“Appreciating people, situations and things is instrumental to being more creative. Appreciation is a verb and practicing this brings a compounding effect to us and our work.”

What helps you to stay brave?
“Brave is a great word because we all have fears and face challenges all the time. One person I admire immensely is Nelson Mandela and he said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” How true.”

“What helps me be braver everyday is knowing that I have a choice and the ability to use all situations to help me become a better man. Especially fear. It’s there to help me become stronger. In saying that, I must be honest and say it’s not something I get right every time. Far from it. “

What scares the h*ll out of you?
“To be perfectly honest with you, not realising my potential scares me. Just thinking about it and writing this sends shivers down my spine. For me this feels like selling out for a life of mediocrity and having very little meaning and purpose in my life. I just can’t imagine selling out and not doing my absolute best to living my potential.”

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What do you do to relax?
“Relaxing your mind is not just about the mind but it’s looking after yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. To sharpen the saw everyday so to speak keeps you measured and grounded.”

Physically
“Being active, sound nutrition, hydration and breathing. You just can’t underestimate these four foundational elements to your energy. “

Mentally and emotionally
“Meditation is practice to focusing the mind. It’s a daily practice and something that has massive benefits in a number of areas.”

Passion and vision
“Finally, working towards something your passionate about is enlivening. I find developing a compelling vision that you feel inspired by is incredibly up-lifting. If you don’t have one, become passionate about developing one. It’s something that will change over time but it’s something that will help you lead yourself better, motivate you (especially during challenging times) and keep you focused and measured.”