joyful woman outdoors at sunset“It’s your internal motivation that opens the creative spigot.”
The Musician’s Way,
 p. 105

Those of us who create day after day know that things don’t always go smoothly.

Sometimes our work flows; other times difficulties slow us down.

But whether we deal with good days or not, one simple practice helps keep our creativity rolling: an inner smile.

The Power of an Inner Smile

Researchers are proving that when we reinforce positive thoughts, our creative powers ignite.

See my post Positivity for a look at one researcher’s work; also check out the Science News article, “Positive Mood Allows Brain to Think More Creatively.”

How do we generate positive thoughts? Aside from using affirmations, one gentle technique that I’ve taught and employed for years is to uphold an inner smile.

I’ve learned that when we adopt an inner smile, we support a range of creativity-boosting habits such as these five:

1. Focus

An inner smile activates our sense of interest, motivating us to focus on the task at hand.

2. Trust

Smiling inwardly helps us trust in our resources and tackle problems with confidence.


Carrying an inner smile quells worries, allowing our best selves to emerge, even in high-pressure situations.

4. Resilience

Our positive mindset mobilizes us to accept setbacks as steps on the path of growth and discovery.The Musician's Way book cover

5. Wonder

With shining eyes, we appreciate the opportunities before us, especially when we remember that every moment of our lives is miraculous.

See The Musician’s Way for diverse strategies that infuse music making with wonder and transcendence. 

Related posts
10 Affirmation That Energize Music Practice
The Abundance Mentality
The Growth Mindset
The Self-Motivated Musician

© 2013 Gerald Klickstein
Photo © FWStudio, licensed from