Being creative takes work.
Sometimes I just want to do things the easy way, the simple way, the way that requires the least amount of effort. Sometimes I don’t even care if what I’m doing has meaning, I just want to get through it.
Do you find yourself here? Do you feel at times that you just want to “get through it”? Do you want to put it the “least amount of effort possible”?
Take a minute and think about some the most memorable speakers or communicators you’ve heard in your lifetime. Do you remember them because of “what” they said, or because of “how” they said it?
For me, it’s the “how”. People that approached a topic differently then others, people who put effort and creativity into a presentation,people who surprised me: They’re the ones I remember.
One stands out: I was at an international conference in Illinois years ago, and one of the speakers, a global statesman, in the middle of his presentation, pulled his pants down and showed us his boxers that were covered with a map of the world. He then went on to talk about the world and how important it is that we have a global perspective. I remember that talk. I remember the illustration, and I remember how it caught be off guard. He took a huge risk, and created a historical moment that not only I can remember years later, but thousands continue to talk about.
I have a book on my shelf from 1986 by Roger von Oech. It’s called “A Kick In The Seat Of The Pants” and it’s a book about creativity. Von Oech’s approach to creativity is that sometimes we need a swift kick to get us out of the rut we’re in, to get us out of the routine and the boring. He writes about different styles of creativity. He writes:
“It’s difficult to get your creative juices flowing if you’re always being practical, following rules, afraid to make mistakes, not looking into outside areas, or under the influence of any of the other mental locks.” (Roger von Oech)
He goes on to say: “By the time the average person finishes college, he or she will have taken over 2,600 tests, quizzes, and exams. The right answer approach becomes deeply ingrained in our thinking. This may be fine for some mathematical problems where there is in fact only one right answer. The difficulty is that most of life isn’t this way. Life is ambiguous; there are many right answers – all depending on what you’re looking for. But if you think there is only one right answer, then you’ll stop looking as soon as you find one.” (Roger von Oech)
The challenge today to learn to think outside the box.
- To not settle for easy, quick or effortless.
- To keep looking for the “best” answer and approach, not what’s most attainable
- To allow creativity to push you to think and to answer to question, “what if…..”
- To wake up to an incredible word around you, full of opportunity, lessons and practical applications.
This is a KICK for each of you. I’ve been KICKED, and it’s time to wake up and not settle.
Today, approach something in a way you’ve never approached it before. Be creative. Put some effort into looking at it a different way. You’ll be amazed how fun, how rewarding and how fulfilling this approach is. It might even stick with you!
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