The right-brained creativity myth isn't the only limited notion of what creativity is, what it requires, and how it happens. Again, let me be audacious enough to mention another one: the creative thinking myth. And you tell me what you think.
Is there a science or an art to manifesting our dreams and achieving our goals? Is there something beyond wishful thinking and empty truisms that will up the chances that our wondrous best self will flourish in 2012?
Yes. No. Sort of. Not exactly. Apparently. Possibly.
Most creatives struggle with at least three kinds of distracting insects—life's fleas, society's gnats, and the mind's mosquitoes. Tools & resources can help you focus on doing your best work day-in, day-out.
Creatives age. Even by your late twenties if not sooner, the body creaks and falters. The mind's microprocessor slows down. And the physical energy that propels your sheer will and volition gets sapped.
So you push through your work, knowing that you're not creating at your best but "good enough" and that faking it really well will have to suffice.
What to do?
Instead of managing time like some begrudged worker, we can shape it. Think of yourself as a potter more than a manager. To show up and shape time as a creative has less to do with calendars and more to do with loving the mind. And the body.
Are some successful people innately or genetically disposed to "lean into uncertainty" and its three hobgoblins of fear, doubt, and anxiety? The just-released book by Jonathan Fields, Uncertainty pursues that question and offers grounded insight.
What if in putting together a book no one intends to profit financially from the book's proceeds? Even though the book might sell a million copies? And over 80% of the proceeds go to save lives? Welcome to a new way of thinking about editing and publishing a book. It’s the brilliant concept behind the book released today called End Malaria.
Would watching Michael Jordan waft across a basketball court inspire you to become a more skilled hoopster? Would listening to Eric "Slowhand" Clapton (tagged by Rolling Stone as the #4 guitarist of all time) goad you to dust off your six-stringer and try your own hand? I wonder what good admiration can serve us creative adults.
When starting a new creative endeavor, fear of the unknown can override all joyful anticipation. But taking concrete stock of those fears and converting them into pursuit of mastery goals can revive your enthusiasm, help you avoid delusion, and lead to gratification.
Exercise bores you. You'd rather spend your time working on ideas or projects than be at a gym.
But you also know you need it. Maybe what will get you into yoga pants or power walking shoes is a meaningful motivation - and maybe the fact that moving your body benefits your creativity.
Granted, it will take more than Superman to make a difference in our schools and colleges. But the mounting national dialogue on creativity and education suggests we might be primed to do just that. Are we? If so, we'll have to address culture, colleges, and even good ol' uncertainty.
Ideasicle founder and advertising smart-guy Will Burns talks with Jeffrey Davis about the biological impulse to create, how serendipity and environment stimulate innovative ideas, how harnessed breathing directly affects the creative unconscious, & more.
Fear and doubt can take over our bodies like obnoxious house guests whom, after a few years, we've unintentionally allowed to move in for the long haul. Here are five ways to start rebuilding your creative house from the foundation.
It's Earth Day, and chances are you'll spend hours in front of a digital device and only minutes outdoors. Why would entrepreneurs, creatives & business people need to take a hike or plant a tree to hone their edge? Spending time outdoors could be a key way to expand your creative process - and optimize your creative mind.
Crafting an authentic, creative life is challenging. But that is just what you choose to do - you who refuse to make a cookie-cutter family or live in a predictable relationship or function like an automaton at your job or spend your weekends doing default mass-non-think activities.
You choose to craft this one wild life.
Being open to delightful surprise. Every. Single. Day. That's a practice worth my time. And worth yours if you're an artist, designer, writer, advertising genius, or anyone who has an audience, tribe, or clients.
Why would one of the nation's top-notch creativity teams (paid around $200,000 a day for some sessions) stretch before brainstorming? How does engaging the body stimulate creative innovation? The sciences are affirming some ancient wisdom about the embodied mind & embodied imagination.
I often write information-laden articles. But numerous psychology studies would support my saying we often need to welcome a space of not-knowing. "A disposition to wonder," that perpetual questioner Socrates reminds us, "is the beginning of all wisdom." Why? Because not being a know-it-all is the beginning of true knowing.
The most innovative people I interview regard each day a certain way. An opportunity. A window. A portal. A day can be more than a list of tasks to check off. I'm convinced each day is a collective poem begging to be shaped and written by each of us. How are you going to experience your days this year?
I'm a cheerleader for creative action. Getting things done. Making ideas happen. But I want meaningful things done. And I want to make ideas happen with right intention. Right intention with right action can make for a doubly powerful creative life in 2011.
Wonder eludes being pinned down and evades our recognizing that we're in its midst. Yet, based on this middle-aged writer's experiences, research, and explorations, wonder may turn out to be the most important emotional experience for us adults to cultivate. Especially if we're in creative fields and have problems with motivation, novelty, follow-through, collaboration, or project completion. Wonder - like happiness and compassion - can be practiced and re-invited into our work and personal lives. This blog aims to share solid ideas related to just that. See you in the woods.