Creativity is NOT safe. It is not the easy choice or the tame one or the one that won’t ruffle any feathers.
I stayed home Monday to get over the worst cold I’ve had in a few years but then the antibiotics kicked in and I began to feel semi-human again. I’d been pre-booked for today, so I headed in to cover for some computer classes today while the administrators were out at meetings. Two of the classes were starting a new assignment where they get to make up a comic strip. It was in the middle of explaining the parameters of the assignment and watching the expressions on the student’s faces that I began to understand their panic.
To be really creative, to come up with something original instead of following a step-by-step pattern or set of instructions requires that you take a leap. It requires that you throw yourself away from the safe and predictable into the risky and unknown, that you take a chance. It demands that you try, even though you may not succeed.
In many ways, that is the very essence of Creativity... inviting more RISK into your life by taking CHANCES.
INHALE: Being Creative challenges us to try something new, to look beyond the ordinary and to begin to see things in new ways. It also means carving out time in an already overfilled and over scheduled day, No wonder it is far easier to sit down on the couch, put your feet up and vegetate! The most amazing thing about Creativity is that when we give ourselves the time, it ends up recharging us more than draining. When you take the leap, sometimes you get those moments where you discover you can fly!
EXHALE: Set a timer for 15 minutes. That’s less time than it takes for a frozen pizza to cook. Find a cozy spot where you won’t be interrupted and jot down TWO responses for each of these questions/statements. Try not to think too long and hard about the answers, just take a leap and scribble down the first things that come to mind.
1) Would you rather be able to fly or breathe underwater?
2) Which two people in your life make you feel like a BETTER person when you spend
time with them?
3) Who was the first famous person that you admired?
4) What toy did you play with most as a child?
5) What is the first joke that comes to mind?
Sometimes Creativity has nothing to do with what we produce, but rather what state of mind we allow ourselves to be in. Small children live there wholeheartedly, but by high school, I can see the hesitation. They are afraid of looking foolish instead of just taking a chance. Go back to thinking like a little child.
Don’t be afraid. There are no right or wrong answers. Just new steps on the journey.