December 19, 2005

Check your fragile ego at the door

I often find during my creative process for design projects, munching a burger or a coke, or even driving in rush hour that I have gentle or even sometimes magnificent leaps of creative thought. As Stephen King once noted, a good writer can't tell you where an idea came from. Nor, can a most other creative people explain the creative process any better than a writer.

Some creative people call it intuition. It just feels right. Many people who don't feel they are creative must then by association with this theory lack intuition. I wonder if that is the case. I've been in brainstorming sessions with hundreds perhaps thousands of different people in my professional career. I've seen people who claim not to have a single 'creative bone' in their body come up with remarkable leaps of imagination and solve business crisis' with grace and aplomb. Is it simply a different kind of creativity? Branded differently?

I've been accused of being to creative and in need of reigning in many times in my past. Guilty as charged. I seem to have a zest for new fresh invigorating ideas. I don't care for the words, "you can't do that". If fact, those words are often the basis for me doing just that. Question the status quo, imagine the impossible, then try to achieve it. Only as you die gloriously aflame will you know in your heart that you gave it your best shot. If you never skinned your knees as a kid, I submit that you never experienced childhood. If you never fall down as an adult, I submit that you live in fear of trying or even worse, fear of success.

Being creative doesn't make me better than anyone else. It doesn't make me smarter or better looking. What it makes me is a risk taker. The one willing to dare. AUDACITY. What a fantastic word. Serve yourself up a cup and go forth and be audacious for a day. Hell, do it for a week. If you aren't dead yet, go for a month. In 30 days, come back and tell me what you achieved. Stand up and make a statement for yourself. Lock fear outside instead of inside. Let it howl to return safe and sound to your breast. Sneer at it and refuse. 30 days. That's all I ask.


At 9:14 PM, Blogger ME said...

I think that the old adage is true the only real regret you can have is not trying something. If you try and fail at least you tried. If you never try you will never know.

At 9:41 PM, Blogger Jozee said...

"Shoot for the moon, if you fail at least you'll land among the stars."

At 2:17 AM, Blogger Still Searching... said...

If I had of listened to the ones that said "you can't do that", "it won't happen", I would be sitting in the corner in a wheelchair. My words to them, "that may happen, but if it does I'm going down kicking and screaming". They shook their heads at me in pity. It goes for all parts of life indeed.
You are so correct. No matter what it is your trying to do, you don't know what will happen unless you try, really try. Maybe you'll go down in flames, but then again, maybe you won't.

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Schuyler said...

I'm a software engineer and got a good lesson fairly early on in my career. I had this project manager that I couldn't stand. I did get one pearl of wisdom from him, though. We were designing a system for a large east coast Health Insurance company and he wanted 2 pieces of software to interface in a way that they weren't designed to. So I said, "can't be done. X won't output any format that Y can understand. Those 2 weren't designed to interoperate at all." He nodded and then said something I try to apply anytime I run into a "can't be done" scenario. Instead of saying "it can't be done", say what hurdles need to be overcome in order to make it possible. You might find one of the hurdles truly insurmountable. But, most often, someone else would have a way over individual hurdles and you'll eventually come up with a solution together. And to apply the creativity thread of this post, sometimes just explaining why something is a problem will let you noodle out a solution to said problem. _Sooooo_ many times I go to a coworker and explain a problem and in explaining it I get a solution. "Thanks, you've been a great help!!!" "uhhhh ooookkaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy" :-)

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Her Daddy's Eyes said...

Audacious for 30 days...that sounds like good fun. ;) Not a bad idea MM.



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