After a recent stroll through the woods of creative leadership, I can tell you this; experts agree that access to our creative side comes when we first believe that we can think differently and then thoughtfully engage in a process to do so. For some, creativity is like a housemate, easy to access over breakfast cereal, while for others, creativity is more like that one friend who doesn’t return phone calls, sends cryptic texts and really only connects while drinking. So, repeat after me “I am a creative person,” and then, for those that need more than an affirmation, coffee and consciousness to be imaginative, consider this:
- Go outside! Our culture is full of stories about people finding their creative inspiration from big open landscapes (check The Bible, for examples). While mountain tops, raging seas and desert landscapes are often the backdrops for motivational tales of transformational thought, similar inspiration can be found in sunrises, sunsets, the moon, a snow flake, etc. Finding ways to connect to and experience our world beyond the manufactured landscape can bump our thoughts from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
- How about community? Do the people around us talk about interesting and inspiring things? Or, are our conversations constantly about work, the news and getting things done? Spending time with folks who are mental gymnasts breathes fresh air into mundane thoughts.
- Put down the electronics. While the world of creative stories, images and information online is endless, staring at the screen is really still just staring at the screen. Seek out unplugged experiences, give them full attention and get INVOLVED viscerally, not just virtually.
- Believe and go straight for it. Creative expression can take a myriad of forms, that’s part of its beauty. Believing that we can be creative, diving in head first and leaving our judgements behind begins our practice. From there, who knows where it will go? That’s one of the great things about being creative, success and failure earn equal marks; it is about a process more than a result.
When it is all said and done, what do we have to lose?