Challenge the Rules
We develop rules because they keep us safe. Some rules are explicit (do not steal) while others are implicit (bathe regularly).
The safety we get from rules has some benefits. For example, rules can lower stress and speed things up. However, staying safe by following rules is not in any way creative. Pull out a thesaurus and you’ll see that safe is synonymous with ‘guarded’ while creative is synonymous with ‘inspired’ and ‘original’.
Safe is not an option.
Challenge the rules. As a business owner, you should always ask: Why am I doing what I am doing? Is it necessary? Why is it necessary and according to whom? What happens if I do things differently? Do I need head-shots on my business cards? Does my commercial need a slogan?
You might find that the rules are in place for good reason. But more than likely you’ll find that the rules you’ve followed under the guise of ‘safety’ have enslaved your creativity and prevented its full expression.
Challenge your Assumptions
You do not need to be a ‘creative’ in order to be creative. One might assume, for example, that because you’re a real estate business owner and not an independent musician that you’re not creative. This assumption is as false as it is unfair.
Creativity is not exclusive to certain people or professions. Creativity is not an appearance or a resume or a reputation. Creativity is a universal attribute; it can exercised by anybody at any time in any shape or form. It’s inspiration; the seed of an idea that when nourished can reach its full potential.
We all have creativity within us. The key to actually being creative is as simple as doing vs. not doing. Are you willing to devote the time and effort to grow that idea from seed to flower? Or are you going to let it wither away?
Challenge your Approach
I have two boys, one is 7 and the other is 5. The older boy is rational and generally laid back while the younger boy has what I would describe as a bulldog’s temperament. If I approach the latter as I approach the former, I’ll get punched in the head (literally!). So I have to be flexible, keep an open mind and approach the ‘bulldog’ differently than I would the ‘brain’.
Creativity is no different. Like children, the creative process can be spontaneous and unpredictable. It’s so easy to get trapped in a particular way of doing things. It worked once so therefore it will work again. But when you’re dealing with something as unpredictable as creativity, you need to be flexible.
What worked for your last project may not work for the next. Using the same approach can result in a reproduction of your previous efforts. Reproduction is by definition unoriginal and not creative.
Challenge your approach. When you get trapped, escape. When you get bored, get busy. Move, alter, adapt, and change.
Creativity flourishes in response to the challenges it endures.
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