Creativity is not a mystery. We are meant and created to be… creative. But just like every tool in the shop, or every piece of gear in the cache, we all have varying degrees of talents and skills. Creativity is not a rare insight, that only rare and odd people have. No! Creativity is a lifestyle that needs to be built and strengthened through process.
Small, not large, ideas are the beginnings of great projects. These “small” ideas themselves don’t change the world, but as we’ll see… living out life creatively weekly, daily and hourly, these ideas can become processed into full blown mind benders. And by the way, don’t push away “process”. Everything, except chaos, has a process from building.
Research shows the daily practices that exceptional creatives use to keep having those small ideas, and how to bring them together in a creative process that consistently leads to successful creative outcomes. If we can understand it, we can learn it.
So here are 8 Stages of creative living…
- Ask: How to ask the right questions. This alone is pretty interesting to do. Check out a recent article on functional learning and asking amazing questions.
- Learn: Prepare your mind. Everyone has their own way of doing things, but simply put… a cluttered mind is a terrible way to live. So declutter it.
- Look: Spot the answers around you. Pat Rhodes used to tell me that the answers will present themselves. Learn to listen before speaking and watch as a child.
- Play: Imagine possible worlds. I will admit, this could be hard. Read cool fiction novels from CS Lewis or JRR Tolkien or others. Vision the world you are in when engaged with such books and authors.
- Think: How to have great ideas. Read and listen to visionary people… Jobs, Musk, Ford, Zimmerman, ect.. architects, musicians, entrepreneurs. You don’t have to agree with them to understand their creative mind.
- Fuse: How to combine ideas. Every aspect of life… including rigging systems, are fused concepts into a synchronized process. Consider body dynamics (kinesthetic) and vision like Biathlon. In my own world, I have watched Jason Ilowite stand in one place for ten minutes (in a zen state) and turn around tell me he’s got it; This after I told him what I wanted to shoot and why. Poetry in motion!
- Choose: Make good ideas even better. I will be honest, learning is all about failing well. Successful people simply understand the process of failing exceptionally well. Perfectionists make terrible creatives… but they can learn.
- Make: Make your ideas visible. The hardest step for sure (besides maybe #7). Commit to the process and see it through. And remember #7, if you don’t fail, you know there is way to many unanswered questions you need to figure out.
- Incubation: While not technically a stage.. I would argue it could it. Let the ideas and stages bake. Come back to the often and when ready… move to the next one. So essentially, Incubation is sort of mixed throughout the process.
I will be honest, with people with me (short attention spans), staying on track is tough… the effort is so worth it!
Lastly, I want to give you a freebie insight with… Incubation!
Incubation is more a system of mental steps that great thinkers and creatives take in order to expand.
- Preparation. Wrestling the logical or creative problem in question.
- Incubation (itself). Putting aside the problem for a while and do something different. In another word… “downtime” from the problem.
- Illumination. The “aha”… the solution just presented itself (thanks Pat!)
- Verification. Does the solution or insight “hold water”?
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So there you have it. These last 4 steps are crucial, but the incubation (#2) is the one people bypass a bit. Don’t do it! So in a soon to released blog, we’ll talk about Fortitude; Keeping the momentum when you feel like dumping the entire load.
Peace on your days…