Through the years of being a designer, I’ve developed my own personal go-to scenes that I know bring out the creative in me, or at least they get them juices flowing. It was certainly easier when I was an employee – as the weight of the world (the company) was not on my head-shoulders-knees-and toes… All I needed to do was to go to a place with tonnes of books; bookstores and libraries did it for me. Just being around a lot of them made me feel like LIFE IS FULL of ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES – and it’s true. It’s is filled with endless possibilities. The books…tiny and big, filled with so much knowledge through copy and images represented the millions of doorways I had to enter different worlds and learn different things – all at the tip of my fingers. Knowing that in itself made me feel super human!
Now, things have changed slightly. I run my own practice. And I am ambitious. And I’d like to think, I’m somewhat responsible to my staff, first and foremost – our work values and of course – my client’s needs. So how does creative thinking fit in that. Because with all these responsibilities, come a pretty monkey mind. So many thoughts fill the head in a millisecond – where do I find the time to chill out and think good thoughts.
One also is constantly bombarded with comments and instructions and opinions from the world and it’s uncle. Cause they’re all experts. Or have seen someone do something that they think I should do too.
Knowing I’ll be turning 40 this year, has somehow helped.
I’ve decided to surround myself with positive folk. People better than me. And less of the naysayers – critics – or just generally negative nellies. Running something on your own is hard enough – the number of times you need to pick yourself up in a day – countless. There’s just no room for people who immediately go towards commenting on the bad and completely ignoring the good.
Yes, quality control is important – but there’s a place and time for that. Support by ‘right’ the people around you is very important. They are the average of you…so make sure you pick and choose who you keep close by.
I’m currently following a short program by John C Maxwell; Jump Start Your Thinking. And it’s a 90 Day Improvement Plan that seriously rocks! OR at least – it’s come at the right time in my life where I get to implement the steps and not worry about the consequences.
Here’s a little that could help some of us get into that much needed creative zone.
“Develop a creative environment. Negative environments kill great ideas. A creative environment is like a greenhouse where ideas get seeded, sprout up, and flourish. A creative environment:
- encourages and openly rewards creativity.
- places a high value on trust among team members and individuality, because creativity always risks failure.
- embraces and celebrates those who are creative.
- focuses on innovation, not just invention. Creative people say, “give me a good idea and I’ll give you a better idea!”
- places a high value on options, which bring opportunities.
- is willing to let people go outside the lines and challenge boundaries.
- appreciates the power and promotes the freedom of a dream.
The more creativity-friendly you can make your environment, the more potential it has to become creative.”
I attended a creative writing course at one point of my life with the wonderful Sharon Bakar of WordWorks in Kuala Lumpur, and she said something to us in class that has stuck with me till now. “Who are you to edit yourself? Just write. Keep the flow. Doesn’t matter what comes out initially. Just write.” I can’t honestly say if those were the exact words but that’s what I heard, at least.
So people of the world. Do yourself and the people around you a favour. Go out there and create. Don’t hold back. The world needs you to be 100% you. And never ever hold back others.