“Stay hungry, stay foolish,” Steve Jobs encouraged the Stanford University graduating class in his famous 2005 speech. He continued, “… the only way to do great work is to love what you do …”. And you? Are you still hungry? Does what you do also bring you joy? What are you passionate about?
When you’re genuinely enthusiastic about something, you don’t need to be driven — the vision propels you. Give your creativity enough room. It’s the only thing that multiplies the more you use it: be lavish!
Create enthusiasm — don’t give ideas killers a chance.
Ideas killer: Jeering
“You can still complain, can’t you?” Yes, of course — it can be relieving to let go once in a while. Sometimes. But it won’t get you anywhere. Complaining restricts your perspective, only depletes your spirit, and dries up creativity. If you’re busy shifting blame and looking for culprits, you won’t make progress in the ideation process. If you spent just half as much time and energy on a constructive mindset, you’d undoubtedly reach your goal faster.
The solution is simple: stop feeling sorry for yourself. Climb out of the valley of complaints. Get moving and try to do better. Take responsibility. Clear out and make enough space for a variety of ideas. Focus on what’s possible, not on what’s impossible. So, how much energy are you willing to invest in a better idea?
Ideas killer: Criticism
“Oh, that won’t work anyway,” “You’ll never get that approved,” “It’s not that new, though” … if you’re looking for reasons for or against something, you’ll find them. Whether out of envy or principle, ideas killers are quick to criticize. But criticism has no place in the ideation process. It’s explicitly excluded. This includes non-verbal criticism, too. Head shaking, eye rolling, bored glances, checking your smartphone for updates — all are ideas killers par excellence.
Point it out and show the red card to incorrigible critics. Those who only bring you down have no place in a creative process. Seek out sparring partners who inspire you, challenge you constructively, and help you elevate your ideas to new heights.
Ideas killer: Languor
The pros and cons of languor. Languor is beneficial only when it provides time for dreaming. When downtime stimulates curiosity and spontaneously gives rise to new things, it’s a huge asset for creativity. But if it only results in feelings of apathy, weariness, and inertia, every stage of the creative process ends up in a dead-end. Everything is blocked, every prospect is obstructed. Instead of pursuing new ideas with enthusiasm, you’re just going through the motions.
Use languor as a creativity enabler, but resist it when it causes lethargy. It’s up to you: try to see the world through different eyes — it’s worth it. Don’t withdraw, take action and do it.
Ideas killer: Mistrust
“Oh, you don’t know anything about that.” — Such statements quickly drive any budding idea back into its shell. No matter how brilliant it is, it might not get a second chance if someone involved in the process callously dismisses suggestions, repeatedly postpones them, or claims other ideas as their own. Trust diminishes, and frustration rises. When distrust is the only thing at the table, it’s a creative disaster.
Tune out the naysayers, pessimists, and complainers. Allow yourself the freedom to listen only to your constructive sparring partners. It’s not only better for your well-being but also more enjoyable. And it will undoubtedly lead to better ideas.
Ideas killer: Norm
“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on,” Albert Einstein once demanded. But how can it spread when blockades of norms and expectations stifle imagination? Creativity can truly flourish only when unexpected and crazy ideas are part of the game. However, those who can only see as far as the edge of the plate will serve up a bland ideas stew, one after the other.
Sharpen your senses. Learn to think in options and alternatives, deviate from norms, and break free from entrenched thought patterns. This opens up limitless possibilities and new opportunities. Foster creativity and challenge yourself to think “outside the box.”
gil com | creative identity and beyond
For connecting communication + promoting personal growth, brand authenticity, a motivating corporate culture, and opening up new spaces for creative thinking.
Creative Planner, Communication Psychologist in Training, Systemic Business Coach, Facilitator, Mentor, Sparring Partner, VR Expert (XR-C)