Creativity: panacea or poison pill?


We all get them, don’t we. That great idea, bursting from a creative spark that emerges seductively out of left field, that will magically transform some aspect of everyone’s lives, and make us famous and rich beyond our wildest dreams. We ponder it, turn it over in our minds and build a case for its invincibility, its inevitability. It grows and becomes ever more beautiful. We grow impatient with our routine, the drudgery of our everyday putting-food-on-the-table mentality that we have allowed ourselves to sink into since, probably after we completed our education, we let go of the ideals and dreams and said hello to Real Life.

We live in a box – both figuratively and literally. We surround ourselves with other boxes, and friends and colleagues who have their own. We regard each other over the garden fence and compare boxes, and our feelings of self-worth go up and down in accordance with the relative conditions of all the boxes in our universe. We are relatively comfortable with that for most of the time. It’s familiar and appears to be sustainable, and it’s what everyone does, isn’t it? So just get on with it.

But then this idea comes along. Big and shiny. Nothing is the same again. Your partner looks worried, because he/she can see how this is affecting you and realizes that the boxes may get tipped up or even torn apart. Your friends start treating you as though you have taken up transcendental meditation or something much worse. You’re not fitting in their friend box any more, and it freaks them out because they don’t want the natural order to change. They try to see it as just a phase, and they pat your arm and say ‘there, there, you’ll be OK soon’.

But the order has changed.

It has been said that it takes great courage to have one single creative thought, because when you do, you are in a minority…of one. So it’s much easier not to be creative. After all, who wants to rock the boat of a comfortable life, even if there are discomforts that you can deny/suppress/ignore, and you are well trained in doing that? On the other hand, what are you planning to do for the rest of your life, in your box? As the song says: ‘Is that all there is?’

Creativity is probably the most valuable quality we have. It’s our nature to be creative – otherwise we wouldn’t even be here. Once we stop being creative – in all aspects of our lives – we are literally going no-where. Without creativity we are simply running routines and feeding the machine. With creativity, we are shooting for the stars and literally making history.

So, this is what I plan to blog about over the coming year. I probably won’t be offering lists of hints and tips, and my blogs probably won’t look as if they relate directly to business, but they will. Businesses are people, after all, and I will be blogging from my own personal experience, as someone who has been in and out of business for many years. Hopefully it will be interesting, sometimes amusing, and occasionally thought-provoking, as well as encouraging and inspiring creativity in my readers.

Let me know if that seems like a good idea.

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