Saturday, August 23, 2014

Setting Yourself Up for Creativity - Pt. 7

Hope you are enjoying your weekend so far.  I know I am and will continue to do so having carved out some Saturday studio time...always a boon to get an extra day in the week to play :)...oh!
I mean work ;)

But first - I thought a mom light bulb joke would be fun:

And here's the next part of John Cleese's creativity talk.  If you wish to listen to all of it on You Tube just click here:
Humor is an essential part of spontaneity, an essential part of playfulness, an essential part of the creativity that we need to solve problems, no matter how 'serious' they may be.
So when you set up a space/time oasis, giggle all you want.
And there, ladies and gentlemen, are the five factors which you can arrange to make your lives more creative:
Space, Time, Time, Confidence, and Lord Jeffrey Archer.
So, now you know how to get into the Open Mode. 
The only other requirement is that you keep mind gently 'round the subject you're pondering.
You'll daydream, of course.  But, you just keep bringing your mind back, just like with meditation. Because - and this is the extraordinary thing about creativity - if you just keep your mind resting against the subject - in a friendly but persistent way - sooner or later you will get a reward from your unconscious...probably in the shower later....or at breakfast the next morning.  
But suddenly you are rewarded.  Out of the blue - a new thought mysteriously appears.  If you've put in the pondering time first.
So, how many Cecil Parkinsons does it take to change a lightbulb? Answer: two, one to screw it in, one to screw it up.
How many account executives does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Answer: Can I get back to you on that?
How many Norwei--- Oh, sorry, how many Yugoslav--- how many Malt-- how many Dutch--- I'm out of jokes.
Oh! One thing!
Looking at you all reminds me.  I think it's easy to be creative if you've got other people to play with.
I always find that if two (or more) of us throw ideas backwards and forwards - I get to more interesting and original places than I could have ever have gotten to on my own.
But there is a danger, a real danger!
If there's one person around you who makes you feel defensive - you lose the confidence to play, and it's goodbye creativity!
So.  Always make sure your play friends are people that you like and trust.
And never say anything to squash them either!
Never say "no" or "wrong" or "I don't like that."  Always be positive, and build on what is being said:
"Would it be even better if…"
"I don't quite understand that, can you just explain it again?"
"Go on…"
"What if…?"
"Let's pretend…"
Try to establish as free an atmosphere as possible.
Sometimes I wonder if the success of the Japanese isn't partly due to their instinctive understanding of how to use groups creatively.
Westerners are often amazed at the unstructured nature of Japanese meetings but maybe it's just that very lack of structure, that absence of time pressure, that frees them to solve problems so creatively.
And how clever of the Japanese sometimes to plan that un-structured-ness by, for example, insisting that the first people to give their views are the most junior, so that they can speak freely without the possibility of contradicting what's already been said by somebody more important.
This is so important.  I know I enjoy positive brain storming sessions with my husband.  
And I love visiting with other friends too.  Anyone you know is creative in their own way - even if many of them don't think so themselves!  It really does feed my spirit to spend time with other people I trust to be positive...and it will feed yours too, I promise!

Tomorrow we get a break from the John Cleese Creativity talk and we will have our Inspiration Sunday.   I hope that today (and every day) you find someone to play and be creative with.

'Til tomoorow!