Creativity is an elusive and strange phenomenon that both eludes and tickles people.
For most people a stroke of creative genius is just that, a stroke. One miserable stroke and then it’s gone. Forever. For a select few, creativity seems to be a fountain bubbling up in the centre of their being, constantly oozing out original results.hether you are creating works of art, or inventing the next great gadget, having a handle on the creative process can benefit each one of us. The evidence is clear about how creative souls have changed the look and feel of our world. Their ideas have influenced our daily routines. Who doesn’t want to have an idea of their own revolutionize the world and earn them millions of dollars?
So, what do the creative few, ‘the Originals’, have that the rest of us plebs don’t? What is the difference that makes the difference? Why do some ideas launch people into their Disney-type destiny and others just fade into obscurity?
The answer is simpler and more shocking than you could imagine. The difference between those that create and those that look on with envy is the great ‘I am’ People that use ‘I am’ in their creative process are less likely to achieve originality on a consistent basis. Originals rarely, if ever, use ‘I am’ in relation to their creative drafts and results.
The brainstorming phase of original thinking requires our minds to explore odd, eccentric, and unrealistic concepts. It’s in this phase that the majority of us look at our ideas and say, ‘Oh for goodness sakes, I am stupid. These ideas are so ridiculous, I am an idiot.’ If we don’t say these things to ourselves, we are often surrounded by people that willingly voice our deepest fear – Oh but you are insane!
Consequently, we let go of the fledgling ideas and abandon the creative process. It seems our identity is more important than a few silly ideas. This is not true for Originals. Not that their identity is less important, but they don’t link who they are to what they are doing.
Instead of saying ‘I am a failure,’ Originals might say ‘I made a mistake.’ Having their dignity and identity intact leaves Originals free to explore their ideas, to make mistakes, to refine the process, to create.
The truth that makes all the difference is: success is a numbers game! Very few people succeed at their first attempt. Babies are a great example of this principle in action. They fall many times as they learn to walk. Bumping a head once or twice doesn’t cause the baby to think ‘I am not a walker. I am a crawler. I will just crawl from now on.’ They just get up and try again, identity safe and secure.
Originals bump their heads, but they stick with their idea. Picasso produced many thousands of art pieces in his lifetime to have a hundred or so masterpieces. Bach wrote music daily for a handful of memorable results. Even Edison failed thousands of times in mastering the simple light bulb, yet it changed the world in which we live.
Disney drew many characters, thousands of faces on flowers until his name became synony-mouse with creativity. Originals allow themselves to make mistakes as part of the creative process. Allow yourself the grace to fail, to play, to tweak, in order to succeed. Don’t turn your idea into your identity. Keep your identity and realize ‘I made a mistake.’ Then correct that mistake until it brings you the success you seek. Stay at the drawing board until your idea forms your destiny.