CREATIVITY IS LIKE HAPPINESS, THE MORE YOU CHASE IT, THE LESS IT HAPPENS
Whether you're an entrepreneur, graphic designer, accountant or athlete, your job will require a level of creativity. A joining of the dots per se. Sometimes, it comes naturally, sometimes it's impossible. Why is that?
Have you ever noticed that the best ideas you have either come in the shower, on the toilet, or in bed? Probably mostly the shower though right? Maybe because its the only place we don't take our phone. Only a matter of time though I'm sure. This aside, it seems that with a splash of Lynx Africa shower gel all of the thoughts that usually run around my mind seem to settle for a few minutes. And once I stop thinking, ideas tend to come naturally.
The absolute opposite scenario to this is working on a pitch. If you've ever worked up to a tight deadline, you'll know that coming up with ideas whilst being stressed is unbelievably hard, it's like the door of creativity has been firmly glued shut. So how can we be creative under pressure?
Be like Mike (spoiler alert*)
In the recent Netflix documentary, 'The Last Dance' about the rise of Micheal Jordan and the Chicago Bulls (Ep. 10 specifically) we see how coach Phil Jackson uses Buddhist mindfulness techniques to help focus the players and keep them anchored in the present moment. The results are obvious and is clearly evidence that this stuff works whether you think it's a bit hippy or not.
If we think about it, it makes complete sense. We wouldn't start our idea generation on a busy page full of text, we would prefer a clean white page. The same applies to our headspace. If we see meditation as a cleaning of the mind, we can make room for new ideas which arrive more naturally.
I'm too busy to meditate
Recently when I have taught design students at Shillington and I sense that they are stressed or anxious I will often advise them to try meditation or even just some exercise to clear their mind. Some of them take the advice, but a common response is "Are you kidding? I'm too busy for that!!"
For anyone reading this thinking the same, here's what Gandhi thought
"I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one."
Ideas are about quality, not quantity and a good idea can usually save you heaps of time. If you have a tight deadline, then you need to perform twice as efficiently, rather than produce double the amount of crap.
I don't want to preach or pretend I've got it all figured out but if you want a way to be more creative and to enjoy the process, this works.
Ready to give it a go?
Post by Andy Lester