“Inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving. It comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude, a little idleness.”
— Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write
“I do not believe that creative products should be developed in a vacuum.”
— Ed Catmull, Creativity Inc.
In my last post here on WordPress I started to write about my insights into the nature of creativity; something that’s been on my radar as both an educator and entrepreneur for some time. It’s something that has led me to actively pursue both content curation and creation, and ways to pay it forward for the greater good. It’s driven me to write my business book on female entrepreneurship, launch the NICE Initiative, and devour Pixar Founder/President Ed Catmull’s book, Creativity Inc. It’s contributed to my ongoing quest to better balance humanity and technology in the iEra, and better understand and harness the moral power of curiosity; professionally and personally.
As I wrote last week:
For me, creativity is about methodically and successfully harnessing the power of curiosity.
Many people I know are very suited to entrepreneurship in terms of aptitude re: their actions. Yet that ship never sails, and not because of lack of drive or lack of venture capital. I believe it’s due to the fact that their mindset and execution re: leadership remains murky.
Why? Because of missing puzzle pieces of creativity or its mismanagement.
Why does that happen?
• Some say it’s because they misunderstand that curiosity is as important as intelligence, especially when it comes to making key decisions.
• Some say it’s because they don’t understand the symbiotic nature of curiosity and creativity to begin with.
• Others say it’s because they don’t know how curiosity actually spurs sustainable change.
Honing one’s curiosity is important for enabling and sustaining self-improvement and overall achievement of one’s goals; something Pixar beautifully conveys by having Notes Day and field trips to do research on vistas and cultures later portrayed in emotionally resonant films like Finding Nemo and Up. In fact, Pixar’s creative process is legendary, and proves that curiosity is one of the key catalysts of innovation.
That’s why I advocate for curiosity, play, and regular intervals of break time; in childhood and in adulthood. I’m a huge fan of doodling, of travel, of reading material from different genres and eras, and of injecting color, especially green, into my environments and line of vision. So often I see people frequently cop out instead of being persistent and tolerant of detours and mistakes. We spend so much valuable time rationalizing, telling ourselves lies about creativity instead of proactively and methodically taking action to harness the power of curiosity.
Why? Because we are stumbling around in the dark, not learning the truth, or worse, trying to cover up these truths:
1. Curiosity and creativity are being methodically spliced and suppressed in schools, especially with the advent of Common Core Standards into curricula across America.
2. There is a cyclical, overlapping relationship between curiosity and creativity which needs rethinking, redefining, and re-engagement; across workplaces and educational settings all over the world.
In my book, The NICE Reboot, I make the case for curiosity and write about discounting myths and outdated mindsets. Here’s an excerpt:
One of the most profound essays I ever read was “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten”, written by Robert Fulghum. I had it framed for my office, and have shared it with my seminar audiences for years. It is a testimonial to the social development of a child. It is also a doctrine about learning. In it, are wise words to live by. As a human being. As an entrepreneur. Words about the realities of multitasking, and the benefits of curiosity. I will only partially quote it, but I strongly suggest that you read it, in its entirety.
Live a balanced life – learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play
and work every day some.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic,
hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books
and the first word you learned – the biggest
word of all – LOOK.
A person needs to be curious, in order to orchestrate change. A curious person is not satisfied with the status quo. A curious person knows the importance of education and constant learning, to be used as stepping stones, to accrue more knowledge. A curious person studies patterns and alters his/her own behavior accordingly, based on the new information provided. Isn’t that what entrepreneurship is all about?
Isn’t that what creativity and innovation are all about? That’s why “going with the flow” and a herd mentality are so counterproductive for today’s entrepreneur. That’s why asking “why not?” is so productive in entrepreneurship. Be unreasonable! Be curious! Be creative!
Thank you Richard Zreik and Michelle Glover for giving me great visuals for this post! I realize the images are not Pixar related, but they are still in keeping with my theme 🙂
To be continued…..