Let go and trust

Archive for December, 2015

Mental blocks part II

Mental blocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. That’s Not My Job

In an era of hyper-specialization, it’s those who happily explore completely unrelated areas of life and knowledge who best see that everything is related. This goes back to what ad man Carl Allysaid about creative persons—they want to be know-it-alls.

Sure, you’ve got to know the specialized stuff in your field, but if you view yourself as an explorerrather than a highly-specialized cog in the machine, you’ll run circles around the technical master in the success department.

7. Being a “Serious” Person

Most of what keeps us civilized boils down to conformity, consistency, shared values, and yes, thinking about things the same way everyone else does. There’s nothing wrong with that necessarily, but if you can mentally accept that it’s actually nothing more than groupthink that helps a society function, you can then give yourself permission to turn everything that’s accepted upside down and shake out the illusions.

Leaders from Egyptian pharaohs to Chinese emperors and European royalty have consulted withfools, or court jesters, when faced with tough problems. The persona of the fool allowed the truth to be told, without the usual ramifications that might come with speaking blasphemy or challenging ingrained social conventions. Give yourself permission to be a fool and see things for what they really are.

8. Avoiding Ambiguity

We rationally realize that most every situation is ambiguous to some degree. And although dividing complex situations into black and white boxes can lead to disaster, we still do it. It’s an innate characteristic of human psychology to desire certainty, but it’s the creative thinker who rejects the false comfort of clarity when it’s not really appropriate.

Ambiguity is your friend if you’re looking to innovate. The fact that most people are uncomfortable exploring uncertainty gives you an advantage, as long as you can embrace ambiguity rather than run from it.

9. Being Wrong is Bad

We hate being wrong, and yet mistakes often teach us the most. Thomas Edison was wrong 1,800 times before getting the light bulb right. Edison’s greatest strength was that he was not afraid to be wrong.

The best thing we do is learn from our mistakes, but we have to free ourselves to make mistakes in the first place. Just try out your ideas and see what happens, take what you learn, and try something else. Ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen if I’m wrong? You’ll often find the benefits of being wrong greatly outweigh the ramifications.

10. I’m Not Creative

Denying your own creativity is like denying you’re a human being. We’re all limitlessly creative, but only to the extent that we realize that we create our own limits with the way we think. If you tell yourself you’re not creative, it becomes true. Stop that.

In that sense, awakening your own creativity is similar to the path reported by those who seek spiritual enlightenment. You’re already enlightened, just like you’re already creative, but you have to strip away all of your delusions before you can see it. Acknowledge that you’re inherently creative, and then start tearing down the other barriers you’ve allowed to be created in your mind.

This post was inspired by the book  “A Whack on the Side of the Head”, which is a wonderful primer for getting around mental blocks. I hope it helped you just as it expanded my way of thinking about creativity!?

 

Do you Recognize these Mental Blocks?

Mental blocks

 

Whether you’re trying to solve a tough problem, start a business, get attention for that business or write an interesting article, creative thinking is crucial. The process boils down to changing your perspective and seeing things differently than you currently do.

People (myself included) like to call this “thinking outside of the box,” which is the wrong way to look at it, as I found out.

Just like Neo needed to understand that “there is no spoon” in the film The Matrix, you need to realize “there is no box” to step outside of. You create your own imaginary boxes simply by living life and accepting certain things as “real” when they are just as illusory as the beliefs of a paranoid delusional. The difference is, enough people agree that certain man-made concepts are “real,” so you’re viewed as “normal.” This is good for society overall, but it’s that sort of unquestioning consensus that inhibits your natural creative abilities.

So, rather than looking for ways to inspire creativity, you should just realize (more…)

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