6 Things You Need to Be Creative

Don’t fear your idea. Get to know it. http://www.comfort-guide.com

I’m not talking about canvases, white boards, or expensive design software.

I’m talking about six personality traits you’ll need if you want to pursue that inner personal endeavor that motivates you. I believe we all have one. It’s that unshakable something we want to leave behind.

Some of us don’t know what that is yet. Some of us kind of do, but we don’t know how to accomplish it. And some of us are taking the steps to figure it out. As exciting as the prospect can be, it can also be enormously frustrating.

At PAX Prime 2012 I attended an inspiring talk that addressed just this issue: “Hope, Doubt, and the Light at the End of the Tunnel: The Struggles of Development.”

I thought I’d share a few wise insights from the panel. Hopefully they’ll help you along your path.

And if you haven’t encountered any bumps yet, be prepared. They’re part of the journey. Think of this post as one of those airline safety cards. Keep it in your back pocket (figuratively, of course).

6 Things You Need to Be Creative

1. Vision

Matt Gilgenbach put it best: “Do what your heart tells you to do.”

Funny Airplane Safety Card Spoof
Your heart knows what it wants.

2. Agility

Ichiro Lambe stressed that things will never go as you expect. When that happens, you need to stay cool and regroup. You can only shepherd that kernel of an idea to fruition if you’re willing to roll with the punches and take action.

In the event of a luggage attack or heart attack, perform CPR.

Keep coming back to these three questions:

  • What is your goal?
  • Why do you want to do it?
  • What will others get out of it?

3. Distance

“If you love it, get some distance, then come back,” Ichiro advised, adding, “You will love it all over again.”

Get some distance. Maybe not this much.

4. Collaboration

Somewhere along the line, you’ll need to bring in others to bounce off ideas and get a fresh perspective. That said, there’s inherent potential strife when you’re inserting yourself into someone else’s very passionate and very personal idea.

Recognizing this, Tim Ambrogi and his collaborators created their “How to Be Friends Holy Doc.” Any time there’s a difference of opinion or misunderstanding between them, they add what they learned from that experience to a list they hang on the wall for everyone to see. He said it’s helped them work better together, by having that visual reminder.

(I could see this working well for families, too … )

Comfort Guide Dungeons and Dragons Safety Cards
Check out comfort-guide.com for more funny safety spoofs.

5. Hopelessness

Surprised by that one? You shouldn’t be. As Ichiro pointed out, any creative endeavor will, at some point, involve a certain amount of hopelessness. But he was quick to add, “hopelessness ain’t all bad if you manage it right.”

Here’s how he manages it:

  • Take a break.
  • Hang out with friends.
  • Do something fun that’s completely unrelated to your project.

He says, without fail, these three things help him come back to his projects more positive and more productive.

If you’ve ever worked at a company on a big layoff day, it mentally looks like this.

6. The Magic Recipe

It’s 1 part exciting goal plus 2 parts figuring out your path (even if it ends up being way off) plus 3 parts enjoying the journey as much as the destination.

Safe travels, friends!

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