Archive for February, 2007|Monthly archive page

Enjoying the Element of Surprise

Creativity is one of the ‘processes’ that’s pretty hard to define. We know it has great benefit, but we don’t know where it’s going to take us each time. This post tackles getting comfortable with the experimental phase. 

Creativity Quotes
Conditions for creativity are to be puzzled; to concentrate; to accept conflict and tension; to be born everyday; to feel a sense of self – Erich Fromm 

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual – Arthur Koestler 

Enjoying the Element of Surprise
Opening ourselves to creative exercise requires us to let go of known outcomes. This can be scary, especially in a world where we’re expected to ‘deliver’, to set and meet clear targets. 

We can’t start a creative session knowing what the end results will be. Although our expectations of the end result determine how we go about it, frustration creeps in when we let these rule. When we allow ourselves to be surprised, we find we are led by our creativity, that there is a definite path. Each action we take produces a change, introducing a new set of circumstances and allowing us to re-evaluate our strategy at each step. 

This is the beauty of creativity – it’s alive and active, a partner in the process, sometimes leading, sometimes following. The end result is often unexpected and surprises us not only with new ideas we may not have considered before, but also with new appreciation and insight into our own abilities. 

Ideas for getting comfortable with Creativity

  1. Play a board game – at each step you know what you need to achieve and the resources you have, but every time you roll the dice, the unexpected creeps in, and you have to adjust your plan accordingly.
  2. Doodle – let your mind wonder from pattern to pattern without planning.
  3. Add two or three new steps to any of your routine activities, making a note of the new possibilities and outcomes that are generated.  

The important thing is to become comfortable with the creative process, so try these on projects that you have scope and time to experiment. Your first attempt might not be a roaring success, but once your creative muscles start to flex, the possibilities are indeed endless. 

May your creative explorations be stimulating and inspiring.