If someone said you have the ability to change the world, would you believe them?
Everything begins as an idea. Sometimes that idea changes the world or simply improves an existing product. However, knowing that your ideas can have such an impact is scary. And over time, this fear can amplify our uncertainties and create barriers, invariably causing our creative confidence to waver.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Rejecting these self-imposed limitations allows you to rediscover your confidence and bolster your imagination. And by doing that, boundaries become mere suggestions rather than hurdles. You rediscover that you can indeed be more creative. You can indeed change the world.
To prove our point, we challenged a group of Revelers with four, fast-paced activities, each designed with a specific purpose building upon each other.
ACTIVITY ONE 30 Circles of Opportunity
To warm up their creative minds, our participants sat down to a page with 30 blank circles staring at them. They were asked to transform as many circles as possible within 90 seconds and almost instantly, rules were unconsciously applied. They thought, “Can we replicate the same drawing? Are we not allowed to combine circles? None of which were originally communicated.
But after a brief moment of hesitation, circles began to quickly transform into images and negative space. Others were filled with letters, patterns and numbers; unspoken rules each person applied to themselves fell by the wayside.
ACTIVITY TWO A Storm of Words
Another activity, another blank canvas for our participants. A white board at the front of the room. Their goal: in two minutes, brainstorm as many words as possible. Sounds simple, right? No rules, no theme or topic, just come up with plain ol’ words.
The room was filled with an awkward silence accompanied by looks of indecision and fear. Finally the surface tension was broken with someone blurting out the word “Bike”…leading to “telescope”, “cupcakes”, “pirates” and a steady stream of one random word after another came flooding in. The group was able to remove their fear of being judged by others, and proudly fill another blank canvas.
ACTIVITY 3 Out of Chaos Comes Order
With a white board now littered with seemingly unconnected words, the group was split into teams. Each selecting three words from the whiteboard to create a product or service, all within two minutes. Judgment and doubt again paralyzed the flow of individual’s ideas. But, they rapidly shifted their reservation and connected the random, unfamiliar words, deciphering the chaos, using it to their advantage.
The once blank canvases thought to have been filled with dopey ideas were now new hypotheses waiting to be explored. And believe it or not, the founder of one of the most successful companies in the world was once full of them. At Steve Job’s memorial, Jonny Ive said:
“Steve used to say to me — and he used to say this a lot — ‘Hey, Jonny, here’s a dopey idea.’ And sometimes they were: really dopey. Sometimes they were truly dreadful. But sometimes they took the air from the room, and left us both completely silent. Bold, crazy, magnificent ideas. Or quiet, simple ones which, in their subtlety, their detail, they were utterly profound.”
We all have them. The crazy, the bold, and yes, the dreadful ideas. But half the battle is to resist judgment. On ourselves, and on others, lest they die before they are even born,
Nearing the end of the morning, each person’s creative confidence resurfaced, often not seen since young childhood. They were reminded that the possible outcomes were not rejection, embarrassment, or wasted time. But rather a spark that inspiring, intelligent, and insightful ideas come from.
ACTIVITY 4 One Bag, One Card, Limitless Possibilities
Finally, each person was given a bag of mystery supplies, containing a picture, Play-Doh, popsicle sticks and other crafts. A whiff of the Play-Doh and one is instantly transported back decades, reminded of the time when they proudly showed their creations, no matter what it looked like to anyone that would listen. From the picture our participants were asked to create the first thing that came to mind. It was then that David Kelley’s inspiration came to life for everyone.
Creativity is something you practice, not just a talent you’re born with.
And if we want to put our dent into the universe, the only one stopping us, is ourselves.