Ideas are like fish ...

  The Stillwater River

The Stillwater River

“Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.”  ~ David Lynch

I often hear people say that they are not creative. That they don’t have any ‘new ideas’. I think this is a self-limiting mindset. I have been there. I felt drained .. sapped of my creativity. 

Working in a corporate climate for years can drain your creative juices. It does not have to be this way.  You can stretch your creative muscles, and be more innovative.  Here are a few ideas to juice up your creativity:

Variety is a seedbed of creativity. Expose yourself to new experiences. Try working in new spaces, with different people, or perhaps with new tools. Try eating new and different foods. Traveling to new cultures and learning about the people and foods can stimulate new thinking. Diversity is a powerful driver of creativity. 

Develop your sense of curiosity. Slow down and ask questions. Learn as much as possible, and try to understand. Curious people are extremely interesting.  

Years ago I was in a meeting with my manager. We were discussing general topics .. I don’t remember much about the conversation, except for this one question. Yes, a single question that he asked in that meeting about a fundamental aspect of physics as it related to our equipment changed the entire industry over the following 24 months. Be inquesitive ... there are no dumb questions.  

Learn about other careers, science, industries, or technology.  So many breakthroughs come from applying learnings in other industries to  your area of work. In the previous example, we used technology from automotive, and applied it to Food Service. It was game changing. 

Make space and time for letting your mind work! Everyone that knows me well, knows that I get up early every day. I do this to get in a workout, but I have also found that this is the time when I ‘think’ best. Perhaps you mediate, walk, run .. whatever works, make some space in your life for the creative mind to work.

I like to feed my mind while I’m on the treadmill. I expose it to audible books, I read RSS feeds that I have found helpful, and sometimes I just think about big questions. I suggest you follow big thinkers and innovators on Twitter and Facebook. Good audiable books can make a big difference. I have a library full of books that I have listened to over the years. I’ll share that list sometime. Email me if you are looking for some ideas. 

Plug into meet-ups with other creatives. I have been involved with New Media Dayton for years. I’ve gone to other meet-ups for a long time. I have not only meet great friends, I have juiced my creative spirit. Most corporate meetings kill creativity and drain the mind. There is something about a more casual learning environment that reverses that process. I love it. 

Ideas .. really big ideas are waiting. Engage with the world around you and life can be much richer, and you can can be more creative. 

 ~ Rick


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