I don’t think we slow down enough to ponder anymore. Life has become this rushed, fast forward vessel in which we take on more than we can chew and simply don’t “think” anymore. And by think I mean the process of being innovative and generating ideas or thoughts.
When was the last time you wrote a short story or a poem? When was the last time you came up with a new idea for your business and actually put it into action? When was the last time you sat down to write the story of your life?
Is creativity gone? I find myself to be on the fence with that question. I do see a lot of creativity and innovation that is beautifully amazing, but then I see the other 90% of the population just following behind like cattle.
Today, I think we depend less on ourselves for innovation and change, and more on others. The art of thinking, forming ideas, and putting them into action happens far less and by far fewer people. There is a lot of “copying” today and I’m not sure why or when this started but could it be due to the fast paced, bigger, better, faster, over consuming lifestyle we have today?
Even for me it seems like there is never enough silence to just sit and be creative, and other times the silence can be deafening. This leads me to believe that even when I can turn the outside world off (which includes phone, business, Twitter, or Facebook) I have far too many things racing around in my head, therefore, even with exterior silence the interior static can overwhelm the creative process.
I have attempted to do some things in my life in order to learn how to silence the world and be more creative. One thing that has helped dramatically is turning the television off; I use to leave it on for a couple hours in the morning and now it’s thirty minutes or less, and weekend use has been cut dramatically because I have chosen to go out and participate in the world.
In addition to less television I have also spent more time writing which, for me, automatically starts some amount of creative process. I almost always have a piece of paper and a pen on me to serve as a reminder to jot things down; whether it’s things I see or hear, by writing them down I can go to this list later and it will generate thoughts which I then try to write about.
I’ve also found that using the camera on your phone and snapping photos of a sign or a place is a good replacement for note taking because you can simply go back to your photos and it will generate thoughts and ideas. Something I do far more of now is either reading or listening to other people’s stories (life, business, success, & failure) because that, more than anything will not only get the creative juices flowing but it bonds you with people.
Another great thing to do is to question things; why this, what if that, etc. When you ask a question it tends to get your brain contemplating and figuring…which is where the new ideas and thoughts will come from.
I just think it is time to stop mindlessly following and believing, instead it is time to start questioning and living. It is time to find our own voice, our own path…one of my favorite quotes:
“I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.” – William Blake