The create-on-demand environment is tough and unforgiving. If approached haphazardly, this wilderness can quickly become a barren wasteland scorched of clear direction and nourishment. Survival comes down to knowing the terrain.
Because we are often in unfamiliar territory and experience high stakes in our work, smart creative pros can learn a lot by mimicking survivalists. Even in the most desolate locations, a skilled survivalist can locate nourishment that sustains life.
Granted, every environment is different – sculpted overtime by choices, projects, art form, and more. However, all creative landscapes do possess a few staple wells of creative inspiration. Tapping into these wells can release floods of stimuli that revitalize the senses and spur motivation.
A great way to capitalize on these wells of effortless creative inspiration is to position them prominently into your daily routine. Visiting these wells consistently and frequently will keep you hydrated with the ideas and momentum you need to perform at your creative best.
1. The Sound of Silence – We’re all confronted with too much noise in our lives. So seek out the sound of silence. That can take the form of meditation, eating without watching television, or driving to work with the radio off. I’ve found it amazing what my mind can produce when I don’t distract it with noise.
2. The Realm of Make-Believe – To me, there’s no higher form of creativity than a fantasy novel done well. This bias certainly comes from the big kid in me. I think, however, that all creative professionals would do well to indulge their inner child by taking in some other-worldly way. When you open yourself up to another’s make-believe you open up your own.
3. Invert the Mindless – Many of us spend much of our days completing mindless tasks. Showering. Cleaning the dishes. Washing the car. Why not make these tasks mindful by consciously inviting in creative thoughts? When you’re absentminded elsewhere you have a natural tendency to produce brilliant ideas.
4. Pre-Dreaming – I always keep a notepad on my bed-stand to capture the ideas I have right before I fall asleep. This is often a magical time where the brain begins to transition states. Be ready with pen and paper to snare those amazing ideas before they’re lost into the depths of dreams.
5. Physical Exercise – Working your muscles always works the brain. No surprise perhaps as all body systems are interconnected. The chemicals are flowing. The energy is pulsing. The body is in high-gear. That’s a prime opportunity to experience waves of brilliance thoughts. And this surge continues post-workout.
6. Choose Your Own Adventure – The wells of creative inspiration thus far all exist within your daily routine. Choosing your own adventure suggests stepping out of your daily routine a bit. It need not be around-the-world adventure travel. (Though if you can do that go for it!) Ofttimes, just giving your routine a shock of something new, fresh and perhaps unexpected can trigger thoughts previously unknown.
7. People Watching – Many of us live our lives peering through a microscope: hyper-focused on details. Even wise professional creatives have a hard time detaching and merely observing life as it revolves around them. Taking a break to do so can be truly mind-blowing. People watching is a simple, kinda silly, and always rewarding way to do so. You’ll learn a lot (and think many new thoughts) when you stop looking and start seeing.
These aren’t the only wells of effortless creative inspiration. Many more adorn the create-on-demand environment. Some blend into the terrain, while others will be recognized easily. So, at all times, allow yourself to remain open and receptive to new wells. Look for them. Listen for them. Feel for them.
When you’re out in the unforgiving wilderness, you can never have too many brilliance-sustaining oases.