Creativity calms the chaos
How the process of creativity keeps us focused amongst the uncertainty
This is an uncomfortable topic. It is not easy for me, and I am a little scared so please give me grace and stick with me. It is important.
I am going to talk about what is happening in the news within the context of creativity because it helps me frame what is currently happening and how I can see a way out of it.
Why do I use creativity?
Because when we get good at the process of creativity we can solve problems with calm and originality. It is encumbered on every generation to be able to do this to leave the world a happier, more interesting and beautiful place than those before them.
I think at the moment we have a pretty serious and deep seeded problem that has been triggered by the death of George Floyd. This is unfortunately not the first time, but this time it feels heightened. Riots are occurring everywhere and people are scared, angry and want it to change.
The racial divide is of course not the only problem we must seek to mend and I mention a few of them in my video I released earlier this year. I also mention that it is not all doom and gloom. I am incredibly optimistic about the human race’s ability to see these problems as opportunities and seize them collectively for the betterment of mankind.
COVID is a prime example. I am in awe of country upon country, city upon city, home upon home, closing their doors to stop a virus in its tracks. To shut the world down is an extraordinary act of goodwill and it reinforces the hashtag #We-are-better-together.
The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to it's original size. - Albert Einstein
Yesterday I listened to some practical advice from Sharon Brown, a lady who cut her teeth in corporate culture and communication with Texaco many years ago.
Her advice is simple…
Do not feel guilty that you have not done anything, but instead ask ourselves these three questions:
- What do I know? (e.g. I know there is a systemic racial divide)
- What don’t I know?
- What can I do within my sphere of influence?
There are so many parallels with creativity in this advice, particularly in the way creativity starts.
It starts with asking ourselves questions – saturating ourselves with new knowledge.
“What do I already know?”
(Step 1 – the white circle),
“What don’t I know?”
(Step 1 – the coloured circles),
“What can I do about it?”
(Step 2 – Percolate and onwards through the process)
I would not ordinarily talk about this
You could rightly ask why is she using a page about raising confident creative girls to talk about this topic? Or is it the perfect place?
I do not have the answers, and I don’t know if I am saying the right things, but I was reminded yesterday that silence is compliance. This current situation is not one that sits comfortably with me.
Creativity is a verb. It is a doing word. Creativity cannot exist unless we DO something.
When we look back on this time, I want us to be proud of how we acted. Us being, those that choose to show up here regularly because you believe in the capability and spirit of our children to participate in this world in a meaningful way.
I want us to be able to tell our kids how we acted and be proud of the role models we are.
Our actions do not have to be grand, just in our sphere of influence.
Sometimes all we need to say is, “I see you, I hear you and I feel you.”
Acknowledgement and recognition is enough. We just want to know we aren’t alone on the journey.
My sphere of influence is in creative thinking
I teach children how to master the process of creativity. Creativity is a process, not an outcome and mastering it creates positive change.
The children (mainly tweens) learn to solve problems and seize opportunities with originality and calm.
They are not distracted by the chaos because they have a path and trust the process will deliver something extraordinary for them. Now more than ever we need our children equipped with this skill. It is why smart organisation and companies are crying out for it.
Where can we start with a problem that feels so big it seems easier not to start?
I think it is by asking ourselves these three simple questions:
“What don’t I know?”
“What do I know?”
“What can I do in my sphere of influence?”
Every little step in the right direction helps and don’t worry if you misstep. We all do. We learn from them. From these humble beginnings our brain kicks into gear and the creative process begins. We start to get clarity and with clarity we can begin to communicate. With communication we can influence change.
So if you are looking for a place to start. If you are wanting to DO something but do it in a way that is thoughtful, reasoned, principled and respectful use this process I am about to share with you. It provides a path that you can use over and over again.
Here is the link to the 5 Steps to Solving Any Problem PDF.
Let us create calm amongst this chaos and in our own special way make a difference. People are hurting and we need to acknowledge it. They have had enough. We only make progress when we do something.
I am hopeful for the future and I am so glad you are part of it.
Thankyou for sticking with me and reading this far.
I am Jane Harbison.
Stay safe and stay happy.
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