Doing Something Different

Sitting on the deck of the ferry between Port Angeles and Victoria BC, I soaked in the anticipation of my weekend escape to Canada. I thought how cool that I can spend 90 minutes on a ferry and change my perspective by visiting another country. There is something that comes alive in us, that unlocks energy and anticipation when we are going on an adventure.

As I sat with the idea of adventure, change and disrupting the norm through new experiences, it led me to further reflection on what stimulates inspiration and creative discovery.

Does it shock you when I say we’re ignoring our greatest creative resource every single day—even suffocating it? What do you think when you hear that creative resource has nothing to do with what you do every day of your life?

For arguments sake let’s define creativity as the ability to solve problems in a surprising or unpredictable way, to explore insights, new truths and options outside what we currently know. Many of us may be in careers that are perceived as "creative" (designers, writers, developers, strategists or entrepreneurs). Is it surprising to observe that we don’t force ourselves regularly to solve problems that are clearly out of our areas of expertise. Why we consistently look for options that avoid risk or change—solutions that keep us comfortable and hopefully “looking good” to others.

That’s where we’re squandering our greatest creative resource. With routine, patterned approaches and avoidance of discomfort, people get stuck in prescripted forms of thought and rigid assumptions. By forcing our thinking out of our comfort zones, we become part of a more intellectually and emotionally diverse population that helps us continue to learn, expand and challenge our own assumptions.

For most humans, structure, order and predictability offer intrinsic comfort. That’s why so many people fear change. It’s why they avoid people, places and scenarios that are different than they’ve traditionally known. They choose to stay stuck in patterns and fail to spark transformation within their companies and professional and personal lives.

This can be an incredibly destructive behavior, as it creates missed opportunities where problems can be solved, new innovations moved forward and new partnerships formed. Creative tension and degrees of disruption leads to spontaneous change, and change has the power to create immense value.

Yes, change, difference and creative tension can be scary—but it’s the place that reward, influence, expansion and opportunity exists.

What’s exciting about change and disruption is it’s actually adventure waiting to be engaged. Most people respond to adventure as, “I’m so jazzed we did that.”

Go put your skin in the game and do something different.