Creativity under fire: channeling your inner superhero in challenging times

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Can you hear it?

That teeth-grinding, fingernails-scraping-the-blackboard, shiver-down-your-spine, kind of sound?

That’s our global business community.

Slowly. But surely. Decelerating.

Until we hit an all-mighty halt.

>>>THUMP<<<

But as business owners and leaders, we can’t actually stop, can we?

It’s up to us to find a way. Make a way. Be creative.

So what now?

Where are we going to find creativity and produce amazing content when we can’t even get a cup of coffee from our favourite cafe? (Well maybe we can – for now – as long as we aren’t intending to sit down…)

Quote - Words are the voice of the heart - Confucius

I’ll tell you what we can do.

We can go inward.

Yes, I do mean in a spiritual sense. It’s never been more important to reconnect with our inner selves, our own wisdom, our hearts. And with our source – whatever that means for you.

Some things will always be best coming from within.

But sometimes you also have to level up.

Toss on your cape. Unsheathe your sword. Slip on your bullet-deflecting Amazonian Bracelets of Submission.

Ok. Maybe that’s just me. Or Wonder Woman.

But the bottom line is, coronavirus has sunk its claws into life as we know it and it sure ain’t letting go any time soon…

It’s time to cast our creative net a whole lot wider.

So I’ve given myself permission to indulge in some fantasy… Will you join me?

It’s not a path for those who prefer to tread a stoic’s trail, paved by bricks of unwavering certainty and mortar steeped in suffering.

But it’s also not a vista of verdant hills, where fluffy bunnies scamper about and you don your fairy wings to flutter among the wispy white clouds… while the world below, your business, your livelihood, your relationships, go to rack and ruin.

Instead, it’s a path that uplifts and empowers. One that gives us permission to revisit the things that bring us unbridled joy.

Heck. In times like this, I’d even settle for something that elicits a Mona Lisa smile.

I’m not talking about throwing caution to the wind. Or going AWOL.

But sometimes we need to find contrast.

Do the opposite of what’s appropriate and ‘business like’.

Revisit those things we relegated to the far corners of our minds… if you look carefully, you can still catch a glimpse of them… the sparkles that now lie dormant in the fairy dust of a childhood past, along with our comic books and costumes and colouring books.

Past. But not forgotten.

Those things never went away.

The silly movies you watched a million times, the ones that made your belly ache with laughter. The ridiculous games you invented, that held together with nothing but paper clips and imagination. The fantastical storybooks that took you on mystical, magical journeys past, present and future, and had you dreaming of becoming a superhero when you ‘grew up’.

Just because something doesn’t appear to have a direct and obvious commercial purpose, does not mean it is without value.

Especially now.

So…

  • Break out some retro MUSIC. Show your kids how to do Stayin’ Alive like John Travolta. (Did you know the dance has had a revival, thanks to the video game Fortnite?)
John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever (1977)
  • Break out some vintage MOVIES. After all… there is only one Bond, James Bond.
The famous opening gun barrel sequence from James Bond
Bond’s famous gun barrel opening credits.
  • Break out the classic NOVELS. Curl up under the covers and journey with Frodo on his epic quest in Lord of the Rings.
Frodo leads his friends to Mordor in Lord of the Rings
Frodo leads a quest to destroy the ring.

My point is this:

Sometimes the best way to reignite our creativity is something far, far away from reality.

Because it’s often in moments of escapism, adventure and nonsense that we find our greatest inspiration.

You can’t be creative when you’re stressed out, anxious, confused. At least not without a whole lot of unnecessary angst, errors and effort.

Yes, it’s been proven by science, no surprises there. Most of us have learned something about the concept of fight or flight response.

But do you know what’s far more important, not just to me, and to you… but to your customers?

The ones who are also struggling right now?

None of them wants to engage in content that was created from a place of fear and dread.

So join me, and give yourself permission to escape reality, just for a moment.

And create from that place instead.

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