GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


May 27, 2008

Missouri Smith

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:06 am

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” was the big box office winner over the holiday weekend. It’s two hours of creative, unbelievable fun. The operative word is “unbelievable.” It’s pure fantasy and it entertains.

Contrast that with another potential movie – “Missouri Smith and the Kingdom of it Can’t Be Done.” This one hasn’t been made yet, and if it ever is, it will be two hours of tedium and creativity crushing.

We all have Indy and Missouri as part of our make-up. Missouri wants to be shown the path before he proceeds and Indiana wants to create the path to walk on. When these two get in a brainstorming meeting they cancel each other out and very little gets accomplished.

I hate to admit that most of my life I’ve played the role of Missouri – logical, analytical, road blocker. Actually, this skill came in very handy when it came to evaluating ideas that had already been brainstormed. Many times I could easily see the flaw in the idea or the one or two things that, if changed, would make it workable.

The difficulty was if I were in on the initial brainstorming process. The idea would have never gotten to the point where I could use my evaluation skills. I would have squashed the atmosphere of creativity by using those skills too early in the process. If flower bulbs listened to my logic, they may have heard me say, “You’ll never bud trying to poke through that kind of soil” and may have never made the effort.

I’ve discovered that much of our creativity gets stifled through too much logic. We impede our own creativity when we allow our intellect to have too much input.

We all have the experience of having an “ah-ha” moment in the shower, car, on a walk or anywhere our critical consciousness gets bypassed. Our intellect quickly convinces us that this is a “once in a blue moon” moment and that we need its constant guidance to think things through.

The intellect is great at building ideas not creating them. The best example of a logical conception was the Ford “Edsel.” It was a miserable failure. It was a logical idea to fill a niche in the marketplace and had little consumer appeal. We witnessed the intellectual folly even further when Ford spent good money after bad marketing this logical lemon. Knowing when to add logic to the creative mix is a learned skill. Reminds me of a story . . .

My uncle, who recently passed on, worked for a company that had a creative idea for a “snap tab” for aluminum cans. His job was to design a machine that could create it. This was a classic case of using the proper skills at the proper time. My uncle also held several patents of his own from ideas he created when he wasn’t in his logical, implementation mode.

We own both parts – creativity and logic. The magic of balancing these parts begins with the personal recognition that we are using the wrong tool for the job.

You can’t force creativity but you can certainly leave the door unlocked for it to enter.

Struggling with something that logic isn’t solving? Let it go, set it aside, and give your mind a rest. Find a peaceful activity to engage in. Find your quiet place, however you get there, and just bathe your mind in peacefulness. It doesn’t have to be a long excursion. Start with a couple of minutes break from your thinking. You can add to this break as time permits. This serenity is the birthplace of all creativity. Use it to your advantage and then let your intellect mold the inspiration.

This is mind cooperation at its best and you will be more creative and productive as a result.

All the best,

John

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