Our action is to take the first impulse that we have and react to it. Putting it into play becomes our natural inclination. A French philosopher would argue this point of action:
Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only one you have.
We’re creatures of habit in this age of technology. All to quick. Getting into a motion of moving on to the next thing before we’ve even come to grips with our current state. When instead we need to take a moment and dig deep.
I’ve figured out with my own photography (every picture you see on this blog in fact going back almost a year) I have to take a lot of the same picture before I ever really settle on the best one. This one below I took 10 times and 2 different lenses before I got it just right.
Professional photographers (which I am not one of) take two to three times what I do of a subject before the find the perfect moment. They know there is really a very small number of pictures that will actually capture the moment the way they see it and how they want their audience to see it.
It’s the same way with our creative thinking. You need to generate a lot of ideas in order to get a few good ones. When you practice this, you open your mind and really allow your imagination to take over. You reach the optimal point and peak of creativity in that freedom of thought.
Here’s a tip to get you practicing this idea: Ask questions that solicit plural answers.
To many times when we get confronted by a problem we ask “What’s the answer?” or “What’s the result?” If we change that question into a plural, tweaking it slightly you force yourself to look deeper. If we asked instead “What are the meanings?” or “What are the results?” you will find it not so simple and have to go deeper.
Another tip: Give yourself a very tight deadline.
You ever been up against a deadline that you’ve procrastinated on and been short on a budget for funds to achieve? You move quicker right? You find a resourcefulness spark that wasn’t there previously because you had to find one. Same idea. When you are set to move, give yourself a very tight expectation for a completion deadline. Limits stimulate your brain for more right answers. You will find in yourself an incredible wellspring of resourcefulness you never realized you had. Put yourself against the wall or in a corner and see how quickly your ideas get you out of it.
One of my most favorite architects, Frank Loyd Wright, told his students:
Limits are an artist’s best friend.
That’s because they force us to think beyond conventional solutions and find answers we might not have otherwise discovered.
I’ll end with some self-reflection.
What constraints can you add to your problem?
What new solutions now become apparent?
If you don’t mind and feel compelled to do so, put your answers to them in the comments section below this post. Love to hear your story as you wrestle with this one. I would enjoy being inspired by how you got out of your corners or away from the walls.
Have a great rest of the week and thanks for taking the time to read this.